Leaving Seattle this morning, I crested the acceleration ramp onto Interstate 5 and saw the majestic Mount Rainier in the distance. It was so collosal that for a second, I thought it's snow-capped peak was a cloud. It's simply massive...and no picture I could take would do it justice.
From Interstate 5, it was onto "The one-oh-one" as it is called here, or more accurately, US Route 101. The route leaves Seattle and heads north and west to the northwestern most point in the lower 48 United States, before turning south along the coast toward Oregon.
In doing so, the 101 skirts the beautiful Olympic National Park, which features the United States' only rain forest, it's largest cedar tree, and it's largest spruce tree. The Olympic National Forest is a primordial forest, featuring gigantic ancient trees, many hundreds of years old, and some big enough to drive a car though.
The ride today, about six hours, was beautiful, as I had the mountainous forest on my left, and one beautiful mountain lake or river after another on my right. Long, easy curves made the ride interesting and fun, and even though it was a sunny, 81 degree day, the shade offered by the giant spruce trees made it seem much cooler. Unlike traveling in a car, on a bike one can sense so much more, and today was a treat, as I smelled the soil of an ancient forest, the Christmas-like aroma of the evergreens, and the smoke from wood-buring campfires.
By around 4pm, I'd made it to the little town of Forks, where the 101 comes to the Pacific coast and makes its abrupt turn left, southward. In Forks, as in other places along today's ride, I saw many totem poles, honoring the heritage and culture of the Indians who have lived here for centuries.
Before long there was another smell in the air, salt. My faithful bike had again delivered me safely to the Pacific ocean. Alexander had Bucephalus, Napoleon had Marengo, Lee had Traveler, and I have Yamacraw, my steel horse. Over plains, mountains, deserts...nothing has slowed this wonderful piece of machinery. It's sometimes as if it has a spirit, one that wants to run! What a great motorcycle.
The toes of my old combat boots in the Pacific surf.
On a pebbled beach with the Pacific behind me.
A tiny souvenir.
I climbed the steep bluff overlooking the ocean, sat there for a moment, and, patting my big, black bike on the gas tank as if it were a living thing, I swung my leg over the saddle and said, "Let's go home."
By six we had made it to the little coastal town of Aberdeen, "Gateway to the Olympics." They have a neat old Shell gas station by there that's now a burger and ice cream joint, playing all your fifties faves on the jukebox.
They have some neat murals here in Aberdeen celebrating the history of the town...
and the people who helped build it.
This is Sam. I met her in Aberdeen. She's very nice and her mom is from Edison, Georgia!
I've met so many nice people along this trip, in gas stations, truck stops, cafes, diners, bars, pubs, restaurants, Uber rides...and all along the way, I've tried to share my faith and what I'm doing and why. Everyone has been friendly and supportive. I'm praying that if I am supposed to meet someone who can benefit from knowing me, that they will be put in my path. If I only reach one person who needs to know that they are not alone, and that they are loved, then this mission will be a success.
Have you shared my web address with a friend today? Please help me by doing so. Prayers and donations are always welcome too. Remember that I handle no money and that it all goes directly to the Voice of the Martyrs, a wonderful organization that provides direct aid to persecuted Christians worldwide.
Tomorrow, Portland. God bless!