On Saturday I rode the 72 mile course in this year's annual Lewis County Historical Bike Ride. The start was in Chehalis at Stan Headwall Park. I left my house at 5:40 AM and drove the 70 miles so that I could start by 7:30 AM. It was a cold morning, with a temperature of 38 degrees. But the sky was a crystal clear blue and the sun was shining brightly. After 20 minutes of pedaling I began to warm up nicely. By the time I reached the first rest stop at mile 15 I was peeling off my arm and ear warmers. The ride was through some of the most beautiful and scenic lands in this state. I had great views of Mount Saint Helens, Mount Adams, and Mount Rainier. The entire ride was on quiet low traffic back roads of pastoral farmland. And as the name of the ride says our rest stops were at old historical sites. It was fun, scenic, and educational. The course was very hilly and my partner of late my friend Mister Headwind was with me the entire ride. I finished a little after 1:00 PM. On my way home I stopped at a local Arbys and devoured a medium roast beef sandwich with horsey sauce. It was delicious!
Some of the historical sites where our rest stops were and some of the other historical sites I pedaled by were:
Jackson Prairie Court House just beyond highway 12 which used to serve as the first district court north of the Columbia.
We passed by the Lewis and Clark State Park which opened in 1923. It has the largest stand of old growth trees in western Washington.
Our first rest stop was at the St. Francis Mission which was first occupied in 1838 and the site of the oldest Catholic Mission in the state.
Evaline School, my second food stop, is one of the few remaining two room schools in the state. First through sixth grades are still taught in this building. The bathrooms were unique! Swinging doors and steps that lead up to the toilet!
Claquato Church, third rest stop, built in 1859 is the oldest standing protestant church in Washington. It is still used for special occasions.