Overnight at Cape Disappointment

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Route (heading South on Day 1)

Distance: 639 miles
Travel time: 2 days

Late Saturday afternoon, I decided to see if there was any available tent sites available at the Cape Disappointment State Park. I was in luck and secured a spot for Sunday night.

I decided not to take a tank bag on this trip. Instead, I packed the cameras in one of the side cases. Not nearly as convenient for taking a quick picture, though I enjoyed being able to lock up everything at stops. I would often feel it was necessary to carry the tank bag inside with me, especially for a meal stop or longer walk around.

Day 1

Departing shot

It was in the low 60s at 8:30 when I departed the house. There were intermittent clouds most of the trip out to the coast, but it cleared up in the evening. Temperatures seemed to hover in the high 60s and low 70s – great temperatures for my gear and temperament.

I started on I-5 to make some time, but headed west on Hwy 6, in Chehalis. I’ve ridden this road before, always stopping in Pe Ell for breakfast. This time, having already stopped for my latte, I skipped breakfast and changed direction. I turned SE onto Pe Ell McDonald Road. This was a new road that was highlighted on my Butler map. The whole route between Pe Ell and Hwy 4 was new for me.

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Closeup of route south from Pe Ell

The roads to Longview and Hwy 4 were varied, with some newly surfaced for a while and some needing a little work. There was very little traffic, except local farmers and ranchers all the way to Vader.

West Side Highway, south of Vader

South of Vader, my route overlapped the Seattle to Portland bicycle event. It is the largest annual multi-day bicycle ride in the Northwest. Luckily it was Day 2 and I was encountering those who ride more slowly, including those with kids.

Seattle to Portland Bicycle Ride participants

I stopped to eat along the Columbia River.

Just watching the ships go past

I arrived at Cape Disappointment about 3pm. I got the tent setup, first thing.

Site #169 at Cape Disappointment

Then I went to the Camp Store to get some food and drink. I ended up ordering a pizza that would be baked in town but brought here to the store at 5pm.

In the meantime, I took a walk along the north jetty.



Soon enough, it was pizza time!

“Roughing it”

It would be some time before sunset, so I took some beach photos. Lucky for you, I’m filtering.  🙂






Sunset came, eventually. Can you tell I was tired?


It was a good, relaxing day on the bike. New roads, pleasant weather, little traffic and a beautiful destination all contributed. Listening to the wind blow through the trees covered up most of the noise from other campers and the kids were quiet soon after dark.

Day 2

I woke up early after sleeping well and was leaving camp behind by 7am. It was going to be a 400 mile day and I didn’t want to feel rushed.

I picked up my latte and a muffin in Raymond, at a stand on 5th called The Daily Perk. Whitney made a good latte and, better than that she rides! On top of that, she had heard of my blog – that made my day! We had a great time talking while I was enjoying my drink.

I took every opportunity to choose to stay near the coast by first taking Hwy 105 between Raymond and Aberdeen, then taking Hwy 109 from there to Ocean City and eventually back to Hwy 101. There were construction projects along both but being a Monday, there were only minimal delays.

Pacific Ocean along Hwy 109

After a lunch stop in Forks, I continued on towards Port Angeles.

I love to ride along Lake Crescent. The road is getting pretty beat up at the western end by the heavy trucks that share the road with tourists like myself. Still the speed limit is 35mph along that part and you should have plenty of time to avoid the worst of the rough pavement.

Lake Crescent
Lake Crescent

My last waypoint for the day was Hurricane Ridge. Besides being a pretty twisted and fun 18-mile road up into the Olympic mountains, the view from the top is hard to beat.

View from Hurricane Ridge
View from Hurricane Ridge

It was a fun ride up and down the mountain. I took some video of both, by mistake, instead of periodic photos. I’ll download and watch it to see if it something I would want to post on my YouTube channel.

As mentioned, it was a long day already so I busted back to Seattle on the Bainbridge Island ferry. I arrived about 7pm.

This “weekend” getaway was more relaxing and rejuvenating than I expected. Choosing to overnight on Sunday and returning home on Monday is a luxury available to me right now and helps avoid traffic and crowds. The route travels from city to shore to mountains and back.

One thought

  1. Hi Keith,
    It’s synchronicity – yesterday, here in Hawaii, I was waxing nostalgic over my summer backpacking days out in the Olympics – hiking from the east side over Anderson Pass & into Enchanted Valley on the west. Your photos and travelogue brought it all into focus for me. Look forward to more from you!

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