Day 44: Raymond to Shelton

Our initial goal for today was the town of Elma. We contacted a few people on Warm Showers including someone in Elma and the rest in Bremerton. However with Elma 60km away that would give us a 100km day to Bremerton. During the morning we received confirmation from someone in Bremerton willing to host us, so we decided it may be good to push past Elma so we wouldn’t have a long day on the same day that we would be expected by a warm showers host.

Mostly uneventful, we rode without stopping except for a quick stop into a grocery store. Coming out a man started talking to us, and seemed quite disappointed we weren’t planning on staying in Lake Sylvia. Again – someone else disappointed we weren’t seeing more of their area.

Onward from Elma we followed the warm showers route which took us on a smaller backroad. The downside of this was that it seemed every farmhouse had a dog which hated cyclists. We were consistently barked at, many dogs sprinting along side us from within their fenced area. One dog was not fenced in nor tied up and chased us onto the road, causing two vehicles to stop. There were some other loose dogs who didn’t peruse us as intently as well. Then when riding two large dogs came racing out, seemingly ready to attack. Jesse was going first and they caused him to swerve off the road, sliding into a ditch. This seemed to appease the dogs so they turned to look at me. Thankfully they seemed to stop there and the owner started shouting at them. He claimed the one who was more aggressive wasn’t his, but apologized for the situation.

After brushing himself off and realigning the handlebars, Jesse was ready to continue on. We were hoping to get to Shelton but I was also happy at the idea of wild camping. Shelton was still quite a long ways away so we knew we had to get going. As we were riding we heard a voice coming out of the woods. We turned to look and saw a man emerging from the forest. He was wearing scruffy clothes with a long beard and had a lot to say. He told us he was travelling on a fixed speed bike with his dog Yoda. He left Montana four months ago and couldn’t believe we left San Diego just one month ago. He told us he rode across the US on a lawn mower a couple years ago with his dog, and to check online for the story. He fit many stories into a small period of time, before we had to keep going before sunset. He asked where we were planning on staying for the night and we told him we were planning on Shelton. He thought we were crazy for planning to go 13 more miles today and we though maybe wanted us to join him at his ‘campsite’. We also didn’t believe he was right in thinking the town was still 13 miles away. We started the final push to town, racing the sun, and found out that yes this bush man was correct and even with our maps and smart phones it was us who had the wrong calculation.

Thankfully it was mostly downhill to town and we were able to maintain a fast speed and we arrived before the sun set.

  • The Lawn Mower man looks like some character! I’m also touched by the sincerity of the people you met who wanted you to spend more time getting to know their local areas.