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!