Day 5
I ate breakfast in my room and headed up the Washington side of the Columbia River on highway 4. It was better than highway 30 on the Oregon side, but still a major highway with traffic increasing as 4 nears Longview. The road runs right along the river for most of the distance, so it is fairly flat and the views were nice. After a pretty easy 20 miles on 4, the route heads inland and uphill on Coal Creek road. A nice ride with 1000 feet or so of climbing in the next 15 miles followed by some good downhills to highway 411 near Castle Rock.

I stopped for lunch in Castle Rock at a downtown restaurant with video gambling machines. This was my first encounter with legalized gambling outside of Indian reservations (there is a big reservation casino on highway 18 in Oregon). North Carolina doesn't have too many things going for it, but the absence of legalized gambling is one of them. Ah well, the food was good and the atmosphere was pleasant.

Pacific Highway out of Castle Rock was good riding and led into other rural roads that roughly parallel I-5. I got a bit confused about which road I was on, but managed to find my way successful to Toledo where I stopped for a snack before riding out on Jackson Highway. There were nice views of Mt St. Helens, and good riding conditions, including a bit of a tail wind. I was planning to ride on to Centralia, but the entrance to Lewis & Clark State Park was so beautiful that I turned around and ended up camping there.

I wasn't sure that I could get my tent up, but it was early so I figured that I would repack my stuff and ride on if I couldn't. I only rode about 55 miles that day, but I did confirm that I could camp even with my broken collar bone. After setting up and taking a shower, I walked up the road to a tavern for supper. It wasn't great, and the two beers I had with it made me rather unsteady on my feet, but it did the job. Later I met two young women who were taking their grandmother camping in the Pacific northwest. Sharp folks, and I thoroughly enjoyed talking with all three of them

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