Oly Country 300K: Saturday Nov. 5 at 6:30 a.m.

by John Pearch

There’s still time to register for this late addition to the SIR 2016 brevet calendar and get in another 300K:

http://brevets.seattlerando.org/register_for_event/381

Anyone planning to ride the 300K this weekend should know that we will have printed copies of the cue sheet on hand at the start. The cue sheet is also online for those of you who like to make edits and adjust formatting.

Here is a link to the RWGPS file/map: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/16388027

Registration opens at 6:00 am and the ride starts at 6:30 AM at the Fish Tale Brew Pub Parking Lot.

Fish Tale Brew Pub
515 Jefferson St SE
Olympia, WA 98501

Parking is free on weekends on the streets in Olympia.  However, do not try and park in the Fish Tale parking lot or any others marked.

If you need to use the restroom, there is a McDonalds on Plum and 8th, just a few blocks from the start.

Preride Notes:

Josh and I prerode this past Sunday with dry weather the first 100k, then the final 200k (12 hours) of constant rain.  The forecast looks like rain this Saturday so byobuddyflaps:) Take note of all the CAUTION on the cue sheets as railroads crossings will be slick and highway crossings visibility might be limited.

There are 7 Info Controls to explore backroads of rural Thurston and PierceCounties, in the first 126k. We will depart the Fish Tale brew pub taking Olympia’s NE neighborhood to the the Chehalis Western Trail (CWT).  Then taking the CWT south to the Yelm Tenino Trail (YTT).  We will follow the YTT passing through Yelm to the far reaches of the YTT, then cross over the Nisqually River into Pierce County with back roads of the Lacamas Valley and hillier Harts Lake area, then back into Thurston County backroads of Bald Hills, Lake Lawrence, Vail Cutoff and the Deschutes River. If you did the 200k last March, just keep an eye on the course change, as the course will take Runyon Rd (easy to miss off of Vail Cutoff) to access the back way into the town of Rainer!

After the Rainier Control, you will then get back on the YTT temporarily to access Johnson Creek Road and eventually the Skookumchuck Valley (info control at the fish hatchery)! Then follow the Skookumchuck Valley back to Tenino.  From Tenino you will go north on backroads to Scott Lake Chevron Station control.  Then the route goes south to Littlerock and Mima-Gate Rd and access the back way into Anderson Rd/ End of Trail Station control.  We decided to ride the 0.3 km section of gravel to avoid the U.S. Hwy 12. From End of Trail control, the route temporarily goes west on U.S 12 (crossing the narrow Black River Bridge) then on Elma Gate and flat S. Bank Road to Elma control. Elma is an Open Control, even though we encourage to find the stores on the far east side of town.  From Elma you will climb gently up Cloquallum Road for 26k.  After Cloquallum Road jct with Highland Rd, Cloquallum Rd has a few spurts of up to 16%.  Cloqualluam Road steeply descends into Isabella Lake and then rolls into the Arcadia neighborhood of Shelton.

From Shelton the route follows Hwy 3 (with a narrown bridge) to US 101, which has a small 2k section of Old Olympic Hwy to temporarily get off 101. There are a few rollers along 101 until the route takes takes Steamboat and Madrona Beach to Mud Bay. Alas, the infamous Mud Bay final climb and descent into downtown Olympia!  We’ll have some Fish Tale Beer regardless if you don’t make it before the Fish Tail Brewpub closes.

See you Saturday!

Cheers!

John

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2017 Draft Calendar

Our calendar for 2017 ACP events has to be submitted by September 30th. Here’s a draft. Ideas welcome. Not all conflicts (with holidays, other rides, wedding anniversaries, etc) can be avoided, but let me know if there are some particularly bad problems. All rides dependent on finding willing volunteers to manage them.

Jan-Feb – Winter Training Series
Sat 3/11 – Spring Populaire

Sat 3/18 – Spring 200k
Sat 3/25 – Olympia 200k
Sat 4/8 – Spring 300k
Sat 4/15 – Olympia 300k

Fri 4/21 – Sun 4/23 – Fleche NW
Thu 5/11–Sun 5/14 – NW Crank
Sat 5/6–Sun 5/14 NWC Brevet Week (Sat 5/6 – 600k / 1000k; Tue 5/9 – 300k; Wed 5/10 – 400k; Sun 5/14 – 200k)

Sat 5/20 – Spring 400k
Sat 6/03 – Spring 600k
Fri 6/23 – Spring 1000k

Sat 7/8 – Summer Populaire
Sat 7/15 – Summer 200k
Sat 7/29 – Summer 300k
Sat 8/12 – Summer 400k
Sat 8/26 – Summer 600k
Fri 9/15 – Summer 1000k

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Crater Lake 1000K – September 23

The Crater Lake 1000K is an incredible, unforgettable ride that will take you down almost the full length of the Oregon coast before a 100 mile climb up to the lake. It’s challenging, but no journey to such a sacred places should be without challenge. Crater Lake is a magical, wondrous place. Getting there by bike puts you in the right frame of mind to really appreciate it. I, your humble blog editor, rode it in 2013 and, as a result of ill advised sleep choices, reached the lake at dawn. It was worth it. -Theo Roffe

Crater Lake at dawn. Photo by Theo Roffe

Crater Lake at dawn. Photo by Theo Roffe

Ride organizer Vinny Muoneke says:

The route will be basically as in previous years. Night start in Bremerton and follow old Belfair highway to Belfair then run along the Hood Canal to Shelton and Matlock heading out to the coast Via Raymond. Then to Nasselle and cross the Astoria Bridge at the mouth of the mighty Columbia river and witness the beauty of the Oregon coast. Sleep for some in Pacific City and staying with the pacific ocean mostly till its sand dunes start to swell on your way south.

At Reedsport you turn inland hopefully through an Elk reserve to encounter the wonderfully deceptive camp creek road, anticipate a gravel descent to sleep for some in Roseburg Day 3 features the “100 mile climb”, up to the rim Village of Crater Lake at close to 8000ft ASL and a rip off of a descent to Fort Klammmath which is above 4000ft ASL There may be some gravel on the way to the finish in Klammath Falls.

Watch soon for a preliminary route the final route must come after the pre-ride.

I will take your drop bags to Pacific City. Roseburg both overnight controls and Klammath Falls Riders who plan well ahead are ok to make their own hotel arrangements already. Your return may be by Train in a special box provided by Amtrak at the station, Plane, or Bike. In fact Eric Larsen plotted a lovely course South to The Bay area. https://rusa.org/cgi-bin/permview_GF.pl?permid=2066

The airport in Klammath Falls is pretty small, If you return as most by train be ready remove and turn your handlebars and remove your pedals.

That's Rando! Vinny and Mark at Crater Lake. Photo stolen from Joe Platzner.

That’s Rando! Vinny and Mark at Crater Lake. Photo stolen from Joe Platzner.

Organizers: Vincent Muoneke

Date: Ride will start at 21:30 on Friday 09/23/2016
Riders coming from Seattle on the Ferry must join a 19:55 boat or earlier departure.

Start Location: Bremerton WA Ferry Terminal

End Location: Olympic Inn at Klammath Falls OR

Directions: We will gather for pre ride briefing at the terminal next to Starbucks

Ride Fee: $150 (for non-members it is $160, which includes SIR membership).

Map: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/16404562

Registration and essential information are on the SIR website: http://seattlerando.org/sir_content/fall1000.htm

Discussion, photos, planning, and encouragement are in a Facebook group, so log on, request access, and check it out:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/236611246735366/

 

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SIR Classic Design White Voler Jersey Order

Due to popular demand we are bringing back the old-style SIR white jerseys for one order cycle. This is the white jersey with blue and white lettering shown above.
Pricing is based on 15 items as a minimum number. If 25 or more are ordered the price will drop and those who have already purchased will receive a refund equal to the difference.
We are including matching white shorts but again will need 15 items to be ordered within the shorts category or the shorts order will have to be canceled. See image at top.
Blue coffee bean style caps will also be available on this order since they have been popular and we anticipate SIR members wanting to buy more.
The ordering link can be found below the read more link. The ordering deadline is October 3. Items will ship on or near November 23.
If you have any questions about these garments, please contact Voler (contact info listed below the read more link).
Please note: Voler long-sleeve jerseys are sized about 1/2 size larger than the short sleeve jerseys EXCEPT that the new long-sleeve FS Pro jerseys are sized the same as short sleeve jerseys. This is important because there are no returns or exchanges for sizing errors made by us.
— Doug Migden

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SIR Summer 600K Information and Pre-ride Report

Sunrise over Lake Washington. Photo by Steve Frey.

Sunrise over Lake Washington. Photo by Steve Frey.

Mark’s Preride Report

This is the best of rides. This is the worst of rides. Apologies to Dickens, but after pre-riding the summer 600k I can tell you that I believed each of those statements wholeheartedly at different points this past weekend. It’s really a hard ride and it’s sometimes hard in ways that most brevets are not. At the same time, it is extremely scenic, beautiful, and grand.

Getting out of Seattle to the south looks complicated on the cue sheet but uses the standard route that’s familiar to locals. The Green River trail gives the first taste of gravel and leads to the familiar control at Black Diamond Bakery. The Green River Gorge is not far away, and is the first of many incredibly scenic viewpoints.

The dues of not-so-interesting roads with substantial traffic are paid on the way to Enumclaw. After that, it’s mostly the Ramrod route. Orville Road is the best section of the route to Eatonville. We were getting hot as we climbed the last mile into town and stocked up at the control.

We were careful on the narrow and busy Alder Cutoff Road, then felt more comfortable on the wider shoulder of Highway 7 and 706. Because of long lines at the entrance to Mount Rainier National Park, the route turns right at Kernahan road/NF 52 and follows Skate Creek Road to use the “back entrance” to Longmire 9.5 miles later. There’s a gate at the Park boundary, but it’s fine to just walk around it and continue to Longmire. Fill up your water bottles at Longmire. If it’s even close to hot you might want an extra bottle to hold water for squirting on yourself. The climb is not super steep, but the sun is intense and the grade is unrelenting. We were all amazed at how thrashed we felt when we reached Paradise. We ate heartily because the availability of food is uncertain from Paradise until the overnight control in Naches, almost 90 miles away.

The descent on Stevens Canyon road goes by quickly. We figured we had more than paid for the miles of descending that went by easily. If you expect the climb up Backbone Ridge, it goes pretty quickly. If you expect to coast all the way to Highway 123, it’s much longer.

The last few sweeping switchbacks before Grove of the Patriarchs are some of the best road in the Northwest. The last water for 40 miles is at the Grove of the Patriarchs trailhead, so we made sure to top off our bottles there.

photo by Steve Frey

Sunset on the descent from Chinook Pass. Photo by Steve Frey

After our experience climbing to Paradise, we were worried about the long, steeper climb to Cayuse and Chinook Passes. The sun, luckily was low enough that the road was almost entirely shaded. It made a huge difference. For me, the best part of this climb is looking back down the valley and seeing how far I have climbed. The smells of the forest and views of Mount Rainier go well with a steady climbing effort. Mercifully, the grade drops substantially on the last mile of the climb to Chinook Pass.

After crossing under the huge log NPS boundary marker you have passed the true crux of the first day. The road descends steeply for many miles, and then rolls along the river, losing elevation and making it easy to maintain good speed. The Cliffdell general store/grocery closes too early (9 pm) for many randonneurs to stock up there. Food might be available later at a few lodge restaurants and roadhouses along the road from Cliffdell to Naches. The road continues its descent as the forest gives way to open sagebrush. We rolled easily on this section, helped by a slight but consistent tailwind. We talked about how difficult it would be to ride in the opposite direction.

There will be solid food at the overnight control in Naches.

We left Naches at 4:00am and immediately started climbing into the sparsely-populated hills. A few sections had me reaching to shift and finding I was already in my smallest gear. It sure was beautiful though. Big rounded hills, some farm buildings, a few roosters crowing, and a gradually brightening sky. Maybe it was the novelty of riding it for the first time, but the 10 miles of North Wenas Road were my favorite of the ride.

Then the pavement ends. The sign says, “Rough road 9.5 miles” and the sign speaks truth. It’s rocky and often washboard –there is no smooth line to be found. The best you can do is grind along avoiding the biggest holes and rocks. It’s hard on hands and hard on butts. There is a particularly steep section or two where there would be no shame (and almost no time lost) in walking. Really pretty country though. Finally the crest becomes obvious and the descending starts. The road seemed slightly smoother on the descent, but it was still rough enough that I managed to pinch flat a 42mm tire. Along the way we saw several deer, and a herd of more than 20 elk, so keep an eye out until you reach Ellensburg.

Mark fixing a pinch flat near Ellensburg Pass. Photo by Steve Frey.

Mark fixing a pinch flat near Ellensburg Pass. Photo by Steve Frey.

We felt that our breakfast in Ellensburg was well deserved. After a refreshing break we set off for Cle Elum, riding another road for the first time, Highway 10. The road climbs right to the base of a wind turbine farm, so this is a good time to remind yourself that effort doesn’t always equal speed. Beautiful road though, rolling above the river.

Cle Elum isn’t even 30 miles from Ellensburg, but we stopped again for food and water. The Iron Horse Trail isn’t hard to find if you know that the brown signs that never use the word “Trail” actually lead to the trail.

Unfortunately, the Iron Horse from Cle Elum to Easton is a dusty, wind-swept, grind. Something about the East Side seems to make the trails and roads rougher. The trail is too rough to draft effectively, and whatever trees there were didn’t shelter us from the wind. Again, the surface takes a toll on hands and butts. It also requires your attention and punishes you when attention drifts. We were very glad to reach Easton where the trees get bigger and all aspects of the trail improve. There is about 600 feet of climbing between Cle Elum and Hyak, and it’s basically imperceptible. At Hyak we got water and put on our cold-weather gear to ride through the tunnel. We were glad we did as the inside of the tunnel is strikingly cold and damp.

Once through the tunnel you get more than 26 miles of much smoother, mostly shaded, west-side gravel trail. We know it was more than 26 miles because some folks looking for unofficial personal-best times had just run a marathon down the trail ahead of us. We didn’t see any of them until the finish, but we saw their mile-markers.

The control QFC in North Bend has a deli and Starbucks. We used both. Then it was a short pavement ride to the trailhead for the Snoqualmie Valley Trail. Be careful on the steep, loose footpath. It’s only a short bit, but by this point we weren’t at our best.

About 4.5 miles past Carnation, the Snoqualmie Valley Trail has some construction. There was a big, self-contradicting sign that seemed to say there would be some short closures when work was being done. Press on, as we did.

The climb out of the valley on Woodinville Duvall road isn’t a highlight of this ride, but there’s enough shoulder outside the fog line to be usable and you have to get out of the valley one way or another. By this point we were counting kilometers. After reaching the Burke Gilman Trail, we rode side by side and debated the merits of an immediate shower or an immediate cold beer.

Here’s my mental tally as we rode the last miles: we felt heat-stress, cramps, sleepiness, muscle fatigue, hunger, thirst, hand pain, butt pain, neck pain, nausea, and general discomfort. On the other hand, we saw volcanoes, glaciers, rivers, rain forests, dry pine forests, shrub-steppe, and sub-alpine environments. We saw an orange moon rise over the ridge. We rode in the silent pre-dawn darkness and saw the pink light on the hills. We had a big 600k experience.


UPDATE and Questions Answered:

SIR site is back online, find ride description, parking information, and registration here: http://seattlerando.org/sir_content/sum600.htm

Q: Is that steep bump in the ride profile just past 300miles the pass summit?

A: The two biggest bumps you see in the profile are Paradise at about mile 125 and Chinook pass at about 160 miles. Yes, they’re about as challenging as they look in the profile. Chinook pass is the steeper of the two, though we found it easier because it came later in the day when the sun was behind the hills and it had cooled a little. The climb to Paradise is very exposed which adds to the challenge if it’s a hot day. [Editor’s note — The spike at 487 km is actually a tunnel, see first comment below.]

QHow was traffic from longmire to paradise?

AWe did the climb to Paradise at peak traffic time. There were a lot of cars on the road, but we found that inside the park everyone is moving pretty slowly and they were generally very respectful of cyclists. Traffic there really wasn’t a problem at all. [Editor’s note — The ride is scheduled for Labor Day Weekend, 9/3-4, so traffic may be somewhat increased.]


The RwGPS route has been updated with a few minor route revisions and is posted here: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/14276651

The Cue Sheet has also been updated and is available here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1kmEDHMQ5va6O4Fd7IV_loW81XWVgUQQr957M5YN3U8U

– Steve Frey

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Doug Migden’s Transcontinental Race

Doug Migden on his bike with flags of Turkey and Greece behind him, showing that he has just crossed the border into Turkey.

At the border of Greece and Turkey with less than 300km to go…

Doug’s goals were simple: ride all the way to Istanbul, and finish the race. Doug was clueless about what he was really getting himself into; but why not give it a go?

Doug Migden started randonneuring in 2010 and the distance bug bit him hard. 1200km PBP 2011, 1600km Miglia Italia 2012, 2200km Giro Ciclistico delle Repubbliche Marinare 2014, 15, 16…

What’s next when you’re riding that kind of distance? For Doug, the Transcontinental Race (TCR) from Belgium to Turkey presented an attractive answer and an irresistible challenge.

You can read about Doug’s 2015 TCR in a piece by David Longdon on The Seattle PI Blog, which also includes Doug’s detailed ride report and photos. Check it out here: http://blog.seattlepi.com/velocity/2016/07/10/doug-migdens-2015-transcontinental-race/

Doug will be riding the TCR again this year, starting on July 29th.

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White Jersey Reorder

sir-white-coffee-jersey

Doug Migden is coordinating a reorder of the Seattle Randonneurs White Coffee Bean jerseys from Voler (designed by the talented Robert Higdon). The ordering deadline is August 8. We need a minimum of five jerseys etc. and 5 caps etc to be ordered for the order to go through. Doug highly recommends the FS Pro jersey with reflective back pocket and the wind jacket.

Full details below the fold.

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2016 Summer 200K

UPDATE: Finish location has been moved to Postdoc Brewing. Be sure to download the most recent updates to the cue sheet and GPS files, here.

image

The SIR 2016 Summer 200K is coming this Saturday, 07/16. The route starts at Peet’s Coffee in Redmond and follows mostly familiar roads through King and Snohomish counties, with a few surprises thrown in for good measure. The ride is mostly unsupported, but there are plenty of services available along the way. Finish is Postdoc Brewing, just a few blocks away from the start.

Registration, route, and cue sheet may be found here.

Please don’t park in the shopping center parking lot. It gets crazy busy on weekends with the usual load of shoppers. There is limited parking at the trailhead adjacent to the lot, as well as street parking on the south side of NE 65th Street. For $1 you can park at one of the many lots in Marymoor Park. [Update:Mike McHale has pointed out that parking is also available at the nearby Bear Creek Park & Ride.]

See you Saturday!
KM

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Cascade 1200 Updates

Updated June 13th, 2016: 

Brevet Cards for Cascade 1200K

Brevet Cards for Cascade 1200K

Cascade 1200 cuesheets have been updated (as of 6/10) to reflect notes from the pre-ride. The RWGPS files are good to go as well. As always, the cuesheet is the master reference document, and the one handed out at registration is the only one considered official. That being said, we don’t expect any further changes, so feel free to download and format to your heart’s content. Links here: http://seattlerando.org/C1200/route/

– Susan Otcenas

 

Pre-riders and support at sunset

L to R: Mark Roehrig, Ward Beebe, Hugh Kimball and John Pearch.

The pre-ride for the Cascade 1200 finished yesterday at 9:00 pm. Congratulations to both John Pearch and Ward Beebe for completing this ride and providing us with valuable information on what to expect on the actual event.

John and Ward cycling up White Pass

John and Ward climbing White Pass

As an observer, I must say that their ride was nothing short of epic. Nutrition issues, mechanical issues, route sheet errors, GPS errors, and triple digit heat did not dissuade these two from finishing. Hopefully they took all the heat out of this ride, and the weather during the actual event will be much more conducive to 200 mile days.

Look to the Cascade website (http://seattlerando.org/C1200) for updates to the route sheets and Ride with GPS routes in the next day or two.

– Charlie White

Several moose in front of the Packwood motel

Some of our friends in Packwood. Riders will need to be careful not to run into one of these fellows. Apparently they show up every evening and morning. The young bull got so close that we had to retreat to the steps of the motel.

URGENT CASCADE NEED: Do you have an RV that you can park at the first overnight control in Packwood on June 18th?

Our overnight facility is 100% occupied by riders. We need an RV parked at the overnight so that our hard working Packwood volunteers & our drop bag drivers will have some place to get some rest on Saturday night. We did have a vehicle lined up (Thanks, Ken Ward!!) but it has had a mechanical failure that will preclude its use for Cascade.

If you can help, please email me at susan dot otcenas at gmail dot com.

Many thanks!

– Susan Otcenas

mountain top in the distance framed by trees

photo by Charlie White

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Preride Notes For Spring 2016 600 km

Pre-Pre-riders Rick, Peg, and Noel

This is not a flat ride – 14,000 feet of climbing, the bulk in the second day. It is a beautiful ride and ranges from bucolic roads through farms in the Chehalis River Valley to views of The Toutle River and the implied natural destruction of St. Helen’s.

We Start and end at La Quinta Motel – very modern and reach by going north on Capitol via the Trosper Exit from I-5. Motel on right as you go north from Trosper.

At 17.1 miles is a turn onto 185th. The main route is Marble so don’t stay on into the trailer park on 185th. We climb on two roads with Hill in the name.

Vader control is actually at Mt. St. Helens Grocery – Peggy had to call on her Social Work skills to wake up the old fellow tending store – He didn’t seem like the weekend guy but, if he’s there, remind him of his stamp so he doesn’t have to try and sign your card.

Pre-rider getting a break Bright green Thompson rando bike

Eric made a cue sheet remark about chip seal ending before Winlock – there is some on the route but it has either mellowed or been replaced with smoother asphalt.

We come out to Raymond to the south of all the usual spots to eat (Dairy Queen and downtown) but the grocery and Subway/MacDonald’s are on our route going toward South Bend. Sadly, it looked like the Bowling Alley was gone in SB?

Caution on the shoulderless roads before Willapa Bay – hopefully the RVs will have gone to ground and the logging trucks that we saw in abundance will take the holiday weekend.

The distance between Long Beach and Kelso is only 80 some miles but very lonely and serviceless – your last water is in Long Beach. A smart organizer would have a secret control along there. This is where my low training miles for the year were evidenced and I lost valuable time.

I have moved the overnight control to the Econo Lodge mainly for lower cost and that I had reserved months before the Memorial Day weekend – this puts you back and forth over a bridge on a busyish road – if you’re as fast as me there won’t even be drunks out by then. There will be beds and some breakfast and dinner selections – simple because no kitchen.

Eggs on toast for breakfast

I don’t think this breakfast is to be expected in Kelso… – Editor

US -12 is a way to get to Morton, wide shoulder and busy on a weekday. The Morton Country Market is a grocery store that affords a quick in and out and has a covered area right of the front door to hide bikes out of the weather.

The Alpha road is my favorite, certainly a few steep parts, but rolling in a way that you can play at keeping momentum and fly along. This is the dessert of the ride!

Coming out from Centralia on 507 seems long and the turn in Bucoda onto Wichman now has double yellow striping so crossing to the sidewalk on the west or going around the turn and picking a clear view is advised.

Keep moving on the first day – you may need the time in the bank for the hilly bits later.

Additional details on the SIR website.

Please pre-register by Thursday night (5/26).

5/28 – 5/29/2016 Start 6:00 AM
Bike inspection begins 5:30: lights, extra batteries and vest/sash and leg bands.

Note: bring a towel and change of clothes for the finish – the drive home will be better!

There will be parking updates to this post soon.

CUE SHEET: Now available on Google Drive, click here.

Route on RWGPS: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/13981403

TCX file is available here.

Parking: We have permission to park at the Tumwater school district building at 621 Linwood Ave SW, Tumwater, WA 98512.

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