40th B'day Excursion-Day 3 (Sun!)
On Day 3 of cycling from Seattle to Portland (STP) we were greeted by a warm, sunny morning (our prayers were answered!). We were already half-way through our trip (in terms of mileage), but the next 3 days promised to be slow and easy 35-mile jaunts. In fact this section of the STP route, Chehalis to Kelso proved to be the most appealing stretch of the entire trip. Rolling hills, deserted stretches of country roads, quaint small towns (Napavine), and quirky tributes to put a town “on-the-map” (e.g. the World’s largest egg in Winlock!).
Despite another flat (James) and a broken chain (Anthony), we had a fantastic day. Note, good equipment and tools (in this case, a spare master link which I carried the first time on this trip) is the difference between a quick 15-minute fix, and a significant wrench in your plans.
Just after midday, we landed at Hattie’s in Castle Rock: a classic, small town diner that boasted great burgers and milk shakes (we were satiated). We cruised the last 10+ miles into Kelso, then arrived at the Red Lion Hotel. That evening, we were in for a surprise. We walked over to the Kelso “fun center”, where we had a raucous good time bowling (disco lights and all), playing glow-in-the-dark mini-golf, and ordering pizza and wings to go. Music was appropriately themed too, with classics by Journey, Van Halen and REO Speedwagen, took me back to my youth. Ironically, my kids love "Classic Rock" too (thanks to the Guitar Hero product managers!) Though the food in Kelso left much to be desired, the fun center activities were unexpected and refreshing – not soon to be forgotten.