We are officially on the TransAmerica route! No more false starts or almost there stories! We have begun! And this is how is started . . .
6AM alarm, slide the curtain aside to look outside . . . FOG! Fog down to the ground! Could not even see the river, really??? On our first day? My first thought was, "but I had so many good omens yesterday"! The weather forecast was going to get worse before it got better, but we thought we could get to at least Seaside before the rain rolled in. So once again I was dragging my feet, but still moving forward and packing everything up. Lingered over breakfast at our cozy hotel, the breakfast room was so comforting and welcoming and delicious food! AND great coffee . . .see! Who would want to leave?
But we did. I think I forgot to mention yesterday that the bicycle path that took us into town was just below us at the hotel so we were able to cruise quite easily and peacefully all the way into Astoria, not having to worry about traffic at all. Off to a great start and the fog seemed to be lifting just a bit! Crazy, but you could see the sun on the shores across the river on the Washingtong side! We had our amazing new bright green rain coats on, so we felt confident we were very visible in the low light. But believe it or not the sun was already poking thru by time we got to Astoria again! My spirits immediately lifted as the sun showed its happy face!
We had to stop at the Columbia River Maritime Museum for the beginning photo! I snagged the first person we saw walking along! It was pretty early in the morning not many folks out but we found someone happy to do it! Couldn't do the feet in the water tradition for 2 reasons; we were several feet above the river and it was the river NOT the ocean! So we have to make do and will do something when we get to the real ocean!
This great bicycle path took us all the way thru town to our first turn off onto business 101 and a minor bridge to cross the water instead of main highway 101. Just riding again was so freeing, it felt really great to be rolling along, already building confidence and quickly bringing to mind our experiences of the first trip! And it just kept getting better and better!
It wasn't long and we turned off 101 onto a "bicycle friendly" road, there was even a sign to prove it! And it was friendly. We entered into the Lewis and Clark National Historic Park. Trees, birds singing, sunshine and no cars! Well very few cars and those that did happen to be out there were very respectful and generous with the room they gave us. What a relief! We had the road to ourselves and it dropped us down into the most green valley that followed the Lewis and Clark River. I thought the title of 'Most Amazing Natural Green' went to the natural green Vermont, but today Oregon took the lead! The floor of the valley was covered with vegetation that was electric green! No photo would capture it! The road rolled, rose and dropped perfectly and we pedaled our way to the coast in absolute comfort and contentment! It seemed to drop us down more than we climbed and to our surprise at the top of the last rise, we dropped down for a great long way, much longer than we thought we climbed! We made it to the coast!!!
Not being sure of how long it was going to take us to arrive in our first town, we thought it was a good idea to stop and have a look around before we made a decision whether to push on or stay put. There is two days of rain in the forecast. We wanted to make a little progress, but once we saw the beach, we knew we wanted to stay here and wait out the rain. We are trying to be kind to ourselves, not really ready to get caught in the rain in a tent yet, just not that adventurous! We were convinced to stay after speaking to a gentleman along the Promenade. One of those fun encounters that turn out to be great information moments! A family was taking turns between mom and dad to take a family beach photo so I offered to do one with all of them in it. We no sooner started chatting and another passerby overheard the conversation. Turns out there wasn't anything he didn't know about Oregon and was very helpful not only about Seaside, but making sure that when we get to Baker City Oregon we spend some time learning about the Oregon Trail! So we will! It was a memorable chat with everyone!
The clouds were quickly rolling in on us as we all chatted, I had found another screamin' deal on a hotel so we jumped at it based on the info our new Oregon advisor had just given us. The next town of Canon Beach was such a favored spot for Oregon's elite, that we would find the prices to be much higher than the screamin' deal I just found!
We got all settled into our room and of course we went for a long walk on the beach before the rain arrived! Beautiful beach, great dinner, our second visit to an American Legion! If we were looking for a place that locals hang out, we found it! A place where everyone really did know your name! At least the bartender did! It was a fun evening!
Our first official day on the road has come to a happy finish! We didn't do a lot of miles but the ones we did complete were just right! Just as we were looking forward to them being! I know they won't all be perfect days ahead, but at least we had a great start and we are feeling ready to do more!
Goodnight from us! And as always thanks for the wonderful emails and kind wonderful endless support!