Day Two (May 5)

89 miles, Lacey to Monroe

Off I go...

This was the first day with the trailer and the 50 pounds of extra gear I'm toting along. Unlike yesterday, where I breezed over hills, the added weight made even small hills difficult. And there were plenty of hills, including several rather steep ones. Yeah, I walked up a couple - no sense destroying my legs this early into the journey.

It was also cold. The day started in the 40s and I doubt it got above 55 all day long. This despite a rare sunny day in the Northwest, for which I was grateful. I picked up a bit of a headwind halfway through the ride, also. None of that, however, could spoil views like this:

With all the hills and wind slowing me down, I figured I'd waste even more time by taking a couple of ferry rides. The target of the first was Vashon Island, one of the lovely isles that dot Puget Sound. Here's a photo from the deck of the ferry.

While I enjoyed the visit (despite a couple of tough climbs), it wound up taking too long, and I didn't reach the Space Needle until about 5pm. This left me no time to hang around, but that was OK because I'd been there once before and gone up in the thing. If you're ever in Seattle, make sure you do that. Fork over the bucks for the elevator ride and be sure to take your camera.

Anyway, I then spent the rest of the day trying to figure out how to find my way to Monroe without getting stuck on highways by mistake. Turns out there are many places here where a normal-looking road just turns into a restricted access highway without warning. The map I had didn't identify these spots and I did some backtracking. In the end, though, I reached my destination (Monroe, WA) with the sun just dropping below the horizon. Cold and wet from a day's sweating, I checked into the hotel and had a wonderful hot shower. I tell you, the best thing about a long ride is the hot shower at the end.