June 24: A Journey Through the Rain Forest

I woke up to more rain, but after a rest day, I was determined to get in a good day’s riding. The problem when it’s raining is that with rain gear on and exercising, you sweat as much on the inside of your clothing as you are repelling rain off the outside, so you still end up soaked. But there is the warmth element if staying buttoned up and strategically using layering and zipper vents on the rain gear to stay somewhat dry.
Anyway, off I went into this incredible area of forest and vegetation. The Moss on the trees was inches thick; Spanish moss was hanging for many feet from the tree limbs. The forest road I was on bisected between Mt. Saint Helen’s and Mt. Adams. One interesting moment of the day was when I came around a corner and there was a helicopter sitting in the road! Actually, it was just off the road on a turnout and it was getting refueled. It was one of those lumber copters used to transport trees from rugged hillsides.
I ascended all morning and finally reached Elk Pass and on the way down the other side came to the Mt St Helen’s viewpoint; but alas, like the rest if my volcano views in this trip, I could just make out the base and the rest was under cloud cover.
Then it was uphill again and over Oldman Pass. At the top, there is a snow park and I went to use the outhouse and kept hearing a humming sound right outside the door. It was a humming bird that was hanging out under the awning I think just trying to dry out like I was. He didn’t seen disturbed by me at all- just hung out hovering, darting out a little bit and coming right back under.
After 85 long wet miles, I came to Stephenson along the Columbia River…still raining.

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