On the first day of the Year of the Tiger I explored a new cycling route--the section of the Yelm-Tenino Trail
between the western terminus in Tenino and its intersection with the Chehalis Western Trail
. I've been eying that trail for a while now but the distance is long enough that I need to make it a one-way trip. Yesterday provided that opportunity when Maggie and I were in the southern part of the county checking out a property for sale that included an airplane hanger. It was convenient so for her to drop me off in Tenino for the ride back to Olympia.
The ride also provided a lesson in taking initiative. The weather's been wet and rainy of late. Yesterday morning was no exception although the forecast was for some afternoon clearing. As we explored the property and drove to Tenino the prospects looked very iffy. The showers seemed to be hardly clearing at all and some were downright heavy. But once we located the trailhead, the precipitation was sufficiently light and sporadic so I decided to take my chances.
It was a good move. The showers ended pretty much as I set out. The day was overcast, a bit chilly and somewhat dark with the occasional sprinkle here and there. But I never got particularly wet. Mostly I just cruised along a very nice, paved trail, well separated from the traffic on Route 507. Low clouds and mist gave everything a subdued feel. I encountered few other riders and enjoyed the solitude. The trail passes through wooded areas and one section is about 30 feet above the highway. The most prominent feature is Macintosh Lake where I saw cormorants perched on pilings drying their wings.
Just after crossing the Deschutes River, the trail meets the Chehalis Western Trail
. Two miles east is the Town of Rainier. Five miles beyond is Yelm. I turned north on the Chehalis Western Trail, a section that I had not previously ridden. Three miles farther on I came to the Monarch Sculpture Garden
which is my usual turnaround point when I ride south from Olympia.
The predicted afternoon clearing became somewhat evident as I rode north. The sky opened up occasionally and bright sunlight illuminated the trail and its environs immensely. Paralleling the Deschutes Rvier at one point, I watched the light reflecting off the rushing water. I don't know what constitutes flood stage on the river but the water was high and moving fast. One log jam rocked back and forth as it held its own against the water. I half expected it to burst while I watched. It did not.
In all, it was a good ride--25 miles of paved, dedicated bike trail. Just me and a few other cyclists and some pedestrians. No traffic to speak of. And, once again, I proved that despite a wet, rainy environment, I can find space to ride without getting soaked. So far I've managed to get out every weekend this year. Our warmer than usual weather has certainly helped but so has my willingness to figure the odds and take informed chances.
A lesson worth remembering in many aspects of life.
Labels: bicycles, olympia