Monday, October 1, 2012

Day 6: Long Beach, WA to Cannon Beach, OR

51 miles

I took advantage of the shorter ride today to take my time to appreciate the beautiful scenery. I began with a four mile ride through sand dunes on the Discovery Trail Bike Path. The sun had been up only a short time and the grasses were still covered in dew. The path continued for a couple more miles through a wooded forest as we headed away from the Pacific.

I rejoined US 101, or "The 101", as it turned inland toward the Astoria Bridge over the mouth of the Columbia River. This is a major thoroughfare with logging trucks and all manner and sizes of RV's towing vehicles. I went through a short tunnel with no bike lane. Fortunately no cars were in my lane during my time in the tunnel, but the noise and vibration were disconcerting nonetheless.

The Astoria Bridge is two lanes and more than three miles in length with a narrow bike lane. The final half mile crosses the shipping channel and has a very steep grade. It was really difficult to hold a straight line while crawling up this grade with the trucks and RV's within touching distance.

Columbia River estuary

Columbia River mouth toward Astoria Bridge

Columbia River mouth toward Pacific
Once through the town of Astoria the route ventured off The 101 onto Lewis and Clark Road, a very pleasant, albeit hilly, country road through farming territory.

Seaside fisherman catching crab
Near ride's end I came to the town of Seaside which has a lovely promenade along the beachfront. I stopped for some chowder before the final push into Cannon Beach which included a two mile granny gear incline over the ridge before the brisk descent to town.

The weather was perfect today. I began riding in the high 40's and it was in the low 80's in the early afternoon. The weather just held for our evening dinner prepared my our master chef, Patty. As usual we gathered outside to eat and for the nightly map meeting where we discuss the next day's ride. I felt a few drops of moisture as the meeting was drawing to a close.

As the clouds rolled in it made for some dramatic conditions to view Haystack Rock,a 235 foot sea stack adjacent to the beach.

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