Day 6 Hobart to Puyallup, Washington: Try Pronouncing That One - Grampies on the Go - CycleBlaze

May 6, 2011

Day 6 Hobart to Puyallup, Washington: Try Pronouncing That One

Another cool,rainy day. Nothing that would drown or freeze us, but just enough to have everything wet and give our faces something like windburn. The little breezeway at the fire station sheltered our bikes as we packed, a big bonus. We also charged our electric toothbrush, a double bonus!

The road ahead featured quite a few hills, many of them tough enough to call for pushing the bikes. In total we figure we walked a 10K today. The Garmin again distinguished itself by being no help. On the way to Ravensdale we came to a fork in the road and could not decide which way to go. GPS's eat tbis kind of problem for breakfast, right? Wrong! The Garmin knew where Ravensdale was alright, but recommended we fly over a mountain to get there. It took a lady coming by in a car to put us on the right path.

The Garmin wants me to fly to Ravensdale, even when clearly told to route for car. The purple is Garmin's route, the red is the actual road to the place. This unit is mega flaky! p.s. Note the rain, which makes this a little more than just an idle discussion in an REI.
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The way to Enumclaw passed through a remote feeling, hilly area where the spruce forest was so deep and dark that it literally was black 50 meters from the road. This was a true schwartzwald.The shoulder continued to be very narrow, but traffic was very much less than yesterday, and most cars were headed the other direction.

We trailed into Enumclaw about 12:30, lunchtime, and asked two ladies for the best place to eat. They guided us to Panini, so again we were in a place with an Italian flair. It is the salads in these places that impressed the most. Salad, of course, is a treat on the road, where the easiest thing to eat is a Cliff bar.

Downtown Enumclaw, Washington
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Our second Italian restaurant in as many days.
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Outside the restaurant we asked directions to Highway 410, which would lead us to Puyallup, the next major stop on our revised (and revised and revised) itinerary. The helpful young couple we approached easily pointed us the right way, but made two other suggestions for better ways to get there. We went with one of these, a bike trail that they said was paved all the way, though by a circuitous way that could add a moderate amount to the total distance. At this stage we were willing to add distance to be rid of the noise of traffic.

As it happens we lost the trail and did end up on 410.

This paved trail out of Enumclaw and supposedly heading for Orting became a "multiuse" grass track without warning.
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410 becomes an Interstate scale affair with cars zinging around in all directions. The noise is deafening, and when we stopped to see if the Garmin could find us a motel (needed, in the rain!) we could not hear to discuss the choices even facing each other at close range. It's amazing how much of the country - in terms of lifestyle and also acreage has been given over to the automobile. Crossing over I-5 on 410, literally the whole visible landscape is careening vehicles, and no humans (except us!) seems able to survive in it outside their steel cocoons.

As we stood on the overpass, in the rain and noise, the Garmin suggested a dozen motels. They were sorted by distance from us, at all points of the compass, as the crow flies. The exit just ahead of us referred to a highway name and destination (can't remember the detail right now), and an overhead sign said that an exit for highway 512 was coming up. So, we chose a motel that seemed fairly close, in the approximate direction we were heading, and the Garmin advised us to go "S to Meridian". Say what? Listen Garmin, even my $89 Magellan has provision for "exit points of interest" and will say "exit on right in 100 meters, exit xx, SE Main St" or somesuch. A bicycle is a unique machine, but Garmin's bicycle GPS wants me to fly with the crows across acres of highways, and/or to head for streets that I have no way of scoping out without noodling with their tiny map for easily long enough to have my wife club me!

What we actually did was just to take the next exit, on the general feeling that Puyallup was in that direction. Here, after a while, the Garmin woke up, recalculated its position on the whole thing, and guided me to the mystical Meridian street, and on to the motel.

Ah, the motel! Heat, laundry, water, electricity, wifi, TV, an actual table and two chairs. The Hobart fire department was good, but this is heaven!

Even the bikes love the motel. This one offered them a covered veranda.
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Ahh, Motel room!
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Today's ride: 65 km (40 miles)
Total: 392 km (243 miles)

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