PCH Tour: Detours and Lewis & Clark State Park

Old Growth Forest

Day 15 – I woke up in Millersylvania State Park (What an awesome crazy name). I was on the road by 9am. I only had 40 miles to go, so I decided to take it easy. I needed a break after that 60 miler. I made great time, coming out of the mountains down some windy roads. I quickly made it to Grand Mound and continued on Old Hwy 99 past and amazing hotel called the Great Wolf Lodge. I don’t know why I didn’t grab a pic. There was a giant 6 story wolf and I think a bear too, standing at the entrance. Look it up, and if you’re ever in the area give it a try!

The roads were fairly straight and flat from there on down to Centralia. It was a small town, but it had a big strip of plazas and every fast food place you could imagine. I was tempted to stop for a small bite, but I wanted to put at least 20-30 miles down before I stopped for food. I made for Airport Highway, which lead south out of town.

When I got there, the road was closed and construction vehicles were everywhere. I stopped at the construction gate to find a detour and a worker rode up to me. He said I could go right across the bridge and eventually get back on track. Then he said, he wasn’t sure if the gate was open on the other end, but he would pretend he didn’t see me if I wanted to give it a go and cut through the closed road. He took off and I waited a minute. I really didn’t want a detour on my easy day and the closed road looked fine, so I went for it. Only 10 ft in 2 more trucks came out and they said I had to go around. Bummer.

I took their advice and rode a mile, but quickly realized that this detour was taking me at least 10 miles out of the way. I looked at the map and found my own route, so I backtracked through Centralia and made my way down to the town of Chehalis. It had a beat up historical part of town where I found an awesome place to eat called the Market Street Bakery & Cafe. I got a Turky Panini with Chipotle Mayo, some chips, a coffee and a chocolate croissant. I filled my guy and charged my batteries. I grabbed some supplies at a market across the street and continued on. I was halfway to my destination and the heat had risen into the 90s.

I rode past a bunch of industrial parks before hitting a little hill that lead into Napavine. The hill wasn’t that big, but with the heat I was drenched in sweat at the top. I pulled into some shade to swig some Gatorade and cool off.

I made the final push out of town and into the wilderness to my campsite in Lewis and Clark State Park. It was fairly empty, being a Monday. The ranger pavilion was closed so I rode into the campgrounds. A few hundred feet in a saw a fire truck and a young ranger came over. He explained that there was a bad propane leak in a camper up ahead. It looked like it belonged to the 2 old ladies hanging out on a picnic table hoping their rolling home wouldn’t explode into flames.

He gave me directions to the hiker biker camp site, but I apparently didn’t catch what he said and I ended up in an overflow site. The ranger was cool with it though. Thankfully I didn’t have to move after setting up my tent.

I went for a little hike into the Old Growth Forest where I took this photo. The trees, moss and ferns made you feel like you were in a prehistoric time. But after running face first into 3 giant spider webs I decided to head back to camp and shower.

After the sun went down it was still in the 90s. There was a chance of rain in the morning so I hung all my sink-washed clothes on a clothesline in my tent to dry. It was so hot and humid that I couldn’t stop sweating in my tent. Finally it cooled enough for me to pass out. What a day :)

(Repost of my 2014 Pacific Coast Tour Instagrams)



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