Cycling The Pacific Coast Daily Travels

Daily Travels: Quilcene Campground, WA to Shelton, WA

The Ride

Distance: ~85km/53mi

Weather: Zero Complaints [High 20s and Sunny]

TerrainRolling Hills Along The Eastern Edges of Olympic National Park, with Mountains On My Left and the Hood Canal On My Right

Total Climbing: ~575m/1890ft

The Rest

Breakfast: Oatmeal [with cinnamon, almonds & pecans]

Lunch: Pita Wrap

Dinner: Today, I sought a brief dose of comfort. Read below for more details.

Snacks: Clif Bar, Dried Fruit

Beverages: Water, Powerade

Previous Night’s Sleep: 10:00pm to 6:30am [8.5 hours]

Previous Night’s Accommodation: Quilcene Campground

Swan Dive Into A Four-Walled Slumber

As I rode closer to Shelton, I couldn’t shake the thought of wanting to sleep in a bed. Indoors. My mind slowly drifted to the allure of a four-walled slumber…

Just south of Shelton, I’ll finally be turning westward toward the ocean. By tomorrow’s end, I’ll have reached the coast proper. I will aim to camp most nights all the way down. Maybe, tonight, I should pull out my precious plastic card to score a motel room in Shelton. Label this occasion a tune-up for the rest of the ride. This will be a rare night

Besides, I spilled water all over my camping  gear. Now, my sleeping bag and pad feel perpetually damp. Not the most comfortable sleep these last two nights. Difficult to hang them long enough to dry in my day-to-day grind. Yeah, maybe I should just get a room

My neck and back remain not quite adjusted to the hours-long lean on my bike, followed by a ground-bound sleep every night. A bed would sure feel all right

I’ve spent about $25 on camping, $20 on food, and $4 for a ferry during the first five days. About $10 per day. I’ll return to that ballpark figure going forward. For tonight, I’ll pull out my Visa for the first time. This one’s solely on me, and I feel fine. My distorted version of a “cheat day”

Done. I surrendered to the comforts of the indoors. An eighty-dollar temporary escape ensued. Sprawled out on the bed, I felt gratitude for a private toilet and a climate-controlled room.

I’ve wondered how this affects my intention to live more simply. Submitting to a night of professional hospitality might be a minor falter, a misstep on this venture. If this is true, I’ll accept that.

On the other hand, I envision this intention on a spectrum, spanning the extremes of true minimalism and rampant excess. I don’t seek to buy nothing. I seek to consume less. To feel a balance between enjoying my life to its fullest while also preserving this world as best I can for others to enjoy, too. Consuming to excess is too self-involved and short-sighted. True minimalism is excessive to the opposite end, a severe and irrational pushback against the many fruitful innovations and connections that humankind has created [internet, phones, and earbuds to name only three]. I’m trying to feel my sweet spot, somewhere in-between. After a few days of following a most simple lifestyle, I guess I was ready to convince myself of any reason to justify the one-night luxury. It wasn’t a misstep. Merely a slight compromise to give my mind, body, and gear a short break.

I was reassured of my decision when I woke up the next morning. I felt far more rested and ready to roll. Refreshed and thankful. After a shower and SportsCentre, I was ready to go.

Back to the wilderness.

Picture of the Day

Through the winding roads of Olympic National Park, the scene is often backgrounded by a towering hill of trees. Fortunately, the road builders of generations-past built our highways mostly along trails of least resistance. Still, the climbs were a challenge!

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