Monday, July 28, 2008
Day 33, July 26, 2008-346 miles. Not a bad day! We got up, had a bite of breakfast, and hit the road. We had decided via coin toss to ride north and west to ride across the bridge over the Columbia River on Hwy 101. To do that, we followed the Columbia west and then north. A nice ride, parts being fairly curvy and up and down. Part was boring (Interstate parts).
About 3 hours after leaving the motel, we came to the bridge. Up until almost the bridge, the weather was pleasant; almost warm and some sun mixed with clouds. Approaching the bridge, the weather worsened rapidly, with cold and mist as we rode across the big bridge. All in all, I was disappointed. It was not as big nor high as I had understood it to be. Not to be unfair, the Columbia is a very big, wide river at that point. I didn't measure it, but I would imagine it was at least 2 miles across, with one part probably 200 feet above the water. Not a small bridge by any standard, but not what I expected.
After crossing it northbound, we turned around on the north shore and rode across it again so we could be on Hwy 101, the road we wanted to ride south on.
Hwy 101 was initially disappointing, as well. The first hour or so, we went through town after town, all with slow traffic and lots of congestion. Not a fun ride. Also, I had thought it would ride right along the ocean, but we had not caught a glimpse of the Pacific after riding almost 2 hours.
Then, I caught a glimpse of the Pacific, and my attitude improved. The road got closer to the water, and, as we rode south, we saw the water more and more often. The weather still was not nice; very cool (had to stop and don our liners) and mist from time to time. Not wet, but just messy and very cool.
We stopped for pics several times, trying to capture the beauty of the ocean and rocky shore. We went into one small town on the beach to get pics and get a flavor of the Oregon Beaches. It was neat, but so different from NC beaches. Huge boulders jutting up into the air from the waters. Dark sand. Cold water. Not nearly as nice as our beaches; I'll leave their beaches to them and keep ours!
Late afternoon we decided to start looking for a place to camp. The first campground we stopped in, we found a site, started unpacking, when two young girls drove up and informed us that they had reserved the site for the night. While there was no “Reserved” sign on the site, I believe they were telling the truth, so we left and rode further south.
Finally, we found a site at one of the campgrounds just north of Florence, OR. Set up camp quickly and went into town for dinner. Found a local place, the Firehouse Restaurant, where the food was great. Then back to camp and bed.
A good and interesting day.
Tomorrow—South to California