Day 10: Son-of-Travis

Another late start. Last night’s forecast called for rain all day so I was prepared to spend the day in the tent waiting it out but the outlook changed overnight to possible light showers in the morning followed by thunderstorms in the afternoon.

I install the new mirror, tape up the broken fender and head out for a morning of rolling hills and sunshine.

During my lunch stop, these deliciously dramatic clouds roll in. Instead of immediately seeking shelter, my dumb ass pauses to take photos. Minutes later, the wind picks up and big fat drops come crashing down.

I make a beeline for the nearest grove of pine trees to get out of the open. By the time I make it there and start pulling on my rain pants, the rain has turned to hail the size of mung beans.

At this exact moment, a car pulls out of the driveway where I have taken shelter and rolls down the window. I’m about to make with the explanations but none are required. “Go on up to the house and get out of this weather,“ the man says. “My wife is home. Tell her Travis sent you.“

At the top of the driveway, 12 year old son-of-Travis opens the garage for me wearing a nine inch Bowie knife strapped to his waist. Did he put it on when he heard a stranger was coming up the driveway or does he sleep with it under his pillow? Either way, he is ready to defend his mother and sister. Young Davie Crockett is going to have a story to tell in school on Monday morning about the stranger with the “expensive” bike.

Fifteen minutes, later the sun comes out and all is back to normal except for the enormous puddles everywhere. I wave goodbye and continue on.

A short ways down the road, I approach a white SUV running amber flashers stopped by the side of the road for no apparent reason. As I’m about to pass, he flags me down to let me know that I’m about to ride my bike over a powerline that came down during the storm. It looks like a tree fell and took the line down. The white SUV is a state trooper and he’s just waiting for utility crews to arrive. His take on the situation is that it probably tripped a breaker and that it is safe to ride over it given that he hasn’t seen any sparks.

I search my memory for knowledge about situations like this and come up short. Given the wet conditions, I figure he’s probably right about the no-arcing? I wouldn’t approach a downed power line on foot but I figure I should be fine rolling over it with the bike and continue down the road without incident.

I call it a day with two hours of daylight left and find that I have the entire campground to myself. Supper cooked and eaten, all food and scented items stored away in the bear-proof container, I take stock of my situation and decide that since I haven’t taken a shower in two days a swim in the lake is in order.

Air temperature is 45°F (7°C), the water temperature is 55°F (13°C) so I expect this to be a very brief swim. To my surprise, the sunset-on-a-private-lake experience is so compelling I stay in the water for almost 10 minutes. Sorry, no nude selfies.

If the sunny forecast holds true, it’s looking like tomorrow will be my last day in Washington state.

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