Day 20 – I got up way too late, but it was expected after such a long night. It was slow going, getting ready and packing for the trip to Astoria. It was going to be a bit of back tracking. I had to ride back up the 30 to where I crossed over from Longview, WA. But I’m a huge Goonies fan and I couldn’t miss Astoria, being so close. I grabbed some supplies and said my goodbyes. I was on the road after 12:30pm.
I had 60 miles to go, with a big climb at the very end. It was going to be a long day. I crossed through the homes of Portlandia and made my way to the river. Over the Hawthorne bridge, and I was in downtown. I was going to really miss this place.
It took me about an hour before I was on 30 and making my way north. The ride wasn’t too bad coming out of town. Very few hills. I kept at it until I made it to St. Helens. There my stomach was growling and I needed a bit of a break. I stopped at the same McD’s that I did on the way down. I’m not a fan of fast food, but I needed to save some cash after my splurge in Portland.
I continued onward and slowly made my way to Rainier, OR. The sun was getting low and I knew that final 700ft climb was just ahead. I swigged some Gatorade and made the final push. The pace was slow and the incline was grueling. I stopped for a break and checked the map. I was less than a 3rd of the way up. I continued on up a winding back road in my lowest gear. My feet were spinning, but I was barely moving. Up and up and up. I had to stop again for a break. I was two thirds of the way to the top. When would it end! I hopped on my steed and resumed the endless pedaling. Eventually the ground leveled off and then I was going down hill. I passed a school and made the turn to a little campground.
Thankfully there were spots available. They were all $20 sites. I wasn’t excited to spend that much to camp, but glad to have a place to sleep. I decided to roll around and look for a good spot. As I was about to head back to the main board to pay for a site, an older woman and her daughter asked if I was looking for a spot. I said yeah, and they told me I could set up next to their RV and share their site for the night.
Mackenzie was the mother, Teresa was the daughter. Teresa’s husband was Ed and they had 3 kids running about. They were very friendly. I set up my tent and took a shower. When I got back they cooked dinner and offered me a plate. I couldn’t resist. They made pork chops, mashed potatoes and corn. The meat was perfectly tender. I devoured my plate and they gave me seconds. I sucked down two more chops and another serving of potatoes and corn.
We all sat up late talking and Mackenzie and Teresa reminisced about their days growing up in the mountains of Montana. I was so thankful to run into them. Camping on this trip can be lonely and I usually cook beans and eat PB&Js. This was a nice change. I went to bed with a full stomach and more great memories. – This is a photo of the Hawthorne Bridge in Portland.
(Repost of my 2014 Pacific Coast Tour Instagrams)