Trip Report: Southwest WA and Northern Oregon

I recently completed my longest bike packing trip to date - 9 days, 250 miles from Olympia WA to Newport OR with Colleen and Matt from Olympia.  (I know that many of you in TWBC have done longer trips, but I started later in life, and I'm pleased with this effort.)   We started in Olympia and by time we were in Tumwater, we were in heavy rain which lasted  for three days.  When we crossed the Megler bridge to Astoria, the wind rain was blowing rain sideways.  Beyond Astoria, it was mostly clear and  sunny.  Except for one night in a motel in Ilwaco to dry out and one stay in yurt because of wind and light rain, we camped in hiker-biker camp sites. 

At Debo Bay we were entertained by school of Gray Whales.  Colleen said it was the first time out of her 6 rides down the Oregon coast, that she had seen whales.   It is noteworthy that bicycles are no longer allowed in the 4-mile long Cape Arches tunnel.   While cars go through the mountain,  bicycles now go over it.  After the summit, it was a full 15-minutes of  flying down the other side — that was spectacular!    Both the climb over the mountain and the road to Cape Lockout had few cars and were paved.   These were my favorite stretches of the trip.

I headed home from Newport.  I caught the “connector bus” from Newport to the Albany Amtrak train station and on to the Olympia train station (arriving near midnight). I rode the last mile to Colleen’s house to pick up my car.      Overall, it was a wonderful trip. My fellow cyclists often commented that I was always smiling—that’s how I felt, happy.

By Sue Nicholson.

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