I donned my earplugs to help dampen the nearby camper sounds, and it seemed to work. I was asleep before dark. There is a prediction of 40% chance of rain today (and 90% tomorrow), so I got going early. Fun fact: this was the first campground where I did not hear a car alarm go off.
My intended route is to get to Fort Stevens, west of Astoria, Oregon
If rain comes heavy enough I will duck into a campsite at Cape Deception, north of the border.
I proceeded down to the south end of the Willapa Bay. Along the way down I saw my very first porcupine, unfortunately it was roadkill on Hwy 101. It started sprinkling as I reached SeaView, WA, so I stopped for breakfast at a local diner, which seemed to be the only one around. The wait was 20 minutes in the on-and-off sprinkles. Getting a hot cup of coffee did wonders for my chilled bones.
The sprinkling had stopped by the time I finished grocery shopping a block away. This is the point I needed to decide to commit to another 30 miles or roll down the road just a bit to Cape Deception. The name sounded so negative and the sky looked less threatening, so off to Oregon it is!
I had a nice tailwind and generally decent road shoulder to ride on. Best of all, there are no logging trucks and fewer semi trucks today — is that because it is Saturday?
I did check Airbnb to see what a cheap room might cost here– over $200 a night! It turns out this is “Kite Weekend” on the coast and it’s draws a big crowd, even in the rain.
So, off to Astoria! The big deal here is crossing the mouth of the Columbia River : a bridge crossing of a whopping 4.1 miles with about a 2.5 foot shoulder for bikes to ride in.
Plus, the Astoria side throws in a quarter mile 7% grade, just because. There were a bunch of fishing boats out where the current was strong– fishing for salmon, I’m assuming.
I made it to the Astoria side without incident
And I’m now in Oregon! Traffic wouldn’t let me get closer, but that is the official “Welcome to Astoria” sign. I wanted to see Astoria, but was worried about rain so continued on to Fort Stevens to get a campsite.
I arrived at a full campground but (a) the hiker/biker sites are not reservable, and (b) they do not turn away bikers. There’s one other biker camped here. What’s really cool is that REI has funded the installation of bike service areas, including bike pump, bike tools, and lockers with power! Kudos to REI!
It started sprinkling at 5pm so we ate hasty dinners and dove in our tents. I brought a sheet of aft, waterproof Tyvec to shield my bike from rain, but now it seems silly: the bike will get wet anyways if I ride in the rain and now I’ll have to carry a large, wet cloth.
It is now 6pm and raining steadily and supposed to continue to do so through tomorrow evening. Not sure if much biking will be done tomorrow.
Thanks for reading!