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  My Tours: Pac West Tour 2007 - Journal Day 1

Friday 08/10/07 - Portland to Cannon Beach

I slept okay during the night.  I awoke when the trains would make their way along the river but it wasn't their fault.  I was too excited about the day to come.  Soon enough it was time to get up and start the day.  I showered, dressed, and came downstairs to pack up my gear.  Breakfast was oatmeal, fruit, and pop tarts.  I began taking care of the little things.  Packing up the BOB Bag, getting the helmet, gloves, filling up the water bottles, and the putting on the shoes.

The time had arrived.  I brought the bike, trailer, and BOB bag downstairs and hooked everything up.  I posed for the beginning picture, mounted up, and headed off down the road.  After a few blocks I found the handlebars still weren't adjusted right.  I decided to pull over and give it another adjustment.  I leaned the bike and trailer up against a building and made the necessary adjustments.  When I went to put the tools back that's when I noticed them missing, the water bottles.  I had filled up the water bottles in the kitchen.  I got distracted and left them sitting on the sink counter.  I'm now 10 to 15 minutes away and I have no water. 

I quickly called Nancy who in the meantime had tried calling me.  She was about 5 minutes behind me and was in route, riding her bike.  It wasn't long before she came up.  I felt bad for making her chase me all the way up the hill but so appreciative of bring them.  We said goodbye once more and I continued up the hill.

Coming out of downtown Portland it was a heck of a climb.  Once at the top I was greeted with my first tunnel.  But this one had a nice feature that none of the others did, a little bike lane detour that went around the side of the mountain so that I didn't have to go through the tunnel at all.  Too bad they're not all like that.

After climbing the hills it was time to head down.  I was still getting used to the trailer and the feel of it.  I tried to keep the speed down for now.  I was soon on the other side of town and now entering Highway 26.  This would take me all the way to the coast.  This part of 26 was heavy with traffic.  Plenty of room on the side of the road for bikes with a rumble strip between the cars and the bike lane.  Lots of stuff along the side of the road to put a hole in your tube so you've got to be watching.  The further away from Portland I got the fewer houses, business, and suburbs there were.

It was about 11 am when I found myself about 35 miles away from my starting point.  I decided now was a good time for lunch.  A sign ahead was telling me that there was food and gas at the next exit.  So I decided to give it a try.  I pulled off and found that there was a subway, the first of many that I would see along the way.  I pulled my rig up along the front of the building and went in.

I decided to get a foot long, half for now and half for a snack later.  I enjoyed the sandwich, drink, and chips and then just sat there for a bit.  Well break is over time to get back on the bike.  I merged back onto the freeway feeling full but not stuffed.  Traffic was getting lighter the further West I traveled.

The four lane highway turned into two, and then it was down to one lane each way, that is when the real climbing began.  Up until this point it was a bit of rolling hills, not the mountains loomed ahead.  On one of the first climbs it was near the top that I pulled over to the side to take a breather.  It wasn't that difficult but it wasn't easy either.  My only problem was I didn't have a profile for the day like I did once I hit the coast so I had no idea what I would be doing today. 

Down the back side and I was really on a roll.  There's nothing like flying down a hill at 35 miles and hour, especially when you have 60 pounds of gear pushing you down the hill.  Soon enough I was at the bottom starting the next climb.  During the next couple of hours I when up and down many tree lined views.  There were part of the road that allowed for plenty of room on the side and then at time it shrank down a little bit, but still plenty of room to spare.

Around 2:30 pm I came upon a rest stop and decided this was the perfect point to eat the rest of the sandwich.  This rest stop had rest rooms, picnic benches, and a nice grassy area.  I sat there eating the afternoon snack watching people come and go in their cars.  A few people would look my way smile and keep on their way.  I decided to lay down on the seat of the bench and take a little cat nap.  The clouds where starting to clear up and the sun felt very good.  I filled up on the water bottles and then it was time to hit the road once again.

Along the way I keep seeing little side stands in front of houses and farms advertising fresh fruit, vegetables, beef jerky, and ice cold lemonade.  Oooh, Ice Cold Lemonade, that sounds nice, so after I came flying down a hill, after a hard climb I decided to pull over for an ice cold lemonade.  I parked, got out my wallet, and came up and asked for some ice cold lemonade.  "I'm sorry we're all out."  Okay, how about an ice cold soda.  "Sorry we're all out of that too."  Okay how about an ice cold water? "That will be $2.00."  I took my ice cold water and pretended that it was an ice cold anything else.  Break is over, it's time to climb again.

The climbing is getting harder and steeper.  The next hour is spent doing nothing but going up.  I keep looking at the mileage to see how many miles I've done for the day.  I figure I've got at least another 10 to 15 miles but I'm not sure.  Soon I'm at the top and pass a sign that says Coastal Range elevation 1300.  Now it's time to go down the hill, really fast for the next 3 miles.  But it doesn't last as long as the climb that's for sure. 

During the next hour I climb one more hill and then finally I see a sign telling me that Highway 101 is soon, very soon.  With the end in site I get that second wind of the day and pick up the pace.  Speaking of second wind, you can tell when you are getting close to the coast, you feel the temperature drop a bit and there is that smell in the air.  Finally signs are up ahead, 101 North to Astoria/Seaside, 101 South to Cannon Beach. 

Once I hit Highway 101 I head South for Cannon Beach.  It was only another 4 miles before I hit my destination for the day.  I made my way off the highway and went underneath to Wrights Campground.  Wrights is a small family run campground that I had found on the Internet.  There are only 20 or so campsites neatly tucked in together.  I had called and made a reservation back in July to make sure I would have a spot for the night.  They told me that they never turn away cyclists but you know me I wanted to be sure.

I started to unload all of the gear and get the tent setup.  I had to stop and look at the directions for setting up the tent, it had been two years since I used it.  After a quick read the tent was setup and ready to load up with the gear for the night.  Next it was time to eat.  It wasn't the best dinner I've made but it sure tasted good.  I think anything at this point would have tasted good.  I headed over to shower and clean up.  There's nothing like a good shower after a long days ride.

I found around the backside of the restrooms that they had a coin operated washer and dryer.  I decided to do a quick load of laundry and then turn in for the night.  After writing my notes for the day and ready the maps for the next day it was time to turn in.  I lay there in the tent knowing I would be sound asleep soon enough.  I was very pleased with the day.  It had been a difficult day but I made it without problem.  Can't wait for another.


Pictures for the Day

The official start of the journey from Portland, OR. Notice anything missing?  Look where are the water bottles go, doh! Water bottles in their proper place it's time to head up the hill. My first tunnel of the trip, just outside of Portland. Off the back roads and onto the main highway towards the coast.
Where Christmas Trees come from. Pulled over at an old gas station for a breather. Before I head up the next hill. Tunnel number 2! Heading up the hill taking a break.
Looking back down the hill at break time. Looking at the view from the top of the hill. Heading back onto the road. At the rest stop eating the second half of a  subway sandwich. If I've got to climb one more hill.
We're almost there, reaching the top of the last hill. Finally at the end of Highway 26 I arrive at Highway 101. Camp for the night at Wrights Campground in Cannon Beach, Oregon.    


Daily Stats

Rider: Devin Holmes
Time Left: 8:15 am
Time Arrived: 6:30 pm
Max mph: 38.0
Avg mph: 11.9
Distance:  79.88
Actual Time Riding: 6:41:34
Camp Fee: $23.50
Total Cost for today: $33.50


Copyright 2003-2013 Devin Holmes