Wednesday, July 9, 2008

King Road ride

Monday's ride explored a road that I have been wanting to ride for several months and finally got to it. King Road connects the Boistfort valley with Winlock. In order to get there you have to make it up and over the 1000' Buckhorn Hill. The climb is unpaved, which is good but also bad.
I say it is good because I do not like to see the planet paved. The bad rating is because this section of road is remote enough to make the ride free of human noise where it not for my tire on gravel.

The ride started out at 7AM and was a rather cool morning of 46 degrees with light fog. I wore some pedal pushers and socks. A long sleeve and vest over the sleeveless top rounded out the cold compensation. But upon setting out, I was thinking maybe I should have broke out some of my winter gear. Brrrr

The route plan was to head out on SR 6 to pick up SR 506 at Boistfort Rd. Near the turn, my hamstrings were getting tight and so I pulled off to take a stretch.

Many strange things can be found discarded on the sides of roads but my find here was one of the stranger ones: a pasta machine.

After turning onto SR 506, the road soon crosses over the South Fork Chehalis River. On the bridge, I spotted a beaver or nutria swimming in the water. It noticed me and submurged when I stopped to look.

The turn off to King Rd is shortly after Curtis, but I go lost in the scenery and passed it. On a whim, I decided to see what was down Beaver Creek Rd. The beginning portion passes fields and then a logged over section. A bit beyond, there are some nice homesteads and one new one. The new house was home to 3 loose and rather large dogs who gave me a bit of trouble but I managed to keep them off.

I then backtracked to King Rd and started down. I was not at all dissapointed. It immediately made it in my top 5 beautiful roads to ride. A few miles in the pavement stops. I came upon a deer in the road, when I tried to ride past it, it fled up the road in front. I got tired to scaring it, so I stopped and waited for it to walk off into the woods. Once the climb up Buckhorn Mtn began, the grade was gentle enough to make the climb not ardous. Additionally, the route was mostly heavily forested and shelterd from the sun.
The pavement returns not too far into the descent and the upper part is spectacular. As the elevation drops human blight increases. So far, I felt sluggish and made slow progress. I also started late, so I decided to take Sears Road to shorten the ride. This road begins in a deforested section and goes under power lines but ends back in the forest where it connects to Hale Rd.
I stopped and picked up a deer skull on the side of the road for the kids to see. While doing so, I saw another skull a couple feet away, this one was a gopher, I believe.

Hale descends to Tennessee Rd at Evaline, I decided to continue to SR 603 then take Jordan to Mill through Napavine and down Rush to Neuwaukum Valley Rd. I am trying to ride all of the rural though roads in western Lewis County and this route would finish off Hale and 603 and pick up Mill Road. On 603, I saved a snake from getting killed on the road. It was a very healthy youngster and it quickly fled to the bushes.
Mill Road was interesting, the outer portion is isolated feeling even close into Napavine, but then you come around a corner and are at a lumber mill (hence the name of the road). The rest of the ride was unevent and into strong headwind.
Total miles :40

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