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Astoria to Tillamook 

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ROUTE: Astoria to Tillamook OR DISTANCE: 65 Miles WINDS: SW 20-30
WEATHER: Rain and cool, high 65 with showers most of the day TERRAIN: Hilly in spots TOTAL CLIMBING: 3692 feet

DAILY REPORT: We're off like a heard of turtles...most of them wished they were least pond turtles.  We woke to threatening skies and they were for real.  At load time the sky was emptying everything it could muster and the wind was blowing hard out of the southwest...hey, isn't that the way we were supposed to go?  Yep...what a way to start a ride...but hey...this is the northwest.  If you don't like the weather right now, wait an hour or so.

After we loaded, 5 brave souls ventured into the sheets of rain while most everyone else decided to wait until the radar showed some of the cells passing.  I followed the first group with the van until about 17 miles and then waited until the back end got to where I was.  Everyone was on the road by about 40 minutes after the first group.  As I was following the first ones, the rain was sporadic but when it was coming down, it was pretty hard.  Yesterday the forecast was 80% chance of rain, but it was beautiful all they said 90% rain so naturally we figured we might just skate again...but today they got it right.  I guess the accuracy of forecasts in this area lays somewhere around the 85% mark...anything above that watch out.  Hey, what's a little rain?  The biggest challenge was the wind that was pretty steady out of the south with gusts in the neighborhood of 35 at times.  This is the forth time we've done this ride and I've never seen wind out of the south like today.  The good news is, it promises to be nicer after today...we'll take it for sure.

It didn't take long for the reality that Oregon isn't flat to sink in as we started our ride a bit inland where the foot hills rose above the landscape.  I'm sure the riders were wondering where the ocean was as we started out.  We were greeted with small farmland, grazing cattle, and rolling terrain for the first 20 miles.  We also passed several areas of clear cut where a storm blew all the trees down a couple years ago.  Out here the forces of nature are intense...wind, rain, and even tsunamis. 

At mile 17 we popped out to the coast at Seaside OR...and what a sight.  Seaside is a great little coast town complete with touristy things to keep everyone busy.  It also gave us our first view of the ocean...just a taste of what was to come.  Several riders went exploring town and spent some time at the beach...why not, town was flat. 

After Seaside, our route was entirely on hwy 101 except for one short stretch through Cannon Beach along the water front.  Hwy 101 had a pretty good shoulder all day and even though the traffic was moderate, due to the holiday weekend, it was easy to move along unfazed. 

Today was a relatively short day of only 66 miles...but sometimes even short mileage days are long especially when there's so much to see along the route and with the headwind we had today...and what a spectacular route.  At 11:30, most of the group had pedaled a whopping 24 miles!  Of all the rides we do (and we ride in some beautiful places) I think Oregon's coastline scenery was right up there with the best.  At times we were surrounded by trees, other times we had the cliffs on our left and the ocean crashing into the rocks to our right.  At times we were riding along the water while other times we were 1500 feet above the surf.  I've seen photos of the northwest coast, but seeing it first hand is something special.  I hate to rave so much about the scenery today because I'll run out of steam when we get to other worthy of praise areas, but it was really impressive to a boy from the midwest who only knew bodies of water that were pond size and had catfish.  Out here you can't see the other side of the water and the fish are a bit larger...can you spell whale?

After the rain settled down it turned out to be a very enjoyable day except for the wind...we had some tired puppies by the time everyone got to the motel.  We even had to move all our activities (RAP, maintenance, and dinner) back a couple hours due to the conditions.  Plus, practically everyone stopped several times and snapped photos of the coast.  It was hard not to stop every time there was a pull out to get the latest view and to talk to the other tourists who seemed flabbergasted at what we were doing.  Every stop seemed to be the "best view" until we stumbled on to the next one.  I hate to tell them that the scenery gets even better the next couple least that what I remember from last year.

Tomorrow we continue south to Lincoln City...did I say SOUTH???!!!  Oh, I south is a long way east Alabama.  Wonder if they talk funny in these parts like in THE south?  Whatever, it promises to be another day of scenic Oregon coastline...sensory overload to say the least.  The real good news is, I'll be able to ride tomorrow!  Hope the wind dies a little...we wouldn't mind it turning around a bit too.  Can't wait...see you then.


"Why does Mike always take our picture when the sun is shinning?"

"Think it's going to rain?"

"This is perfect weather!!!"

"Hey, we signed up for a challenge."
"Yeah, but I signed up for the dry one."

"Jim, do I need this thingee that fell off my bike."
"Not if you want your wheels to fall off."


It's all in how you accessorize...if you have a purple house, you need a purple garage and a purple car to match.

This sunshine is blinding...oh, there's Mike with the camera again.

I guess some would call what we do is work.

It is work when the flag is pointing the direction this one was.

Jim learned a valuable lesson at the first SAG...don't drop your last peanut!

Just one of the nice views provided by volcanic action millions of years ago.

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