Monday, August 26, 2013

Well, They Talk About It Being Rainy Up Here ...

So, the forecast for Sunday night was a %20 chance of rain. That means that it's going to rain.

It woke me up a bit, but mostly it just meant that I had to try to dry the rain fly on the tent again before I packed it. I took it all to the covered picnic pavillion, packed stuff up, dried it as best I could, fixed my coffee, and managed to get on the road just before 7:30.

The roads were wet, but the sun was breaking through the clouds. I had a long way to go today, so I was pushing the pace more than I had the previous two days.

The first part of the day was fairly flat, as I went along the Cowlitz River. There was even a spot where I got onto a quiet road running through fields, passing under I-5. It was really a lovely morning.

I stopped briefly for coffee in Castle Rock, after which the road turned more into the wind and the hills returned.

There was a very long climb next, followed by an even longer but more gradual descent.

Finally, at the bottom of the descent, I turned east on Hwy 4. The wind was at my back and the road was flat for over five miles.

I knew that the Columbia River was just out of view to my left, but these overflow lakes full of lillypads were gorgeous.

The down side of this road was the logging trucks and RVs. Soome of the logging trucks were loaded, and some were on their way to get loaded. I think that this big thing was on its way back from loading the trucks.

Eventually, the road moved far enough south that I could see the river. Across was Oregon, my destination for the night.

There were a few long climbs in here, too, but eventually I got to Cathlamet.

It was about 11:30, and I was making good time. But I was really hungry, too, so I tried to find a sandwich that I could get to go. My first stop was a convenience store, but they didn't have anything. I bought some sun screen, and went down the road to the grocery store. They didn't have sandwiches, either, so I bought a box of Wheat Thins and a package of cheese. Paying for this, I asked the clerk if the ferry to Oregon ran, and he said it went every hour.

Loading my lunch on the bike, I saw that I had four miles to go to the ferry, but only 15 minutes to get there. I settled into time-trial mode and pedalled hard ...

... but just missed it.

One hour later the next one came, and 20 minutes after that I was heading west again. But this time I was in Oregon and on US 30.

About 2 pm, the rain started. Thirty minutes later, it got serious and I stopped to put on a jacket and cover the panniers. US 30 was much worse than Hwy 4 had been, too, with a lot more trucks and RVs and cars that seemed determined not to move over at all for cyclists.

It was at this point that I actually ran into some other tourists going my way. They were stopped at the top of a hill, and I pulled over to see if they needed any thing. They said, no, they were just pausing for the traffic. I asked where they were going, and they said San Francisco. Me, too, I replied. I asked where they were stopping for the night and they said Astoria. Me, too, I replied. I asked where they might go after that, and I think that this was the point that they figured that I might be interested in riding along with them. So they said something vague and I got the point and moved on.

I finally got to Astoria about 4 pm. I found a bike shop to get some chain lube, and then found my hotel. It's ... well, not expensive.

The rain paused in the evening, so I walked into town and checked things out. After grabbing dinner at a microbrewery, I went to an old movie theatre downtown and watched "Despicable Me 2." Although the movie was only so-so, the theatre owners are doing a great job trying to bring it back.

At the bike shop, the guy selling me my lube told me that this was the first real rain that they've had all summer. It was not what I wanted to hear. Hopefully, it will be brief.

No comments:

Post a Comment