Roaring Creek CG to Sealttle
It was cold in the mountains so I kept on riding.
Got up early but was in no hurry to get going. Seemed like it would be a nicer day. Nothing much exciting from where I camped to the tunnel. The headwind was gone so it was very easy riding. There were some signs for the train stops that used to be.
Got my lights on and started riding into the tunnel. My light seemed inadequate, I suppose because my eyes were not yet acclimated to the dark. Almost from the start I could see the light at the end of the tunnel 2 miles away. I saw another, whiter light coming towards me. It was a woman heading for Cle Elum. First cyclist I met on the trail was in the tunnel. As I continued on I started making up a song "There's a light at the end of the tunnel ...". It never came together but it had a nice sound. And then I was through. There were some picnic tables so I stopped for a snack. The sun was out and it felt warmer, but as soon as I started riding it was cold again. Now the 2% grade was downhill and I was riding faster. I was doing 8-9 mph uphill and now I was doing 12-14. The surface improved as well with less loose gravel. I met another pair of cyclists that were headed for Ellensburg, and another one headed to the tunnel and back. Soon there were more people out for day rides. There was also a class of kids learning rock climbing.
Passed the first of two campgrounds which looked pretty nice with spots off in the woods and one right on a creek. Got to the second campground, where I was planning on staying, and it was not so nice. Plus it was cold, and early in the day. I only had about 18 miles. So I kept going thinking maybe there would be other places to camp, but the realization that I would ride all the way to Seattle kept growing.
The JWPT ended and the Snoqualmie Valley Trail began with little disruption. In some ways this part of the trail was even nicer as it was very green and followed the Snoqualmie River. After about 10 mile on this there was a bridge across the river and then a steep set of stairs down to a road. I could see a sign that the trail continued after the road, but I did not want to negotiate those stairs so I headed back about a mile to the last cross road. I had Google Maps reroute from there and kept riding. It never took me back to the Snoqualmie Valley Trail. Instead it took me through the town of Snoqualmie and then got me lost in a neighborhood. Once again I was saved by a local. Brent or Brett was out on a road bike and offered to guide me to the Snoqualmie-Preston trail. We wound around neighborhoods, through a no-cars access road, and down a really steep hill. I don't know how I ever would have found it. He said goodbye at the trailhead and headed home while I continued, now back on course. This trail was paved but soon turned to dirt single track down a steep switchback trail. I had to walk. I would have walked even on a mountain bike. At the bottom it continued a long a road and then back into the woods on a nice paved bike path.