Garmin Data can be found here. (Map, distance and all things bike geeks want to know) Dad/John
Taking the distance we covered in the past 2 days into account, we slacked off a bit and were on the road at a tardy 9am. There were some grunter hills right at the beginning as we were leaving the park, but after that it was pretty flat until the bridge, some 11 or 12 miles down the road. Leaving the park you enter Ilwaco, which is a nice seaside town with unique houses lining the street. You can tell that their fire department is well funded with a brand new station. We poked along until we hit the outskirts and ran out of houses to look at.
A few miles down the road we came to a river crossing that formed a wetlands area that was prime fishing for the Herons. We stopped and watched for a while and counted 16 Herons at one time. They were having a feast! Some were flying in and scooping up breakfast, while others waited more patiently and played their coolness card. Great fun to watch. Within a few miles the clouds rolled in with a bit of a breeze on its tail. This is where we first got a glimpse of the bridge that we have heard so much about. Yep, it was big. It spans 7km/4miles and crosses the Columbia River, connecting Washington and Oregon states
To be honest, I was glad when I reached the other side. We definitely needed our gameface on today with a tight shoulder, traffic, guardrail right beside you and of course the openness and water. Sometimes when a big truck went by you felt the wind a little more and raised your heart rate a little. In all truth, traffic was pretty light so it could have been a lot worse. When you get near the Oregon side, the bridge arches up and then corkscrews you down to the streets of Astoria. As you’re riding along the bridge all you see is a wall that you have to climb ahead. When we got to it they were doing some construction and traffic control. This turned out great as we got to stop, let all the cars pass and then follow them down with nobody behind us. Right at the very bottom of the exit ramp is the Oregon Min. of Transportation, and a great place to gets maps/info. Just as we were leaving Heike and Soeren pulled in and chatted. They were going to take the 30 into Portland from Astoria and this would be the last we saw of them.
We picked up the Oregon Coast Bike Route and followed it back out to the coast and down. We crossed another bridge in Astoria then pulled into a mall that had a Pizza Hut with a $5.49 all you can eat and kids were half price. I told the guy as we entered that they would be losing money on us today – we ate 12 pieces of pizza each and washed it down with a couple of beverages. It’s amazing how much you can eat while on a bike tour!
After eating, we went to Starbucks at the other end of the mall and plugged in online. I needed to charge my camera battery and it would be the first time we could get wifi since Victoria. I checked e-mail while I had a coffee and had some great news. Norie posted something on the Northwest String Summit facebook page about us leaving and riding our bikes down, and one of the performers contacted her. There was a chance that Tai could play on stage Friday morning and plans were made to try and meet up on Thursday ~ 2 days away! Tai was so excited would be an understatement when we were able to do a short video chat with Mom while there. It lasted for about 5 minutes before losing connection but a lot was expressed and felt. It was good to see Norie and Ekou and get some brief updates. All to soon we were packing up and heading south.
One thing I noticed while riding south in Oregon was the amount of traffic compared to Washington. Oregon was busy and it was the first time someone honked at us while riding on the shoulder. I didn’t really know where we would end up but I was thinking somewhere around Cannon Beach. We rode for a ways then stopped for a pee break when Soeren and Heike pulled up. They had changed plans and were heading to the youth hostel in Seaside, then catching a bus to Portland and back the next day. Hmm, Seaside was not that far away and would also be a good position to launch inland tomorrow. They rode ahead and Tai and I conversed and unanimously decided that this would be a good idea. We rode almost 240km in the past 2 days and we had already crossed a big bridge and state lines today. Before we reaching Seaside, we had to ride though Gearhart which had special meaning for us. Tai and Ekou’s primary teacher and friend, Karla, spent a year as 7 year old living here so we wanted to see this area. It was tidy as we rode through down the Pacific Coast Scenic Biway (highway 101). Seaside kind of blended into Gearhart and by 3pm we were at the Seaside Lodge & International Hostel
We were able to pitch our tent in the back yard $15 and Brian the host was a great guy. We hung out for a while talking before setting up our tent and having a well earned nap. In the early evening we went into town with Soeren and Heike and stolled the main drag. Boardwalk town with tacky tourist shops and oooozed summer at the beach. Some great window shopping and we picked up a highway 101 sticker and had a banana split at a rockin’ diner/gift shop. I wish I had my camera, but dumbass forgot it back at the hostel.
After seeing what there was to see, we wandered over to Safeway back on the highway and got some dinner from their deli/soup area. Safeways are a great place to have lunch or for picking up things for dinner. We bought some soup and bread as it was a coolish evening and walked back to the hostel to have dinner. We were able to connect to the internet so we wrote a couple of e-mails and tried to figure out how Norie made this connection. Being offline for a while had thrown us out of the loop and we were trying to catch up. With that said, it’s been rather nice not having to worry about the internet and everything connected with it for the past week. We stayed up for a while talking with Brian, Heike and Soeren and a few others, but we knew when to make a curtain call. Tomorrow would be a big day and the coastal mountain range to cross before arriving at Horning’s Hideout in North Plaines, home of the Northwest String Summit.
We saw a lighthouse it was so beautiful. I sleeted in to 6:00am. We went over a huge brige. We saw 16 harn and a lot of seegols. There where seagull diving in to the water. In Astoria we went to pizzahut. Dad and me ate 12 pieces of pizza each. We met up with Soeren and Heike again. We saw Gerhart where Karla lived as a kid. It was so windy. We came to a youth hostel in Seaside. i had a banana split!!!!!