I slept in this morning because of the overcast sky. Usually the early morning light wakes me. On the bike at 6:45 heading north and gaining elevation for climb #1 along Wind River Road. The 12-mile ride to Oldman Pass tested my strength as I ground uphill in my lowest gear. Three miles after the pass, I descended Curly Creek Road to a small store at Swift Reservoir. A small container of chocolate milk disappeared quickly along with the rest of the breakfast cheese. Just past the reservoir, I turned north on Forest Road 25, crossed Muddy River (cloudy not muddy) then headed uphill for 2,000-foot climb #2. This climb mirrored the first climb in physical exertion. Finally, I reached the flat summit and zipped downhill for 3 miles to start the 1,000-foot climb #3 to Elk Pass. On the way, I met bike tourer Tom on his way from Seattle to Eugene, OR. Another tough climb to Elk Pass. A minute after the pass, I met bike tourer Ben on a mountain bike headed south. He said he’d met 20 minutes earlier older biker Alan heading north like me. I welcomed the speedy 13-mile descent, although FR 25 was a lousy road with numerous rough patches, potholes, deep cracks in the pavement, and 4-inch drops where sections of pavement separated from the rest of the road. Riding required my constant attention. Eyes on the road! After the road flattened, I crossed the turbid Cispus River (see photo) then the bigger and more turbid Cowlitz River. At long last, I reached Randle at the junction with US Highway 12 at 3:40. I feasted on a pint on mint chocolate chip ice cream then rode 2 miles east on US 12 to the Shady Firs RV Park. For $20, I got a soft, grassy, shady site under western red cedars. A shower and dinner revived me. After more than 5,000 feet of elevation gain and 72 miles of riding, I was beat.