TRIP 2003

Update #24 - May 27th
Seattle, Washington - 3900 miles (6240 KM)

Usually, I have been adding an update for every seven days. I'm off the road today and tomorrow so I thought that I would add one now. My trip up the Pacific Coast is over. It actually ended when I got to Aberdeen, WA. Even though I am in Seattle right now, there is a big difference between Puget Sound and wide open ocean. I consider this to be my formal start back to the East Coast. My turn Eastward at Aberdeen was the beginning of my 13th crossing of the United States. I'm really not counting the trip West since there were big gaps in riding due to bike problems and off course the Greyhound bus ride between Las Cruces, New Mexico and Santa Maria, California.

There isn't much to say about the last four days. I spent another day in Elma recuperating from the minor spill that I took May 21st between Raymond and Aberdeen. My left elbow was still a little sore from slipping on that mud patch while coasting down a hill. Thursday night (May 22), I spoke for about a half hour at the evening service at the Lighthouse Baptist Church Discipleship Center. I think that the response was okay. I was surprised at getting almost $100 from people who literally had nothing coming off the streets from drug addiction, etc.

Saturday (May 24), I got back on the road and cycled to Shelton. I wasn't able to get in touch with the minister of the Methodist church where I had stayed at three years ago. In fact, I wasn't really able to get in contact with any of the local ministers. I tried getting a contact through the Sheriff department and the police station but nobody knew of any ministers. There was a good chance of rain so I opted to get a motel room instead of trying to find a place to camp out. The room that I got was way too expensive for the condition that it was in and it really stunk from all of the previous users who smoked. I had to go and get a can of air freshioner so that I could use the bed.

I opted to go to the First Baptist church for Sunday school class and the service the next morning since it was the closest. This was a mistake. I found out that at the last minute that this was really a social center masking itself as being a church. The people for the most part were not really friendly (especially it seemed to visitors). Nobody shook my hand or made me feel welcome.

The clincher for me was when a young lady almost mowed down an elderly lady who was also mentally and physically challenged without apologizing because she seemed to have had blinders on. Getting to that one person to talk to for a few minutes before the service started was more important than common courteousy. I left right before the service started. A church is not the building but the people inside of it. It was too late to get to another church. I don't like to butt into a church service if it has already started.

I rode as far as Belfair and waited for an evening service at a church for about two hours but nobody showed up. It didn't seem to be another church in the area having an evening service. There was nothing for me to do but to find a place to camp out. My choice of places was quite limited because of the terraign in the area (quite hilly) and every place that would have been good spot had a no trespassing sign around. I was able to find a place to camp out outside of Port Orchard but it was between an railroad line (that didn't seem to be used any more) and a busy highway. My neighbor for a few hours was a young deer who came out of the brush about thirty feet from me. I was able to get a few hours of sleep.

Yesterday, it was about a seven mile ride to the ferry dock in Bremerton. Along the way, I helped a mentally challenged man with some food. I got to the ferry dock right when the ferry was being loaded. I was the last one on but the first one off after the half hour ride across Pugent Sound. I arrived in Seattle around 9:40 a.m. I took a walk along the waterfront and then went over to the Seattle Center to check out the Folklife Festival for a couple of hours before riding over to the University District to stay with some friends who I haven't seen in three years for a few days.

From Seattle, I'll be getting on U.S. 2 for the ride over Steven's Pass (almost 4100 feet) and then I'll be heading to Spokane for a few days off with friends there. I expect that it will take me between 5 and 7 days to ride to Spokane depending on which route I take. Somewhere near Steven's Pass (under 80 miles), I will be passing the 120,000 mile mark since February 19, 1003. It is really hard to believe. This would be 4.82 times around the mean distance of the Equator.

I'll try to post an update as often as I can if there are any changes in my plans.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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