Day 9 Tenino to Matilda Jackson State Park, Washington: Take Me Home (to Art's place) Country Roads - Grampies on the Go - CycleBlaze

May 9, 2011

Day 9 Tenino to Matilda Jackson State Park, Washington: Take Me Home (to Art's place) Country Roads

The back side of Tenino at the City Park turned out to be peaceful, except for trains. But we like trains. This morning we began by visiting the front side, that is the Sandstone Cafe on Sussex Street. The café was well appointed, and had several tables of breakfast regulars, plus two very pleasant staffers. The $5 breakfast specials of two eggs, pancakes, and bacon were excellently prepared - equal to or better than at home. When asked if there was anything else they could do for us, we both thought - bring two more of those specials! - but of course we politely declined.

Other businesses on Sussex Street were also basic but decent. The furniture store looked very good. Maybe that's because sofas just look good to us now.

Regulars at the excellent Sandstone Cafe in Tenino
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Downtown Tenino Washington
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Highway 507 South to Bucoda, and on to Centralia and Chehalis had a wide enough shoulder and little enough traffic. It was also quietly scenic - a good country road. Add to this NO RAIN, and we were cruisin'. In a day or two we will be at Art's place near Longview. This highway is helping a lot.

The broad shoulder of the Jackson Highway
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Country road to Bucoda
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Country scene near Bucoda, Washington
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Yardbird on Jackson Highway
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The downtown of every town is hailed as 'historic downtown ____' and Chehalis is no exception. We followed some decorative municipal signs to see this, and stuff like the 'steam train', but found only some 100 year old buildings spotted around (like the court house) and mixed with bail bond companies, auto tire retailers, and out of business businesses. We never found the steam train, and the museum was closed. We did find the road out of town, which for us is doing well.

Historic but spotty downtown Chehalis
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That road, the Jackson Highway, offered a broad shoulder for much of the way, and again - little traffic. (Warning, more GPS ranting ahead --) About 5 km from the Lewis and Clark State Park, our camp for the night, Dodie asked for a fix on the distance. Of course, there is no use asking the GPS for the campground, it does not know that you can camp in a State Park. But, it had heard of Lewis and Clark, calling it a 'park'. And yes, it was 5 km away. So, how do we get there, I coyly asked, this time knowing darn well that it was straight South down 507 (Jackson Highway). The GPS instructed me 'N to Jackson Hwy' while clearly showing that I was headed South, that I was on 507, and that the destination was due South. It maintained this charade for over 1 km, when it proclaimed 'Arrive at destination - Lewis and Clark Park - 4 km' Gee, thanks.

If you look carefully you will see the compass triangle which always points North,in the upper left, our direction of travel (lower triangle) showing South, the calculated route South on the Jackson Highway in purple, and the enigmatic instruction N to Jackson Hwy!
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As it happens, before we actually did arrive we stumbled on Matilda Jackson State Park. Treed, and set in the middle of a sparsely residential area, this features a large covered pavilion with three (yes three) picnic tables under it, and room for our tent. There is an outhouse out back of this, our private estate, but no water, power, or wifi. The unmanned firehall across the street disappointed by not having an exterior power plug or water or wifi either, but hey, it's still a neat stop.

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Palatial shelter at Jackson Park
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Equipment success story: Dodie's 'Air Zound' bike horn warded off no fewer than six loose dogs today. It's funny, they are charging and then stop dead when she blasts it. This stop seems to give them a chance to reconsider acting like such fools or maybe to forget what they were going on about. In any event, she is batting 100 for non-violent coping with loose dogs. We think the company could advertise this thing as effective not only against truckers but for dogs as well.

Today's ride: 50 km (31 miles)
Total: 535 km (332 miles)

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