Now that we are in Oregon we wanted to take some time and look back on our ride through Washington and how we liked it. The easiest way to do this, for us, is to list the things we liked/didn't like and explain. Here goes!
1. The Olympic Peninsula- we liked it because it is beautiful. The mountains were gorgeous and the scenery was awesome.
2. The rivers and lakes- there were some seriously awesome rivers we went over and the lakes were cool too. We especially like Crescent Lake and Lake Quinault.
3. Kalaloch State Park- it was right on the beach and the hosts gave us a sight even though the sign said they were booked. The beach was lovely and it was just a good campground.
4. The sunsets - we saw three amazing sunsets while in Washington. One in Port Angeles, one at Kalaloch and one at Lake Quinault.
5. The other bikers we met - everyone we met was really nice and helpful.
6. The small privately owned campgrounds we stayed in - these are always the best places to stay because the people that own them and stay at them are so genuine and always willing to help you out. Specifically they were Artic Park in Artic and River's End RV Park in Chinook. Both owners were so nice, thoughtful and welcoming.
1. Riding through mountains - from a purely physical standpoint riding your bike through mountains is really hard. It's even harder when you have 20+ lbs of stuff strapped to your bike. We loved the downhill rides but going up the hills was hard.
2. The weather - we got spoiled on our first day in Washington. It was 75 degrees and sunny (what summer should be like), but the next day was terrible. It rained allllll day and it was cold. We had two more days out of 7 that were decent and the rest were cold and cloudy. We're not huge fans of the cold. It's nice not getting all sweaty, but your muscles just feel stiff all the time and it's killer at night when you don't have lots of warm stuff.
3. The way the road followed the ups and downs of the land - this is separate from mountain riding because when your in a mountainous area you expect lots of hills. But when you're not you just want a flat road. However, the way HWY 101 was built it follows the valleys that streams and rivers create. It sucks. It slows us way down having to walk up a steep hill every mile or so.
4. Lack of free showers - at every campground we stayed in there were either no showers or you had to pay for them. Almost all of the state parks we stayed in didn't have them and the one that did it cost a dollar for a 6 minute shower. The privately owned camps made you pay 25cents/5 minutes. When you've been riding your bike for 8 hrs you want food and a shower at the end of day and that's pretty much it.
Overall, we enjoyed our ride through Washington. Despite all the things that frustrated us there really wasn't anything about it that would make us not want to come back. In fact we would love to visit again, except we'll be in a car with plenty of warm clothes. Most likely we would visit the Olympic Peninsula again because there's so much to do there. Before we get too excited about returning to the Evergreen State we have to get our minds set on getting to San Diego. :]