Gorgeous Washington State

Mount St. Helens, Washington

Washington State is simly gorgeous – really pretty. Maybe Ive been lucky with the weather the past couple of days, but I suspect this place would look grand even under grey skies.

It’s great to be back on the road again, and I’ve managed to tick off two items on my long-term “I’d love to do that” list today.

  • Go to the diner used in Twin Peaks and have a piece of (fine) cherry pie.
  • See Mount St. Helens.

Tick, and tick!

It’s early October and waking up by a random old farm track was a chilly way to start the day. To reduce the risk of some farmer shouting and waving a gun at me when I camp, I have established a routine of pitching the tent at dusk, and hitting the road at first light. As fun as it is, those are both cold times of day at this time of year.

Starting the day near Arlington (WA), I picked my way through back roads down to Snoqualmie and North Bend – the picturesque outdoor filming locations for David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. All the way, the roads were flanked by fall-turning trees which themselves were overlooked by rugged peaks of the Cascade Mountains.

After indulging in the long lusted-after cherry pie at Twede’s Cafe (the pie really was fine), I pootled slowly south towards Toledo and then on to Mount St. Helens. On arrival it was initially a bit disappointing, in that it wasn’t as big as I assumed it would be. However, once I adjusted to the sheer scale of what I was looking at (in terms of the surrounding landscape and floes) and the fact that Mount St. Helens clearly used to be much taller than it is now (the top of it simply isn’t there any more), it all made sense.

Mount St. Helens is really something, and the road running east from Toledo was a joy to ride.

No wild camping tonight. The bike’s indicators seem to have become posessed and they no longer do what they are told, so I’ve pitched camp at the Kid Valley Campground to do some work on the bike. It looks like one of the indicators has moved on to the next life and this is what is causing the others to misbehave. After over two hours of stripping down the bike, I’ve just disconnected all the turn signals (probably illegal) and decided to head towards Portland Oregon tomorrow, with a view to finding a bike shop that will sell me some new indicators. Hopefully that will do it, and they’re cheap components anyway.

Fingers crossed that this weather holds all the way to California!

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