So I misinterpreted my map, and took the wrong road for about fifteen miles. Maybe twenty.
Anyway, I got to Shelton about 10:30 in the morning, having done more miles today than I did in any of my training rides. It turns out that highway number 3 isn’t the road that Adventure Cycling wanted me to take. I’m glad to see that now, since it had narrower shoulders and more high speed logging trucks than I’d prefer.
Much of the ride, before I figured out that 3 wasn’t right, was along this kind of scenery:
There were signs up every five or ten miles advertising that this is a “working forest”, and saying what a good job this company (forget the name, but it had the word ‘green’ in it) is doing at managing the land.
Dude, it’s a tree farm. They clear-cut the whole area and planted a bunch of pines really close together at the same time. In the sections that were older, the trees were super straight, and had practically zero branches within 20 feet of the ground, and crappy little bits of undergrowth. This is not a good habitat for animals. This doesn’t do a good job of building good soil. If this reduces our need to take trees out of actual forests, great! Just don’t confuse anybody about what this tree farm is.
So now it’s time to eat some more, read for a bit, and get back on the road to Elma. For anyone thinking of doing this trip, Shelton seems like a fine place to stay. There are lots of little inns and motels, and plenty of cheap to expensive restaurants. I’m hanging out in a Dairy Queen right now, since it seemed like a good place to charge my phone and spend some time. I also ran across what looked to be a decent bottle shop with some fancy beers.