Any Road Tour: Day 61 – Read the fine print

The day started with a sore butt, the result of last night’s fall off a bar stool. I swear I wasn’t even approximately drunk. Julie will vouch for me. Right, Julie? You know, Julie What’s-Her-Name.

What was her last name anyway?

Having name amnesia is no way to win friends or provide eye witnesses. It took me two hours but I finally solved the puzzle by combining “Julie” with specific details of her life that she shared with me last night. Suffice it to say, if she wasn’t a rolfer, her last name would still be a mystery.

Having solved the puzzle. I moved on to first breakfast, rolled oats with strawberries, a mixed berry scone, and coffee.

Then I carried all my stuff down 1 1/2,flights is stairs at the hotel/hostel and road off toward the sun. For the first time since I left home I was pointed in that direction. And I had a terrific tailwind. Over the course of the next eight hours I road much of Thursday’s ride in reverse. 600-foot climb? No problem. Downhill at 40 miles per hour? As you wish.

Every hour or so I stopped for a snack. I had second breakfast too. This time eggs, bacon, hash browns, and coffee. (Anybody hungry yet.)

I had no worries because I was planning on camping in the town park in St. Helens, like my Adventure Cycling maps said.

I stopped in Rainier for ice cream. No hurry.

I admired unusual signs.

And acvolcanic mountain (St. Helens) and a broad river (the Columbia).

After about 68 miles I arrived in the town of St. Helens and went to the town park to set up my tent. I called the police to get permission.

Had I read the addendum to the Adventure Cycling maps I’d have seen that camping in the Park was no longer allowed. Now it’s 6 pm on a Saturday night, there’s a county fair and s rodeo in town. The only hotel room in town was over $160. Dang.

I tried places ten miles away but nobody would answer the phone!

So I went back the the Best Western and threw myself on the mercy of the desk clerk. Once he realized that I had ridden over 4,000 miles, he cut the price of the room out of pity.

I checked in and called it a day.

Miles: the easiest hilly 70.5 miles ever

Tour miles: 4,240.5

Tomorrow: Portland

One thought on “Any Road Tour: Day 61 – Read the fine print

  1. Ya getting warmer Doc (in my best bugs bunny) St. Helens is an STP stop and during the one year I did the ride in one day (with a team) that was our last stop before the end, I recall laying on the grass like a dead thing not sure if I would ever move again. I did. Glad you had an easy tailwind day with great views and 2nd breakfasts. Enjoy your triumphant entry into the Rose city. If you get a chance, go to a https://www.mcmenamins.com/ there are about 30 in the Portland area all unique -good beer and good pub grub and a relaxed vibe, but of course microbreweries abound in PDX so it will be hard to go wrong. Enjoy. And as you may know the light rail line (MAX) runs to the Airport and the line accommodates bikes.

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