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Published: September 5th 2018
Oregon 2018. Astoria.
Yesterday we saw several deer crossing the road but unfortunately we saw several which had come to grief at the roadside. One thing that we thought was a great idea was the cycle tool stations on the cycle trails. The tools and track pumps were chained down so secure and still usable by all. The locals don’t seem to bother collecting free fruit here. Perhaps they have plenty of money, or they have lost the basic skills for baking. We saw apple trees galore with fruit falling on the floor untouched. The same with plums, which we appreciated greatly on our way into Vernonia. The occasional pear tree was also shedding its bounty and blackberries galore, which went well with my peanut butter sandwich for lunch today.
The accommodation last night was extremely good with excellent food and rooms from our hosts Sandy and Glen. They even packed up a sandwich and fruit to feed us on the way since there is no food until just before Astoria. At breakfast we saw grey squirrels frolicking about in the field outside and a Jay flying about. It was Bill’s birthday today so Sandy made him blueberry pancakes, which are
After leaving at 9.30, after the mist had cleared, we headed north going up and down following the Nehalem river and crossing it on about six occasions as it meandered along. There were properties alongside the road in various states of repair, some with old style barns with unusal roofs which were very pleasant on the eye. Many had old tractors, trucks and machinery lined up outside rusting away. I was surprised to see families living in old caravans and RV’s and just further along quite posh houses. As we left the river the climbing started through the forest with little of interest to see, apart from the tarmac or someone’s back wheel as we ground our way up. The descent was quite pleasant, as always and I stopped for my sandwich as it was 1.30. Two miles further on was the Olney Saloon at 47 miles, where several of the group were eating and drinking. I joined them and asked the waitress for an Americano, since we are in America, she said, ’We only have drip coffee’. What the hell is drip coffee? Anyway, I thought I would go for it. No sugar appeared so I asked
for sugar. She said ’ You got it’. I said No, you got it’. She then replied, ’You got it’. This could have gone on for a while so I gave in. The run into Astoria took us along undulating roads which eventually came alongside the Young’s River which spreads out at the coast into a wide estuary spanned by two bridges. The longest, of which, we will cycle across tomorrow on our way south. The Astoria Motel is right through town and up on a promontory overlooking the sea. A long trek but a tremendous view. I would have preferred to be in town but no one had enough rooms if the required configuration for our group with single beds and doubles. This meant a 30 minute walk into the edge of town for our evening meal, but we needed the exercise, so no problem. Going down the highway was a bit hazardous with little margin and busy so we returned using a footpath and urban roads to get back to the Astoria Crest Motel. The destination was called Rogues Restaurant on a pier sharing a warehouse used to process fish and crabs in the daytime. The meal was
very good with me having a glass of porter, battered salmon and chips with coleslaw. Others had salad and burgers and various craft beers. We started back to the noise of sea lions barking by the harbour wall, just as the sun had set, to a beautiful red sky with the bridge highlighted and a ship with all its deck lights on in the harbour. A fitting end to a great day.
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