Day 2 (67 miles)

Trip Start Jun 13, 2008
Trip End Aug 09, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Washington
Monday, June 16, 2008

today we continued to approach the cascades... they were starting to loom pretty threateningly on the horizon when we finally called it a day and camped out at their foot. this was our first night of tent camping with many more to come as we weave our way through the mountains. the first leg of today's trip was along the skagit river on the south skagit highway, and we snaked along the river under a canopy of trees. aside from the occasional logging truck, we had the road mostly to ourselves. the weather was sunny but slightly humid and cool...perfect for biking. after crossing the river, we got on highway wa-20. 20 is a fairly busy highway that cuts across the state, and a good portion of our itinerary is on this guy. although it's busy, it's got wonderful pavement (a godsend for doing long miles...not only is it less bumpy, it's quieter, and sometimes can make a difference of 1-2 mph) and a nice wide shoulder where we could ride side by side. we did have another quick diversion on wa-530 that took us down an almost deserted road for a few miles through a logging area. we did a lunch stop there and enjoyed the quiet and the scenery with the mountains ahead.

again, dan and i pushed ourselves a little hard. it was possibly a foolish decision given that the next day entails a whole lot of climbing and a fair number of miles, but it sure was nice to get into camp early. we had time to do laundry, eat a snack, and set up camp before the other folks started trickling in. it sure is nice to be a young guy and have all the accompanying random muscle mass just because of my genetic code. the campground was nice and quiet, tucked away in a national forest, and the camping area itself was a series of small groves cut into the dense forest.

dan and i got assigned to cooking for the group, so we got to do grocery shopping on the way out of sedro wooley. there are tasks that rotate through the group: cooking and grocery shopping, cleaning up after the cooks, and making sure the area is cleaned up and everything is in the van by the time we take off. not only is it "community building", but more importantly, it makes the trip really cheap for all of the participants! julie and brad have arranged it so that our participation costs are around 20% of what it would cost to go with a commercial organization.

one amazing thing about being north is that the sun stays up in the sky seemingly forever. i went to bed around 10, and it was still light out. the sun had only recently set, and there was still a ton of ambient light. the summer solstice is rapidly approaching, so we won't have these super-long days forever, but it sure it nice...
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