Leaving Lewis & Clark on a cloudy morning, I continued north following the AC route. From Jackson Highway I turned east on 508 and then north again on Tauscher Rd. This was the classical road that starts out flat, goes steeply uphill, and then gets really steep before the top of the hill. I was able to ride up Mt Mitchell with my loaded bike before starting this tour, but I had to walk the last 100 feet or so of that hill on Taucher Rd. I blamed it on my collar bone, but I'm not sure I would have made it even without that problem. In this 4000f mile tour, there were only two places I had to walk up hills, both on AC routes. They have found some amazingly steep roads!
After Tauscher Rd. things were less steep, but wetter. It started to rain as I approached Centralia. My first, and as it turned out only, actual rain in Washington or Oregon! It rained on and off for a hour or so as I made my way to and through Centralia. In Centralia a missing road sign (for Silver St) got me off route so I stopped for a coke and directions to the part of town where restaurant were located. I found a cheap place, ate a good lunch, and headed out of town on Harrison Ave, back on route. Nice flat riding and the rain had stopped so I could take off my rain gear. I met my first (of this trip) tourist on James Rd, 10 miles or so north of Centralia. He was from Bremerton and heading south to Eugene. We exchanged road info and talked about touring. I had seen several tourists yesterday, but we were on busy roads so I could only wave and smile. This kind of meeting really improves a day of touring!
I also had my first bad head wind today, not too long after that meeting, when I was riding up the Chehalis river between Oakville and Elma. 20 miles into a 15 mph wind. A pain, and boring riding as well. I was exhausted when I arrived at Elma, so I had a large second lunch with lots of coffee to get my energy level back up for the remaining 27 miles to Shelton. The last part of today's ride turned out to be much nicer than the ride up the river. It was quite pretty with moderate hills and sometimes even a bit of a tail wind. I stopped at the only store along the way and had a pleasant visit with the owner. He let me use the bathroom in his house (not part of the store) since there was none at the store. Coming into Shelton I stayed on route and stopped at the only motel on the route. I couldn't find a decent restaurant nearby, so I bought some groceries and improvised a light supper. After two big lunches I didn't need a lot of supper. 80 miles
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