Lake Quinault Drive, Olympic National Park, WA: Here's one of those things that I had planned to do three months ago. A 31 mile bike ride around Lake Quinault. Well, I held off doing it Friday because of the rain but today, Saturday, we had more of the same. I decided to do it anyway despite the rain, fog and 58 degrees. I wouldn't be able to see much because the lake was fogged in but it was more about getting exercise and accomplishing the task
I layered up with three shirts including biking shirt, my trusty fleece and a rain jacket. My outer pants were water proof and I also donned a cold weather cap, rain jacket hood and bike helmet. I brought the camera though I knew I wouldn't get many shots, it's another appendage. I had a fanny pack with my wallet in waterproof pouch, keys, reading glasses, map and iphone though we had no cell signal. I also had my camel back on. I was ready to attack the weather and the thirty one unknown miles.
On mistake, the continuous rain fell on my helmet, down my jacket, down my water proof long pants and into my shoe. My socks were soaked within 10 minutes. Toes sloshed around doing the back stroke in what was now the shoe pool. The hiking shoes became wet and the cold took over. I stopped at 10 miles, removed the shoes and wrang out the socks. It continued to rain through out the ride and I kept hearing Michael Franks singing "popsicle toes are nearly froze".
The hard top turned into a gravel, muddy road as I rode the north end of the loop. The ferns dominated the forest as I rode deeper into the valley finally crossing the Lake Quinault Bridge and aiming back towards the camp site on the south shore. The fog and clouds hid the steep walls of the Quinault Valley.
Upon our return, the bike and I were covered head to toe with mud that kicked up as I negotiated the puddles. I was lucky to find a hose in the back of the Lodge where I could shoot the bike and myself clean. Every layer was wet. No dump station Quinault but there is a laundromat and we took full advantage.
Here are just a few shots along the wet ride.