• Brian Rawson

Mother Nature’s Best - U.S. 360 Day 65 from Centralia WA to Shelton WA

My cycling journey around the American perimeter

65 miles – Total so far: 3415 miles

Woke up to a nippy 34 degrees Fahrenheit, broke camp quickly, and hit the road around sunrise. From that point forward, I played in Mother Nature’s world. As today’s long 65-mile ride materialized, it became evident early on that I was entering the southern region of the famous Olympic Peninsula. From the beginning, I was immersed in mile after mile of pine forests, wooded ridges, and a few horse farms thrown in for good measure. The Douglas Fir-laden forests were immense and seemed endless at times. This area is home to some of the nation’s great old-growth forests, undoubtedly a national treasure.

Of particular note today was the route between Elma Washington and Shelton Washington along the Cloquallum River. The quiet 25-mile stretch of winding roadway gave me a unique perspective of a working forest. According to a couple of locals that I spoke with, this area apparently has a long legacy of cooperation with logging companies, and that perspective seemed evident as I meandered through the forests along the way. As I would occasionally come into an area recently harvested, the very sad sight seemed eerily similar to a moonscape, stumps the only remnants of the once proud forest that stood there. Then, down the road I would notice previously harvested forests in various stages of restoration. Some of the forests contained small saplings, others with more mature trees, and finally, vast full-grown forests that had apparently been replanted decades ago. So, while not entirely pristine, I saw firsthand how industry and environmentalism can coexist.

As I push further into the Olympic Peninsula, I can’t wait to see what else Mother Nature has in store for me. For now, I am resting comfortably in Shelton Washington after dining on easily the best plate of fish and chips (local Cod) that I have ever eaten.

Today I learned that Mother Nature has it pretty much figured out, and if we will abide by her simple rules, we can all enjoy the fruits of her efforts for generations to come.

It’s All Good.

Photo of the Day: Immersed in the forests of the southern Olympic Peninsula.

Click Here to read my daily tour journal entry on crazyguyonabike.com

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