Day 45: Centralia

We woke up and one of Mary's sons was cooking up breakfast. He happily shared with us and we hung out for an hour and chatted until he left for work, and we packed up and rolled out! We had a pretty good ride heading towards Centralia, until I hit a town just 5 miles out. Kristine was somewhere ahead of me, presumably already at Centralia. I lost sight of the route number signs, and I ended up veering off course in a town called Mount Carmel. I asked one woman for directions, and she got very interested in the fact I was going to Centralia, and I told her I had to catch up wtih my friend. She said she was heading over there anyways and that she was gonna catch up and tell her. I wasn't sure if she was serious, but after eventually navigating back to route 61, I reached Centralia, there she was, Talking with Kristine. I wanted to ride down the abandoned highway 61. But the woman had an idea of some stuff to show us. She showed us some abandoned house foundations and yards now integrated into the woods, and a high vantage point not easily accessible by car where we can see into a manmade drain into the cave. The woman gave us a souvenir, a piece of coal, a couple fossils, and some quartz crystals from Centralia.

We parted ways eventually, but by then there wasn't really much time left to spare, so we left without riding the highway and headed to Locust Lake State Park. We arrived shortly before dark, and we hung out and dunked our feet in the pond while we waited for nightfall. We had originally planned to camp in the camping area, but there were a lot of kids so at the last minute we decided to duck out into the woods in a secluded spot where we could camp for free, and away from noisy kids.