Day 1: Sunday, May 19, 2013
Astoria to Nehalem Bay StatePark: 49 miles
|A view of Astoria|
|The Astoria Column|
We lazed into the first actual day of the trip, climbing the Astoria Column and flying gliders off the top. That, I suspect, will be my only glider experience on the trip. We made a wise decision not to try to pack a sailplane, even one like the Alula, that breaks down into a relatively small package. By the time I had finished packing, my bags weighed something like 85 pounds! I think I overpacked.
It was 11:00 before I departed. We couldn't find a convenient and scenic spot to dip a wheel, so I walked down to the river for a handful of estuarial water and baptized my handlebar bag. De drove back to a cycle shop to pick up a rearview mirror and water bottle - items I had forgotten to pack - and then drove back to find me along the route. We had lunch - leftovers from the night before - and then went our separate ways: she home to the humdrum callings of job and family, I forward on my big adventure.
The riding was relatively easy the first day. I think they do that just to give you a false sense of security. I cruised along the Lewis and Clark River and past many markers commemorating Lewis and Clark, on through the towns of Seaside, Cannon Beach, and Manzanita. Yes, there are cannons at Cannon Beach, from the wreck of a ship in the mid-19th century. Once the route joined coastal Highway 101, it became quite a bit more hilly, rising to surmount the headlands that jutted out into the ocean and then falling back down to water level. One such headland was thoughtfully provided with a tunnel - a rather unpleasant experience for cyclists, as the tunnel amplified the vehicle noise to an unbelievable extent, and the shoulder was practically nonexistent. But biker-activated flashing lights provided at least a semblance of safety.
|The Oregon coast|
The campground at Nehalem Bay State Park has a biker/hiker area, and three other groups were there: two single guys and a family from Utah, all of whom were out to see a little of the coast. One of the guys, Dave, was about my age, and from Idaho, a semi-retired tour guide and home contractor. He had driven to Astoria to help maintain his sister's B&B, Clementine's, in Astoria. We spent a pleasant evening together around the campfire.
|First night's campfire|