Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Day 8

May 30

Today I finally made it through Washington! One down, effectively 4 to go. Yep, California.

I was really worn out by the time I arrived today. It was probably the flattest day, but it just seemed long and Oregon greeted me with a head wind for the last 20 miles. I rode a total of 67.69 miles today-my longest day yet.

 It was a mostly boring day until I got to Longview, WA, just at the border. I ate some lunch, took a 15 minute nap and tried to pass through the town. You know how nice it is when you're driving through a city and you realize that all the lights are timed correctly so that you get a green light every time? Well when you're going biking speed, those timed lights end up giving you a red light every single time. I rode about 10 blocks and got the red light ever time. It couldn't help but laugh at how ridiculous it was even though it took me forever to get through town. This made me realize that my route-making skills aren't as good as Adventure Cycling's route-making skills. For the ride to Portland I had to do google maps and I didn't do the best job.

I got through Longview finally and started crossing the Lewis and Clark bridge over the Colombia River into Oregon. The route to Longview followed the Cowlitz river, which seemed like a quite large river, at least compared to Colorado rivers. I knew the Columbia must be huge in order for the Cowlitz to fit into it. It was the second largest river I've ever seen in person, second to the Mississippi, and definitely the biggest river I've crossed by bike. Well I rode over the bridge and it was officially the most annoying bridge I have ever gone over on a bike. It was a 2 lane road with a good shoulder on each side, but the problem was that the entire lane was covered in wood and bark chips. I mean COMPLETELY covered, making biking across the very long bridge a pain in the rear.

After crossing the river I had a slight head wind for the rest of the ride to Scapoose, OR. I took a break at a pull-over and sat down to take a 15 minute nap and a state police officer came up to make sure I was okay. Yep just taking a nap here on the side of the road. Don't mind me.

I pulled up to my campground, which was an RV park, and pulled my little bike into one of the huge spots for RVs. If your bike is confident it can park wherever the heck it wants to. As I was filling out the payment envelope an old lady, who was the campground host, came up and started talking to me. She was really nice and very interested in the trip, so she asked me for my blog address and told me that if I needed anything at all to just ask her. She told me to set up my tent under a pavilion in their field since it was supposed to rain that night. Sweet!

Later on that night 2 other cyclists pulled up and started pitching their tents. I went over to meet them and they were just starting a Trans-America tour from Astoria, OR to Maine-A ridiculously long ride. One of them had experience doing a short tour before, but the other guy was just as new to touring as I was. So we were able to joke about how we have no idea what we're doing, complaining about heavy bikes, long hills and rain. While I was talking to them, the campground host came back over carrying 3 glad-ware containers. "Here's some apple pie for you boys." We couldn't help but laugh because her generosity completely surprised us. We said thank-you, talked for a bit longer then headed to bed.

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