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.
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.
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.
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.