And you thought the tour was over?
Our night as bridge trolls worked out okay for me. Corey was kept up by the clomping of feet in the room above us.
We began the day with breakfast at Pig and Pancakes, a chain apparently. We ate at one in Cannon Beach. Fortified with pancakes (good), coffee (not bad), and scrambled eggs (meh) we headed east out of Astoria on US 30 headed for Portland.
Traffic was heavy, the shoulder was debris-filled, and the air was filled with mist. The road rolled up and down with the occasional somewhat serious climb. No matter. Our blood is still teeming with hemoglobin.
I began the day with a very sore lower back. The pain abated with every mile, and a couple tablets of Vitamin I.
Corey stopped and pointed out Mt Rainier. After about 30 miles we stopped at a gas station for snackage. A fuel truck driver gabbed with us. He said it wasn’t Rainier. He also told us the next climb would be four miles at six percent grade.
Corey and I agreed that it was a serious climb, made much worse by the incessant traffic and inadequate shoulder. We also agreed that it couldn’t have been four miles.
During a leveling off we saw two snow covered mountains in the distance. I have no idea which two it was. I think the one on the left is Mount Fuji but I could mistaken. I’m any case the one on the right was Mount Vesuvius for sure.
We had a crazy fast descent to the exit for Longview, Washington. Longview is halfway to Portland and has many motels and restaurants. According to Fuel Truck Driver there are many methheads there too.
The ride across the Columbia River was very stressful. Logging trucks go to Longview to drop their loads at the port and a paper mill. The shoulder was littered with chunks of bark. The crossing was not a lot of fun.
We stopped at Walmart where I bought a duffel bag to consolidate my panniers into for my flight home and a t-shirt to wear on the plane. (Laundry opportunities are unlikely between now and Saturday morning.)
Next we went to a bike shop for air for my rear tire and recommendations for motels and lunch. The lunch restaurant one of the bike shop guys recommended was right around the corner.
I had a cup of pig butt stew as a side dish. It was very tasty. I wish I had ordered a huge bowl of it and skipped the chicken caesar wrap.
After lunch we rode across the Cowlitz River to Kelso where we found a hotel for $120. It’s not bad at all. The lobby is rather posh.
Tomorrow it’s back across the pine bark bridge and another 50 miles to Portland, this time without the long climb. We plan to go to Union Station to get some definitive answer about whether Corey had to box his bike up for his train ride home. (In some cities you can just put your bike in the baggage car. Also, if a bike box is needed we’ll have to find out if Amtrak supplies them.)
Miles today: 57 Tour miles: 3,393