Day 67 - Wednesday, August 14, 2002
Automobile ride from Cathlamet to Longview, Washington (26 miles)
Total to date: 4333.21 miles (6973.6 km)
Moving time: 1 hr 31 min.
Average Speed: 12.7 mph (20.4 km/hr)
Total ascent: 664 ft. (202.4 m)
Minimum elevation: 24 ft. (7.3 m)
Maximum elevation: 187
Ending elevation: 85 ft. (25.9 m)
Wind: South winds 10 mph (tailwind) for whole ride.
I had quite the little adventure today. Before I tell you about it, here's a picture of the Columbia River taken from outside the motel this morning. --->
Jerry & Joyce Marston, owners of the Nassa Point Motel where I stayed last night, are very helpful people. Mr. Marston offered to drive me and my rig to Longview to see about getting some tires and tubes for the bike. Jerry owns the Christian Brothers towing company in Longview does a lot of recovery on the highway. He picked me up at the motel room at about 12:30 in the afternoon and was in a huge hurry. We loaded my stuff in his truck and took off down the road to tend to a call.
It was my first automobile ride in over a month and the first time I had traveled that fast in over two months. It felt like we were going 200 miles per hour! I hoped that I could ease back into the sensation of driving but he gave me a fast, dirty reintroduction. We probably were'nt going too fast but it seemed crazy.
The call was for an overturned boat on Interstate 5. An overturned boat on an interstate highway? It turns out that the Richmond, California police department just took delivery of a brand new 36 foot intercept and rescue boat in northern Washington and were driving it back to California. This thing was so new that it had never been in the water before and had all the bells and whistles that are common to such a ship. I think it can probably haul through the water with its twin 250 horsepower Yamaha 4-stroke outboard motors and power trim tabs. They were southbound on I-5 and lost control just before exit 39. The truck and trailer did a 180° spin and the boat flew right off the back of the trailer, hit the pavement going backward, and overturned.
Jerry took control of the scene, ordered a crane, and figured out how to get the whole mess off the road without doing further damage to the boat. Here are some pictures from the scene. Notice that the pickup and boat trailer are sitting on the bridge facing the opposite direction they should be.
After the wreck was cleared, Jerry took me to a bike shop where they had Primo Comet tires and tubes for my recumbent in stock. The tires are narrower than I'm used to and have a fine tread. They run very smoothly and are absolutely silent. They should easily last for a few thousand miles. I feel a lot more comfortable riding now that I've got some fresh rubber on the ground. I also had to make a stop at a Rite Aid pharmacy to buy more road rash treatment supplies. I've spent over $100 on gauze, 2nd skin, antibiotic cream, Kling bandages, and tape in the past week to treat my road rash. Hopefully I won't have to buy any more.
I did a short ride today because I didn't get out of town until 5:00pm. It was nearly dusk by the time I rolled into camp. This put me one day behind my anticipated arrival in Seattle but I still have a five day cushion to make my flight.