Raymond, WA to Astoria, OR
JD loved the garden built into the parking lot at the Pitchwood Inn. It even had tomatillos growing. If I had known there was going to be fresh tomatillos, I would have brought my Instapot and cooked up some of my posole verde.
It was in the mid 40’s when we woke up so had to add an extra layer. We started out a little slow because of extra weight. JD did laundry yesterday and only took a $20 bill with her to feed the change machine. So this morning, we were carrying 72 quarters with us looking for a place to spend them. Thirty five miles down the road we exchanged them at a Shell station for a bad burger and a couple worse tacos.
The first part of the ride was on a bike path to the town of South Bend. JD was born in South Bend but when she didn’t see any Domers in green around town, she knew it was a different South Bend.
Soon we reached the coast where we turned South on 101. We will be spending a lot of time heading down 101. It was beautiful riding with not a lot of traffic, a wide shoulder, and rolling hills along the water. But there was always the chance of the logging trucks with their consistent attitude of not slowing or swerving for anyone or anything.
We took a break along the road and met Liam traveling the same route. He just graduated from high school and decided to ride the entire Pacific Coast Route on his own. I thought we were riding the entire Pacific Coast Route, but Liam informed us that the route starts in Alaska and ends in Patagonia. He started his ride at the end of July and hopes to finish sometime next year. I asked if he spoke Spanish, he said no but expected to be fluent by the time he left Mexico.
It bothered me that I was only doing a piece of the ride. I know it’s too late in the year to head north, but if we keep going south when we hit Mexico, the sun will be following us and we would be doing South America in their spring and summer. It’s something to think about as we ride.
OK, I thought about it. I remembered that when we go through Ventura, CA we ride right by the Patagonia headquarters. After that, we’ll have about five more days to the border, so we could say we rode from Canada to Patagonia and beyoonndd! Much better plan.
The days 54 mile ride ended only after we crossed the 4 mile bridge going across the basin where the Columbia River empties into the Pacific. It was a little intimidating as there were only two lanes and no shoulder. What also got our attention was staring at the high point of the bridge that we faced as we approached Astoria where the bridge climbs sharply to 200 ft. Just as we got to the climb, the traffic stopped because of road construction allowing traffic in only one direction at a time. We passed the cars to get to the front of the line to wait, thinking we would wait and let all the traffic go first. However, the flagman told us to get ready as he was going to let us go first to get a head start. I think he thought that he was doing us a favor but it meant that we would have the maximum number of vehicles passing us. When he dropped the flag, I started sprinting up the hill, but was totally gassed about a third of the way up. That’s when the traffic caught us, including our friend in a logging truck at the very peak of the bridge that put me out of breath and in-between an accelerating logging truck with attitude and a 200 ft drop to 40 degree water. I prefer a one scoop or two choice.
Well, we made it into town after getting off the bridge which meant we were in Oregon. I didn’t stop on the bridge for a welcome to Oregon photo op, so you will have to believe me. We feel pretty good about having ridden down the entire state of Washington, as I had never risen across a state before. Plus, from a progress standpoint we have completed 1 of the 3 states we are going to ride so we are 1/3 done ( let me enjoy that for at least one night).
A nice view of the harbor from our room.
Listened to the weather report for the next three days and heard a lot of four letter words: cold, rain, snow, wind. I added a few more four letter words to the mix. I am glad that we can share in the celebration of the end of the heat and drought in Oregon.
OK the correct answer to today final Wheel of Fortune puzzle is Dismal Nitch. I’m afraid many of you got the wrong answer on this one and I won’t tell JD what you were thinking about her.
Jan’s Daily Haiku