What a day! So today I rode from Portland to Astoria. I left the La Quinta Inn by the portland airport in Maywood Park about 7:40 this morning. Portland was a neat city to ride through. The old downtown section was cool. But the fun ended quickly when I started climbing as I went out of the city! The hill going up West Burnside was killer. About 1000 feet of gain in about 2 miles. The rest of the burbs were fine after that.
At about mile 30, I was out of side roads and it was time to get on 26, the sunset highway. Lots of traffic, but a big wide shoulder. I didn’t go a quarter mile and had my first flat. No biggie. I just swapped tubes as I brought 2.
Just 5 miles later, another flat. Not good. In the interest of saving my last tube, I decided to patch it. Got everything back together and it wouldn’t air up! Took it back apart and found another hole. Patched that one. Upon inspection of the wheel, I noticed my rim tape was bad and had walked over. At least I found the cause. A couple patches in the rim fixed the tape problem, but when I put everything back together, it still wouldn’t take air. Took it apart again to find the patches weren’t sticking. I was a bit suspicious about them to begin with. Just didn’t like the look of them. Solution: I have some other patches! Tore the first ones off and put new patches on. Put it all back together…. Still didn’t work. The new patches wouldn’t stick either. At this point I’m completely frustrated and quite honestly a little scared. I have one more tube, but if I use it and have another flat, I’m still 70 miles from my destination and a bike store. With no choice, I get out my last tube only to find that somehow I managed to put an old tube in my gear when I was packing back home. This one has a patch on it. Good grief. Hopefully it will take air. It did. Of course I was all puckered up the rest of the way as I hit every bump, but I made it just fine.
The rest of the ride was mostly uneventful, but full of gorgeous scenery. All the pictures of the northwest just can’t do it justice. EVERYTHING is green and lush. Most things are covered in moss and ferns. The trees are huge! Even the aspens, which are dwarfed by the firs and pines, are enormous. It seems most of the biggest trees have been harvested. I have seen stumps that look to have 6-8′ diameters. The stumps seem to be their own little ecosystem, as they have all manner of fauna growing out of them. I even saw an evergreen about 2′ in diameter and probably 100′ tall growing right in the center of a huge stump. Amazing!
When I arrived in Astoria, it was too late to carry on to the other side of town and go to the campsite I had intended on staying at, so I went to the hostel. The Norblad is a hostel/hotel that is the oldest hotel in town. Built in 1923, the architecture is really cool. Everything has been restored and renovated as of 2007 and it is very nice.
Burger King was my choice for dinner. After the long day, I figure I’ll be ok with a little fast food. Love me a tendercrisp!
Total time- 10:00
Average moving speed-13.59