Pat and Sari's Honeymoon Bike Ride

Monday, June 23, 2008
Seaside, OR to Astoria, OR
18 miles (5114 total miles)

Today was a ridiculously short day - 18 miles - but we wanted to stop at a bike shop in Astoria for a check-up. The bike came through pretty well, we had the disc brake pads replaced and adjusted the other brakes, checked the gears and chains - everything looked pretty good. The bike shop guy noticed the bracket on the front pedal was beginning to wear, but he didn't have a replacement. We're thinking we'll just keep an eye on it and get it fixed if it gets worse.

We slept in a little this morning and left the motel around 7:45, stopping for breakfast in town (Seaside), then headed up 101 for the last time. It was cloudy and chilly again today, no fog or rain. It was an easy ride so we just zipped along, savoring the coastal scenery one last time. There were marshes and dunes, with lots of yellow flowering plants to our left, and mountains, pastures and occasional houses to our right. We started seeing some references to Lewis & Clark waystations - Fort Stevens, in particular.

We soon came to Young's Bay, with Astoria coming into view on the other side. Young's Bay is another large bay with marshy mud flats at the edges. We went past several shore birds on the mud flats or in the rivulets of water in these marshy areas. The bridge we were on was flat and fairly low over the water; we saw another bridge going from Astoria over to the Washington side of the bay, across the mouth of the Columbia River, that was very high up in the air. I was sure glad we weren't going on that one. When we arrived in Astoria, we swung around on 101 to Rt. 30, which will be our main route tomorrow and stopped at our motel at about 10 am. Luckily, they had a room ready for us, so we unloaded the bike and rode it over to the bike shop, about 6 blocks away. Besides having a really good bike mechanic, Scott, I was very impressed that the shop had the good sense to locate right next to a really good coffee shop. After the bike had had its physical, we went there for lunch.

We spent the afternoon working out the details for our next two days on the road. Funnily enough, although all our riding on those 2 days will be in Oregon, we'll spend the nights across the Columbia River in Washington! Wednesday night we'll be staying with folks we met back in April at an RV park in Marathon, TX. They were kind enough to give us their address and phone number and told us to look them up when we were in the area. They live in Vancouver, WA, just across the river from Portland. We'll actually be imposing on them for 2 nights, since we had planned to have a rest day in Portland to map out the next week's route. We ended the day at 18 miles in 1-3/4 hours of bike time - the first time we've hit an 11 mph average since the start of our trip on the flatter parts of the east coast! But things will be back to normal tomorrow - more hills.

The Necanicum River outside of Seaside

Forested hills and farms on the east side of 101

Sign for Fort Stevens

Looking south on 101, mountains in the distance...

and a helicopter buzzes over (dot in the center over the mountains)

At the edges of Young's Bay

Marsh plants and mud flats in the bay

Little rivulets of water cut channels through and around the mud

The bay has more water on the ocean side of the bridge

The bridge from Astoria to Washington

You can faintly see the tail end of the bridge going to Washington

More water channels in the mud

Shore birds walking through the mud looking for food

Ducks in the water at the edge of the mud flats

A heron waits serenely as the ducks feed

Astoria comes into view on the north side of the bay

To the west, a strip of Washington blocks the view of the ocean

As we come into Astoria, we're greeted by this wood carving...

and this city marker

The bridge to Washington from underneath

The Astoria bike shop and next-door coffee house