Tuesday, more farmland, and the Columbia River

Tuesday was a long but good day. I slept well in the city park and woke up early. It was after eight though by the time I packed, ate, and got on the road. It was a weekday but the town was strangely quiet with no cars on the road and no signs of activity in the houses.

I have been checking my adventure cycling maps for the next destination and then letting the google maps lady navigate me there. Today they both agreed today and led me along back roads through farmland, much like yesterday. There was a numbered road I could have taken but this was much quieter and more scenic – and again very quiet with almost no traffic or signs of activity in the farms.

About the half way point of this segment I had to gear down, and then gear down more. The road looked flat. My tires looked fine. What was going on? Why was it getting more and more difficult? Then, I realized the tree tops in the distance were getting lower and lower, and I was obviously climbing. And, I climbed, and climbed, grinding my way up until I decided this was crazy. My knee had been bothering me a bit and especially hated climbing so I decided to take a break and walk. So, I walked, and walked, and walked, probably about two miles! Sheesh, it felt like I was climbing the Panama mountain to Boquete. But, I had planned a shorter day and I had time, so no problem.

Of course whatever goes up eventually comes back down, and did it ever! What seemed like a sweaty two hour climb came down in an intense, chilly two minute descent (not exactly but it felt like it). But, if I hadn’t taken this route I never would have seen the bald eagles, and they were magnificent.

I eventually made it to highway 4, close to my destination. I detoured a little to do some grocery shopping and then headed to the RV park. No, we don’t have tent camping here! We are not licensed for that. But, how can you have people writing reviews about your tent sites? I don’t know. I’ve only been here nine days. *sigh* not this again. She said she had seen tents on the beach though and recommended I go there, only a mile up the road. I was anxious to see the Columbia River and camping on the beach sounded like great fun, so I set off.

It was a pretty ride to the beach which turned out to be 3 1/2 miles, and posted with no overnight camping. I could have chanced it but just my luck I would be discovered and run out at the end of the day in the dark with nowhere else to go, not a good prospect. I hadn’t seen any other possibilities either between there and Cathlamet, my destination for the next day. I was feeling good, it was 22 miles, and it seemed the best plan was to cycle on. I also knew there was a hotel in Cathlamet, so I enlisted one of my daughters to call and be sure they had a room.

You would think a road that follows a river would be flat. But, noooo, there were some serious hills and though I felt a lot stronger than I had in the morning, I still ended up walking up a couple of them. Of course more fast, chilling downhills followed. The rest of the time though I zoomed along the flat portions and made good time. Nothing like the reward of a hotel at the other end to keep you going. The ride was so beautiful! The river and the scenery were spectacular, and I was excited to have come so far that I could see Oregon on the other side.

Today is Wednesday and there is nothing to report. I have been in the hotel overcome with inertia. But, my bags have been emptied and sorted, my clothes and myself are washed, my photos, blog and correspondence are caught up, and I finally made it out the door for some pizza.

Tomorrow, I will be out the door and headed for Oregon!


About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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16 Responses to Tuesday, more farmland, and the Columbia River

  1. Carole says:

    Looks like all is going well for you. Congratulations on making it this far.


  2. tombseekers says:

    Your pictures are beautiful. It must be so beautiful in the spring, the purple tree is gorgeous


  3. Linda says:

    Such beautiful pictures Kris. I just can’t believe there are so few places to pitch a tent! Holy smokes! But you are making your way. Bravo! Thanks for keeping us in the loop. Sweet dreams! and see you soon!


    • I know, who would have thought! Some cyclists just find an out of the way place in the woods to camp but I’m just not comfortable with that. What if I needed help of some kind, or the landowner’s guard dog found me, or something? It looks like there are tons of parks in Oregon though and they are open, so it will be better now.


  4. wynnekwilson says:

    Kris, your stamina is amazing. Not t mention your photography. I too am surprised that so few places allow you to camp but hopefully Oregon will be kinder to you. Bet you enjoyed the hotel facilities and that you feel refreshed and ready to set off again. Take good care.


    • I biked a lot in Panama, and took lots of photos too so that helped. I checked the Oregon parks website and it looks like there are tons of parks and they are all open so it should be much easier now. Thanks 🙂


  5. Oh Kris…your doing great and seeing so much beauty that you’d never see from a car. Such a bummer that there is so little tent camping to be had, but in classic Kris style you seem to take it in stride! Your journey is so fun to witness….Love ya!!


    • That the thing with a bike. Seeing the world at 10mph is a whole different experience. I wasn’t too happy about the camping problems but what to do you? Find another plan. It’s going to be better in Oregon.


  6. This is so much fun to travel with you virtually. Beautiful scenery and bald eagles! Oh my! Have you seen other bikers along the way? I hope there are more camping spots in Oregon. You must have some mighty powerful legs now with all those hills you are climbing.


    • I know, eagles, cool eh! I haven’t seen any other bikers. maybe I will in Oregon where I think pretty much everyone takes the coastal route I’m headed for. They say after three weeks or so of biking you really get used to it and feel better, so we will see how those hills are in another couple weeks. I hope it’s good because there is a famous big one in northern CA.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. ME BE in Panama says:

    Thanks for another great post, and wonderful pix. Good to see you’re taking care of yourself, too. Keep ’em coming!


  8. Bond McCamy says:

    We’re enjoying reading these posts, Kris, and love the pictures too!


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