Nehalem State Park was the best campground we stayed at during our trip. We camped in a huge stand of pine trees. The pine needles and sand made for a perfect natural mattress. The bathrooms were clean and the showers refreshing. The windy evening gave way to cool breezes at night. The roar of the ocean off in the distance lulled us to sleep.
We broke camp after breakfast. Oatmeal for Corey and Mark, an apple, a banana, a Clif Bar, and three spoonfuls of PB&J without bread for me.
We climbed back up to 101 by backtracking then started the first of several climbs. None of them broke 1,000 feet but they certainly gave us a workout. The first climb out of Nehalem to Oswald State Park topped out at about 625 feet. Quite a way to start the day. We next descended into a tunnel. We all wore blinkie lights in anticipation of darkness but the tunnel was extremely well lit. No worries about not being seen.
We had light winds for most of the day, a blue sky with puffy clouds, and temperatures in the 60s.
It was yet another day of superb scenery. Ocean views out the wazoo.
The traffic was a bit of a drag but we diverted into Cannon Beach and stopped for proper breakfast after 20 miles or so. After climbing back to 101 we descended into Seaside where we rode along the boardwalk next to the beach.
After Seaside we left 101 for Lewis and Clark Road, the back road into Astoria. The road was windy and hilly, cutting through countryside and away from the ocean. After much exertion we stopped at Fort Clatsop, where we checked out a replica of the fort used by Lewis & Clark during the winter after reaching the Pacific Ocean.
We’ve been bumping into Lewis and Clark for hundreds of miles. Too bad they didn’t have bicycles and paved roads.
After our tour of the fort we rode over the Lewis and Clark River then over Youngs River into Astoria. I was gritting my teeth on the steel deck of the second bridge when the genius driver of a passing pick up yelled at me to “use the sidewalk.” So helpful.
Astoria forms a rounded point at the mouth of the Columbia River. We rode around the point then, mostly, along a bike trail along the riverfront.
Because of pedestrian traffic and sketchy trail design (the trail goes along some trolley tracks) I fell behind Corey and Mark and missed their big finish. Actually there wasn’t a big finish because there is no sign indicating the end of the trail. (The same is true at the eastern end I’m of the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail in Yorktown, Virginia.)
Mark’s wife Tracy was there to greet us with a phone for picture taking and a rental car with a trunk full of drinks and snacks.
While we were talking about our travels, Billy and Greg, whom we had met a few days ago, pulled up to finish their TransAm.
As we were about to leave, three riders appeared, heading south. Really south. They were bound for Ushuaia, the southernmost city in Argentina!
Mark and Tracy went one way and Corey and I another. Corey and I are sharing a room in a Motel 6 underneath the scary bridge across the Columbia River to Washington State. We feel like a couple of trolls.
Tomorrow we head toward Portland, most likely a two-day trip. Corey is taking a train to Chicago on Sunday. I’m flying home on Saturday.
Miles today: 50.5 Tour miles: 3,336