October 16, 2006
I set out through downtown Centralia, which is a cute, small place. The side-street neighborhoods sit under an overcast sky, bringing out the colors on this soft fall afternoon. Brown leaves blanket the sidewalks, school buses shoot visible exhaust fumes at me, and pumpkins rest on front porches.
It rains all morning long, and I hide in the motel room. At 11am I check out and hit the road.
The sky begins to look like it may clear up, but it blankets over again for another wave of wet stuff. I stop for a break at a lonely gas station, and have some Coke and BBQ burritos. These are my new favorite thing – hot and tasty at gas stations everywhere.
Entering Toledo, the sky clears and the sun actually comes out. I ride out along a scenic forested road, and begin having fun taking taking pictures for the first time in a little while. The light raises my spirits immediately.
In Castle Rock I check into a motel. There’s no official camping in the area, and my bike is in need of some care. It’s picked up a whole lot of roadway dirt and grime during these past few days. I empty all the panniers, get rid of some junk I’ve accumulated, and reorganize everything. I wring out all my clothes in the bathroom sink, and place them above the heater… even my shoes.
I think about how it wasn’t too long ago when I got motel rooms for the air conditioning. Next I hose off the outside of my panniers in the shower, and finally the whole bike goes in. Yep, my bike is sitting in the bathtub. I would have taken a picture of it if my hands weren’t so full.
Well, I have announcement to make – this trip will be ending in San Francisco – I won’t be going any further. I’ve done some calculations, and it’s financially (Among other reasons) the most sensible thing to do, especially after my recent tendency to stay in motel rooms. My health insurance expires in November. My Pocketmail account expires at the same time. My auto insurance is due. The Golden Gate Bridge will be a good climax for me. After all, that was the original goal in the first place.
When I briefly talked to my friend Dave on the phone the other night, he said, “I’ve just gotta know one thing – will you be back in time for the Turkey Bowl?” The Turkey Bowl is a messy tackle football game that we play every Thanksgiving with his brothers and some old friends. Life is good.
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Google Map Route may not be 100% accurate.