Day 6: Forks to Lake Quinault

Olympic National Park

We slept in and finally left around 9 am. Apart from a brief jaunt through Olympic National Park, the day’s ride was mostly down the rural 101 through depressed logging areas and towns. We passed through a bunch of First Nations reservations, and it was eye opening to see the dilapidated infrastructure of the reservation’s schools and public buildings. I was worried that we may have problems because of the rural poverty and remoteness in western Washington, but everything was fine.

Some areas along the highway were extra hot because of deforestation (no shade to hide in). Today, I finally developed “tunnel vision” and stopped focusing on the traffic around me. I’ve become accustomed to riding in traffic and it’s now pretty normal, aside from the constant fear of logging trucks.

After a quiet day, we finally made it to Lake Quinault and struggled to find camping until a British man approached us and invited us to stay with him and his girlfriend. We all ended up staying in a first come first serve campground near Lake Quinault Lodge. We spent a little extra at a small convenience store, where we rewarded ourselves with beer and ice cream.

Ruth (far left), Rob, and Beth Ann (center)

After we settled in, we hung out with the couple (Rob and Ruth). They were also cyclists and had started their trip in Los Angeles, where they proceeded to cycle up the western states through Montana, and back down the pacific coast. They arrived in the US right before the COVID-19 closures and decided to stay and cycle for 6 months in lieu of returning to Europe.

Stunning, Reflective Lake Quinault

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