Saturday, October 5, 2013
Cathlamet, WA to Astoria, OR
32 GLORIOUS HILLY Miles
When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking. ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
We are up early riding 4 miles through dense early morning fog across Puget Island to catch the 8am Wahkiakum Ferry. Two dollars per bike and we are across in ten minutes. Miraculously the skies are crystal clear on the Oregon side. The ferry attendant told us only one 4 mile hill immediately and then “basically flat.” Well… After miles of ups and downs, I asked Joe what was wrong. His reply, “I am disappointed as I expected flats after the big hill.” Dorothy, we are not in Kansas anymore.
Two miles to Astoria and Joe stops suddenly and examines his tire. I pull up and he shows me a worn quarter sized hole in his tire with the tube poking out. Trouble with a capital T. Thank goodness his bad luck has a good side; we are 2 miles from the next bike shop. We find out later the next bike shop is in Newport, 156 miles away. Joe has escaped yet one more disaster. The Bikes and Beyond shop get us in immediately; the only thing that saved him–the puncture proof tube, otherwise he would have flatted long ago. He now has a Schwalbe touring tire on his rear wheel; sadly only a regular tube as no thorn resistant to be had in his size.
Joe is bummed out to say the least and matters get worse as I spend the next 30 minutes trying to find a reasonably priced room on this sunny summer Saturday night in Seaside, 20 miles further. No such luck! We opt to go back a few miles and enjoy Astoria for the day. Called the “Little San Francisco” of the Northwest, Astoria is the oldest city west on the Mississippi River and is remembered in American history as the place where the Lewis and Clark Expedition spent the winter of 1805-06.
I am now actively campaigning to camp or stay at the Oregon State Park yurts, which have both heat and electricity, to offset lodging costs. It appears the real adventure may be beginning.
I did convince Joe to buy a pair of full fingered bike gloves at the bike shop; the sock mittens, though innovative, still let the chilly air in. I wear my regular bike gloves and am thankfully toasty warm.
We are off to walk the waterfront, visit the historic Bumble Bee Cannery/Rogue Brewery and listen to the sea lions sing in the sweet bliss of the warm sun.