Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Day 4, 5/12/10: Puget Island to St. Helen's, OR

Brief Report: 51 miles today - we are only 5 miles below our goal to average 40 per riding day and we didn't expect to do that initially - especially in these hills. One big climb today and some ups and downs but a pretty manageable day over-all. Better shoulders than yesterday - = ).

We should be in Portland tomorrow! Riley talked to the Portland Dept of Transportation today and got 2 pieces of good news:

(1) There is a sidewalk on the St. John's Bridge across the Willamette River which we need to cross, so we can walk the bikes across - there's no bike lane and lots of traffic so we're relieved. The Willamette is a major river which flows through Portland and joins the Columbia.

(2) Some of our time in the Columbia Gorge we'll be riding on The Old Columbia Gorge Highway, and we had wondered if it would be extra-busy on weekends. Per the cyclist with whom Riley spoke at Portland DOT, not a problem. = )

For Those Who Want More:
After a nice breakfast at Redfern Farm we headed for the ferry to get back to US 30 on the OR side. Took a different route around Puget Island and saw many more homes and farms - it is truly a beautiful place.
Notes on the Food at Redfern Farm: Winnie makes her own juice from the berries and fruits she grows - the fruit compote she serves each morning has a little berry juice added. The juice keeps the fruit from darkening and adds a nice light flavor. This morning she made a sort of light fruit crisp - homemade blueberry pie filling topped with spices and oatmeal and baked about 20 minutes and served with milk - yum!

The next-to-the-last car (actually a truck) onto the ferry followed us; the driver came very slowly behind us. Becky went to thank her for her caution and they got to chatting. Turns out her husband works for a dredging company - on a dredge - and they recently bought land on Puget Island. He often works on that part of the Columbia but elsewhere, as well - they once spent 2 consecutive winters near Lodi where he worked on keeping the San Joaquin Valley Delta dredged out. Lodi is near Stockton and that whole section of the valley is known for it's produce - she said she loved all the fresh food you could get.

We had lunch in Rainier, which is where we started our original OR coast bike ride 15 years ago; today's picture is of the Columbia as you come into Rainier from the west, dropping down 1 1/2 miles of 7% grade - we well remember climbing that grade 15 years ago!


  1. Becky, Riley...sounds like a great adventure. I spent last week with Shirley in Irvine and found a picture (from 1971) of my departure on the trip to Chicago...hope to follow your lead and finish the trip from Chicago to the Atlantic when I retire.
    BTW, look at 'mapmyride' for mapping the google, but it includes elevations.

  2. If you ever feel like you're lugging too much gear, this ought to put you in your place. I especially like the guy coming back from IKEA: