I'm biking really really far this summer

Monday, June 18, 2007

Day 10 (La Push - Hoh Rainforest 82km)

I checked the tide charts the night before and saw there would be a very low tide at 6:30 am, because the solstice is quickly approaching. I woke up in time to explore the tide pools and appreciate the towering sea stacks and massive drift logs.

I saw more starfish, sea anenomies, mussels, barnacles and crazy jumping shrimp insect thingies than I can remember. There seems to be more life underwater, than above water. I walked through 'Hole in the Wall' which is an eroded passage through one of the headlands. After sleeping, and this little hike I was in a much better mood and headed off on the bike at 10am.

Along the road I passed through Forks and got Chinese food, and a miniature American flag for the bike in the hopes it would make cars pass me less closely.
The weather was dicey so I forgoed the exit to the Hoh Rainforest (apparently the most rained on place in North America). Further down the road I rode over a broken Miller Genuine Draft beer bottle with a huge CRACK! and started cursing the jackass drunk drivers who like to smash their bottles on the shoulder. After picking glass out of my tires I kept going and soon enought went right over ANOTHER MGD bottle with a huge CRACK! I was furious at this point so I cut my ride short and stopped at the Hoh Rainforest Hostel, which was owned and operated by Jim.

Jim is a funny character. He originated from Brooklyn, and came to Washington 19 years ago because of a woman, who now lives in California. He started the hostel soon after he got there, and its unlike any hostel I have been to before. Its basically his hippie commune, and the prices were super cheap ($8.50 a night), but everything else was an extra charge (albeit small and fair). 1 dollar for sheets (I got some awesome Ninja Turtle sheets I kind of wish I had), 15 cents for a scoop of instant coffee, 20 cents for an egg, 10 cents for a slice of bread etc. The price was supplemented by the fact that we had to do 15 minutes of chores each day.

The lodgings were all in his house, from his ancient and odd kitchen to his left wing boom filled livingroom, complete with a solar panel experiment. I was one of the two guests there (The other was Kaita from Japan who was a very nice fellow studying English), but he stuck us in a big 'summer boarding room' which was freezing at night despite his 3 other presumably more warm rooms within the house proper. The temperature in the summer boarding room was perfect for the culturing of his Kumocha bacteria fermented tea which sat in jars all over the place. He said it was for his allergies.

He was a huge hippie and left winger so we had very different conversations from the one I had had with the guy at the diner. Various anti bush, anti war and anti consumer posters, pamplets and propaganda proliferated throughout the house. The conversation was a little past Kaita but he listened as much as he could and we talked about Japan and North America. We made dinner and shared it with eachother and had some fudge I had bought in Forks.

1 comment:

Caroline said...

Charlie you write so well . I wonder all the time what you would have done and what you would have achieved. I want to talk to you and never will.I love you and miss you so much, Mum xxxx