It was nice to reconnect with my wife, but having her ride with me meant I didn’t get to sleep in just yet. I had one errand to run before we could leave. I needed to visit a shipping store, so I could make some more room for her gear. When we travel together, we each get a sidecase and then leave the top case for snacks, spare gloves, etc. My original plan was to eat most (or all) of the food in the right bag to make room for her stuff. This mostly worked out, but since I’d spent a month not really using my camping gear it was time to send it back. It made packing much simpler with more space. I also sent back all of my winter riding gear. I don’t think I’ll be needing it for a while!
It took a sidecase and the topcase to bring it all to the store. It all just managed to fit into a 18x18x18 box
My wife finishing her last minute preparations for her first day of riding. We were both excited as this was the trip we originally planned before the Alaska leg was invented.
I rode SW to the coast from the airport and found a beach. The first beach, Saltwater State Park, had an attendant and he looked like he wanted money, so we didn’t go in and just sat parked at the entrance. A local hiker walked up to us and said hello to me, and then with a giant grin said “Hiii Tiger” to my wife like he was talking to a little kid. I tried to contain my laughter; she must have had her shield down. With her ears and tail on her helmet, some people think she is a kid. Most just smile. He said we could get in for free if it was just for the day, so we said “ok” and followed him.
The attendant wanted $10 just to enter. He didn’t care that we’d be there for less than 30 minutes. Guh. We told the attendant no way and left the hiker arguing with him. Walk-ins are free, but they charge for vehicles.
We found a city park on Puget Sound that was free just down the road. We found the last parking space. A beautiful sunny day makes the beach a popular spot.
After riding almost 50 miles to Tacoma, we were getting pretty hungry.
Yea, yea, 50 miles isn’t much, but we didn’t go over 45mph the whole time. Instead taking the twisty side roads as close to the water as possible. Frequently riding through neighborhoods to gawk at the houses.
In Tacoma we found small blue signs directing us to the Tacoma Chinese Reconciliation Park.
My wife asked me reconciliation for what? I had no idea. We walked around enjoying the sea views and looked for signs. One of them mentioned the poor treatment of Chinese immigrants after the gold rush era with the prevalent discrimination of the time. It’s the best explanation we could find, but it still didn’t explain why Chinese over other immigrant groups.
It got too hot in the park, so it was time to go. The mercury was approaching 75F and there was no shade; we set off south.
And found this nice shady spot with a great view of the sound. There was a gold course below. It was interesting for both of us to watch the people walk, run, skate, and bicycle by not even noticing us sitting in the shade by a tree. Only one little girl, who was looking around, noticed us and smiled.
South of Tacoma the road wound through a military base with a great forest on either side.
The road opened up and we got a look at the military base. It looked like an army training camp complete with ropes to climb and rifle ranges.
We found this guy and his wife with their Harley’s sitting on the side of the road. We stopped to see if they needed any help.
He said his bike had just “died” and that someone was on the way with a trailer. He didn’t seem too interesting in troubleshooting, so off we went.
We arrived in Olympia after a short ride on I5. The road we were on ended at the military base. We almost made the whole day without going over 45.
Olympia is the capitol of Washington state, but didn’t feel very governmental like St. Paul does in MN.
The downtown area had a very small town touristy vibe as many towns near a large body of water do. There were understandably lots of people out enjoying the nice weekend weather.
We eventually found a room (the last one!) and set out to explore the town. There are a lot of murals in this town which is great as I enjoy looking at them. This one was our favorite. We both liked all the different comic book characters.
We even got to watch another mural being created by the artists. Check out the full flickr album for more murals.
Of course we had to find food. Yum!
and then we enjoyed the sunset over the harbor.
Day 30 will have us beginning our ride around the Olympic peninsula.
Rough Approximation of Today’s Route: ~70 miles
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Video: Seattle to Olympia