Saturday, July 21, 2007

STP 2007 - Day 1 (2)

The road ahead was mostly flat. A rail road ran parallel to it. The view for a few miles ahead was the clear blue sky and the straight road lined with coniferous trees on both sides. I cannot draft, which was good for Srijan and Sree who drafted behind me.

Very soon we reached the next mini stop which was serving cold chocolate milk. L-R on the left picture is Ravi, Sree, me, Ankur, Srijan, Narendra, Tulsi and Vinit. We shared many laughs under the cool shade of this roadside tree.

For some in our group like Sudarshan, biking wasn't enough :) !! Hydrated, I mount my bike again.

Soon we came to a bike trail around 13miles long. Chatting and biking under the cool shade of the trees made life seem simply good!

Beside this lake I had my first fall while trying to stop and remove my cleats. Just when I thought I was getting used to cleats!

Another ministop where they served nice cookies.

At long last we reach the mid point at 100th mile - Centralia. Hundreds of bikers spend the night here. The organizers had laid tents on the open spaces in the town center. Raji poses in front of the Centralia clock tower.

Our reward was free ice creams! I talked to the old couple disbursing the ice creams about Asha and they gave us a bag full of ice creams :) We finished 1..2..3..maybe more each.
In search of Bethel church at Chehalis, our haven for the night, we hit the road again.

The sun sank low in the sky, and the road to our destination for the night was unknown. Though we asked several people for directions to Bethel Church we did not get a good answer, so we kept biking on. All of a sudden, far far away beyond the farmlands, we were rewarded with a panorama of Mt Rainier, St. Helens and Mt Adams :)! Arvind took these awesome pictures of Mt Helens glowing in the light of the setting sun. Another one of the priceless moments!
Famished, exhausted and sore we finally reached at Bethel church around 8:00pm. After a good pasta dinner and hot shower, we hit the sack on our sleeping bags.

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