Sunday, August 29, 2010

Manzanita to Astoria, OR 46 miles

Last morning of packing up.

There was a cyclist with a BOB trailer modified to carry his surf board.

Left with everyone: Janelle, Bill, Sara, Ted, Jamie and Heidi with the special addition of Marissa, whom we met at the campground last night. Marissa was doing a loop from Portland (a Lewis and Clark student) to Tamarook to Astoria and back to Portland. She was a new cycle tourist using borrowed equipment and discovering that her bike did not really have adequate gearing for touring. She was doing phenominally well considering.

We lost Sara while taking a shortcut. Sara's shortcut cut off more than ours, so while we waited for her, she was ahead of us with Ted and Janelle, who had missed the shortcut entirely.
Silver Lining: Bill and Heidi got to get coffee while we waited and Marissa caught up!

At an overlook, we commented on all the imaginary wildlife and creatures we saw swimming in the ocean and fog, while Bill talked on the phone.

Heidi rang Bill's bell to notify him we were ready to move on, but he didn't take her seriously, so I rang it a gazzilion times. It was very inordinately funny at the time.
This section of the route included a tunnel.

There was a button to press which lit up a warning sign to drivers that there were cyclists in the tunnel, but fortunately no cars came along while we were in the tunnel. I don't know if Marissa shared the same luck. She doesn't have to be in Astoria until Friday, while we are due in by today at 3pm.
Along a really busy section of 101, Jamie said her knee really hurt and asked to stop. So we did. Right there. To multi-task we pulled out lunch stuff. This also gave Marissa a chance to catch up. She sat on the road with us against the guard rail and ate an apple, then proceded to toss the core behind her. What are the odds a car would be coming up the on-ramp that happened to be on the other side of the guardrail?

A southbound Pacific Coast cyclist stopped and commented on our lovely choice of lunch stops and it turned out he, Jamie and Heidi have mutual friends.

We decided to regroup in Seaside with Janelle, Ted and Sara. While trying to find each other, Janelle mistakingly thought we were in Astoria, because she was reading a text from her husband and thought it was from me. This led to some funny conversation as we tried to sort out who was where. Seaside's boardwalk proved a challenge to negotiate, given all the bodies, dogs and small children darting out. It was amazingly busy, considering it was quite cool and foggy.
When we moved back to the streets we tried to take the lane since traffic was moving so slowly, but it was difficult to hold nine cyclists together. We held together until the last big hill identified on the map, when we divided into 2 groups.
The directions included things like this: At water treatment facility, continue straight across private road. I did manage to take the correct roads and was followed by Janelle, Ted and Marissa for most of the way. Bill, Heidi, Sara and jamie went the wrong way, but ended up in the right place anyways. They asked to regroup in a certain place, but since they were not on the route, we missed them. A little comedy of errors.
Finally, we were able to regroup at the Astoria City border. Our little Peleton worked its way toward the finish line, but one of the roads we were supposed to take was barricaded for the first 50 feet. No Problem. We just detoured through a parking lot to get around it. A DQ parking lot. NO WE ARE NOT STOPPING, EVEN IF WE HAVE GONE 30 MILES!!! Next up? A really steep hill. Oh, cruel fate. One of the steepest hills on the route. Two of us had to walk it. Fortunately it was pretty short. Up and around, twist and turn, through center of the city and... ViolĂ , the Maritime Museum!
None of our peeps were there, but a tourist recognized what must be an important moment in history and took several pictures of the group, promising to email them to Jamie and me.
Bob, Dwight, Elliott, Rachel and Aaron showed up shortly and then there was a giant photo op.

It didn't seem right that Bill had no flats this trip, so I thought I might fix that.

Ted, Janelle and Bill ran off to ship their bikes, we said goodbye to Marissa and everyone else made for the restaurant, were we made merry until quite late and drank champagne, compliments of my parents.

Last order of business was to drive Jamie back to Bay City to retrieve Sara's car. It was fun to drive back part of the route.
What an exceptional adventure. This was the best group ever and we were very lucky to have such great support from our families. I will miss you all until we hopefully meet again.
Thank you.

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Pacific City to Manzanita, OR 67 miles

We rode together, conquering some serious hills until Netarts, where we parted from Ted and Janelle. They took the shorter alternate to Tillamook to get to the library with time to work on blogs, while Bill and I went to Ocean City for second breakfast.

At the restaurant we watched people flying rc planes. It was pretty much perfect weather; cloudy with no wind. I must admit that we have experienced far less wind than Heidi, Jamie and Sara seem to have experienced.
The two routes both had 2 big hills, but our route had a horrible road surface with deep potholes and dappled shade, making it difficult to see the holes. As a result, a nice potential 31mph downhill was stalled to about 15 mph for safety as we desired to remain on our bikes rather than under them.
In Tillamook we reconnected again briefly with Janelle and Ted at the library, but since they had just eaten, we decided to stay in town for lunch.
Outside the library we Met 3 pacific coast travelers, headed for Venezuala, Panama and one striving to go as far as possible by Sept 8th.
At Bay City met back up again with Ted and Janelle.

Jamie, Heidi and Sara had driven back down to finish the ride with us, though technically they finished several days ago when they made it to Florence. They still wanted to go all the way to Astoria.

We drafted for quite a while, but then lost Janelle and Ted until the Manzanita grocery. Jamie, Heidi and Sara had gone towards the campground, but Ted, Janelle, Bill and I decided a pub was in order. We rode to Nehalem campground in our own personal fogs.
The hiker biker site was far superior to former examples, including sand tent pads and multiple picnic shelters, as well as flat ground.
Last note of the night is a great quote of Heidi:
How do you tell if pasta is cooked? By how it feels when you swallow it.

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Springfield to Rickreall, OR 68

It was pretty cool in the morning. Our jackets and shirts were on and off as we froze and sweated.
We slinkied all day with Janelle and Ted, catching up, then passing or being passed.

In Corvallis we located a bakery with fabulous choices for snacks and lunch, but snacks won out. We ate pie and drinks.
Desperate for a bathroom, i was passing several before I screamed to a halt at the very last set and was too lazy to go back 100 feet to another. The one I chose was devoted to spiders. I had to reach through webbing that rivaled horror movie effects in order to open the door (which looked as though it might have been nailed shut at one time), then I had to make space for myself on the seat and relocate several spiders to take some toilet paper.
The route was actually pretty level today, which might spoil us for any future hill endeavors.
Saw another Datsun!
We hit a headwind at end of day, but survived. We ended up at the county fairgrounds and found a sign that indicated the camping was closed to the public. I voted for just integrating into the existing private campers, but Bill asked the supervisor, who said, "fine".

We helped dismantle waterfowl exhibit tents. Here Janelle, Ted and Bill move a mobile cart full of folding chairs.

The only event going on after we were finished was Dockdogs, a competition to see which dog could chase a thrown toy furthest off a dock. They had a portable dock and pool!

If there were a museum for antique playground equipment, most of their equipment would have been repressented, though it would be roped off do to safety concerns.

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Rickreall to Pacific City, OR 64 miles

The road was busy and not incredibly pleasant. We stayed on it (18 to 101) anyways, even though the route veered off, because we figured it would be shorter and less hilly.
We saw our first mileage sign for Astoria.

I don't know why we were all smiling at the top of this hill. Maybe we were all thrilled to be closing in on the coast or maybe we were all slap happy...

Dance moves?

Pacific Coast! We were told that sunny and 70 degrees was atypical for the Oregon coast, that cool and foggy was more typical and that we were lucky.

Lunch was a mix of store bought sandwiches and stuff from our panniers. It was so serene and we relected a lot on the impending end of our trip.

The group split temporarilly at Pacific City. Ted and Janelle went to the library while Bill and I went to scope out accomodations. I checked the campgrounds and Bill checked hotels. Peak vacation time: you can probaby predict what Bill found. I found the private cG full, but the county campground was almost empty. What I noticed first was the proliferation of feral domesticated rabbits.

And finally, ice cream, then pizza for dinner and a surprise photo before bed, a VW bug with a surfboard on top!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Eugene take 2

Today we really slacked.

We went to a car show specializing in cars from the 30's to the 60's, then finally reconnected with Ted and Janelle at the local library. After a trip to Target and an unsuccessful trip to the post office we went to the hotel to get rid of Ted and Janelle's baggage, then ran to get dinner. A guy at Target asked if we already had a place to stay. He didn't even ask if we were touring (Janelle and Ted still had the trailer and panniers). And he was Asian and acted as though he was a little shy to ask. Amazing. We were in a hurry because Janelle, Bill and I were returning to the car show to watch American Graffiti.

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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Eugene to Eugene 0 bike miles, numerous foot miles

We walked around Eugene today going to Trader Joes (darn tourists- neither Bill nor I had ever been to one) and the library, as well as looking in the bus station and a Danish furniture store. Tons of cyclists and bike lanes/ paths in addition to automobile drivers who expect cyclists and take them into account make Eugene the finest place to be a cyclist I have ever been yet.

These people are tubing down the Willamette River in tire tubes. The one guy is wearing a Viking hat with horns. Typical Eugene. In the evening at the grocery store, a woman was wearing an antelope hat. Typical Eugene.

I saw 2 Datsuns! Land of the older car.
We had planned on going to see a free movie outside town and taking a bus there, but instead we bought groceries, ate in our room and played Bananagrams.

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