DAY 81 (8/31/05): Port Angeles to Forks, WA 61.4 mi. Despite Tobias' misgiving s about our little campsite, the night passed uneventfully and in the morning w e rolled back into Port Angeles for coffee and internet access. Then, at last, we picked up the legendary highway 101, which we will follow more or less cont inuously to California. Today, we followed this road through the gorgeous old- growth forests of the Olympic peninsula, which were shrowded in mist and fog fo r much of the day. The highlight of the ride by far was Crescent Lake, a deep blue lake in the bottom of a steep-sided glacial valley. The hills surrounding the valley were completely covered with evergreen trees--such a contrast to th e desert in the eastern part of the state. I can see why the people in the des ert that I talked to view the people from the coast as softies, and feel like n o one appreciates how much desert there really is in WA. After climbing out of the Crescent Lake valley, we made our way west through some tree farms as we coasted slowly downhill towards the coast . When we got to Forks, we decided to get a motel room so that Tobias could re cover from last night. We got some food for dinner and a bottle of wine. Afte r a hot shower, a snack, and a glass of wine, Tobias fell asleep at 7:30, leavi ng me to watch the news and finish the wine myself. DAY 82 (8/31/05): Forks to Kalaloch, WA 69.5 mi. This morning we started out b y going on a side trip to Rialto Beach, one of the most pristine wilderness bea ches on the Olympic Penninsula. The beach has no sand, just smooth egg-sized r ocks as far as the eye can see, which, given how foggy it was at the time, was about 20 yds. The beach is also littered with drift-logs, the trunks of giant evergreens that have been stripped of their branches and bark by the waves befo re washing up on the beach. They are very white and smooth, and really huge. Unfortunately it was high tide when we were there so we couldn't explore any of the unusual rock formations that are only exposed at low tide. After enjoying the beach for a while, we rode back to Forks and from there headed south on 10 1 through more logging country, getting passed by trucks carrying freshly-felle d trees. We camped for the night at Kalaloch, a national park campground up on a cliff overlooking another wilderness beach, this one covered by smooth white sand. Tobias was horrified to learn th at not all National Park campgrounds have showers. Once he got over that, thou gh, we had a nice walk on the beach and sat on a drift log and watched the sun drop into the ocean. Although I've been surrounded by salt water for more than a week, this was the first time that it really felt like the true west coast t o me--watching the sun sink down over the water really drives home the message that at long last, I have gone as far west as there is to go, and now I can rea lly switch the focus to "south." DAY 83 (9/1/04): Kalaloch to Copalis Beach, WA 70.9 mi. We began today by ridi ng inland passed more "managed forests" towards ab inland lake. Although the g uidebook recommended stopping there to hike in the rainforest nearby, we decide d to keep going back towards the coast. So, we continued along, passing no tow ns with more than 500 inhabitants. Services here are quite spread out, so in t hat way it reminds me of northern Wisconsin, where I went for days without enco untering a fresh vegetable. The guidebook had suggested that we might find som e real services at Copalis Beach, which is why we decided to make our way there . It turned out to be no different than the other towns that we had seen, thou gh, and had no grocery store or mini-mart at all. So, we had dinner at a littl e bar called the Green Lantern' a short walk from the old RV park where we camp ed. It was definitley the only show in town, so it was fun to eavesdrop on the conversations of the locals and find out who was catching the biggest fish and where, etc. DAY 84 (9/2/05): Copalis Beach to Grayland, WA 26.9 mi. Tobias was a little wo rn out from the past few days, so we decided to take a short day today so that he could recover a bit. We rode 15 mi south along the coast to the northern ed ge of Gray's Harbor, a big bay that runs a good 20 mi inland from the coastline . Fortunately, there is a small passenger ferry across the harbor that saved u s from cycling all the way around. The people operating the ferry sold slices of stale bread (3 for 25 cents) so that the kids could feed the seagulls. The gulls clearly were expecting the ferry, and began hovering around the stern as soon as we left the dock. They then caught bread on the fly as the ferry made its way across. The ferry let us off in the town of Westport, a sleepy little harbor town with candy shops and fishing outfits clustered near the pier. We r ode another 10 mi or so to the town of Grayland, where we camped at an RV park on the beach. Tobias spent the afternoon sunbathing, while I finished reading a book and took a long walk on the beach , all beautiful soft sand and surf. The beach also had more sand dollars on it than I had every seen before, and I had collected two fistfulls of perfect spe cimens before I remembered that I had to carry them by bike. So, I selected on ly the six most perfect ones to carry and then mail home. Once Tobias woke up, we found a tidepool and practiced skipping the rejected sand dollars across th e surface of the water.