Day 3: Cathlamet, WA – Garibaldi, OR

After traveling alongside the Columbia River for about 30 miles the previous day, we finally crossed it via ferry to reach Oregon!!

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In Oregon, we were greeted by towns named “Wauna” and “Knappa” and headed for Astoria, a fairly big shipping and fishing town in this neck of the woods (pop. 10,000). We found ourselves off route, when Yauncey came by and asked of we needed help. He lives about 15miles south of Astoria and bikes to the city three days a week to go swimming. He guided us back on route and told us about Astoria’s new economy in tourism, the dying fishing industry, and where to get lunch en route to Seaside. Another pleasant encounter with someone who knew their way around!

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About 40 miles outside of Astoria, we ran into Tommy, a fellow touring cyclist headed to San Francisco. He had started in Vancouver about a week ago and was traveling solo.

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Our next treat was riding into Seaside, because it was the first time we saw the Pacific. All day, we followed the Oregon coast and were amazed by its majestic beauty and size.

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We approached Canon Beach, OR, which is eerily similar to East Coast beach towns in like Provincetown and Hyannis. But we did get to see Haystack Rock, an impressive 245ft rock jutting out about 50 ft from shore. The pictures don’t give it justice.

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Today’s ride had some climbs, but at the top we were always rewarded with a breathtaking view of the Oregon coast.

Total miles: 91.5 miles

Weather: 50s and chilly morning, 70s during the day (tan lines developing)

Biking conditions: We rode on 101 for most of day, which is the road we’ll be traveling down for the majority of the trip. It was traffic-y, but that was expected. We had a wonderful 20 mile stretch out of Astoria that was an English country-like road with no traffic.

Camping review: We stayed at the Biak-by-the-sea RV park; $21 for the night; hot shower; grocery store nearby. Grade: B

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Day 2: Centralia, WA – Cathlamet, WA

Groggy from our 3am wake up call, we left Centralia (aka Hub City) southward bound for Cathlamet. Peaceful farms, cows and horses were the themes for the first 40 miles. It was especially nice when the sun finally broke through.

After lunch in Castle Rock, we had a massive 3 mile climb but were rewarded on the downhill with a spectacular view of Mt. Rainier and Mt. St. Helens.

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The route took us to Route 4 along the Columbia River, which was brutal due to the traffic, short shoulder, headwinds and sun. But we made it to camp and passed out at 8:30 haha! Unfortunately, there wasn’t any cell or wifi service but it was probably better since we pretty much fell asleep once we sat down. Look through our pictures for tidbits of our day!

Total miles: 81.5

Weather: 50 degree temperatures to start out the day and very foggy, but it warmed up to a high of 94 by this afternoon.

Riding condition: up and downs, rolling hills and a rough headwind for the last 20 miles along the Columbia River.

Campground review: $9.16 for our tent site behind a Chevron gas station (no joke). $0.75 for hot hot hot showers + PB & J sandwiches = 10 hours of sleep. Hammock grounding experiment (aka no two trees close by). Grade: B

Day 1: Rookie mistake #1

1) Do not camp near a railroad track, especially near a railroad crossing.

I wish I had captured audio of what we heard at 3:30 am but it’s probably for the best since it might damage your ear drums. Jesus Christ, trains are so freakin loud. We thought that there wouldn’t be any other trains after the first and that we could go to bed…but no. Trains went by every half hour, for the next three hours. So much for a full night’s rest!

The picture below is taken from where the hammock stood. What were we thinking?? If Yoo Mi was with us, I guarantee this wouldn’t have happened!!!

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Day 1: Seattle to Centralia, WA (cont.)

What started off as an overcast day, finally became sunny, around 4pm. And as the clouds cleared, we had a clear view of Mt. Rainier. Stunning. Also at this time, we had a slight tailwind (yes!) to help us get through the next 20 miles to our destination.

During the day, we met out first bike touring buddies (the first of many I hope!). Unfortunately, we didn’t catch their names, but they are from Holland and are two days away from finishing their trip, which started on May 20 in Virginia. They followed the Trans-Am route and were heading north for Seattle. They raved about the beauty of rural America and the Tetons, but wished that Yellowstone limited the number of cars in the park. And they highly recommended that we use http://www.warmshowers.org during our travels. For those who do not know about this site, it’s a place where people open their homes to traveling hikers and bikers. I’ve never used it, but it may be handy one day!

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All-in-all a very successful day that ended with a hot shower at camp, clear weather and a good night’s sleep…or so we thought…

Day 1: Seattle to Shelton, pre-lunch

Wake up call this morning was at 4:30am (!!!), since we were taking the Seattle-Brementon ferry at 6am. We truly hit the road at 7:10am in Brementon, heading south.

Currently, we’re in Shelton, WA, about 40 miles southwest-ish of Seattle. It could have been 56 miles if it weren’t for Mr. Rick Allen, who saved us from a map reading error (I take full responsibility), re-routed us and got us back on track with minimal damage (only one mile more than our intended route).

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It’s been a chilly morning with an average temperature around 60 degrees and overcast. We’ve only had one hill in Union, WA that left us slightly panting but it is the first day, so we’re not quite in ‘touring’ shape. Now en route to Centralia–65 miles away!

P.s. We’ve added a photo gallery (linked to our Flickr account) to the right sidebar (for mobile users, this feature is found at the bottom of the page). We’ll be adding pictures there throughout the trip, so be sure to check them out!