I’m at the library in Florence Oregon on the Oregon coast. I’m playing blog catch up.
I left July 15, exactly the day I wanted to leave. I bummed a ride to the start of the Banks-Vernonia bike trail. This tour I’m trying include many of the places I visited over the 42 years I lived in Oregon and one’s I haven’t.
I was a bike tour guide and use to bring people on this trail. Starting the tour with no cars was great. As I was biking past a large field, there were some Indians (from India) playing cricket, that’s a hard game to learn. The owner of the Blue House Cafe, a Mediterranean restaurant, he use to help me shuttle the van, back in the touring days. They would always open the history museum too when I brought a tour through town.
I use to make different products using deer antler. I would drive to Vernonia back in the late 70″s and early 80″s and buy antler from Monty. I saw him several times while I was doing tours, but he has since passed away. This farewell tour of Portland, Oregon and the USA, has lots of good memories for me. I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to see old friends and old places of my past.
In Slovenia you never see a clear-cut forest, they selective log. They clear the forest in America and replant it like corn. They spray the “underbrush” with herbicides, which pollutes the streams and people’s drinking water. At all cost for the “profit”.
Nice bike fence too!
I rode highway 202 to Astoria from Vernonia, probably the best cycle friendly road of the whole trip. My friend Josie from Portland lent me her house in Astoria, I stayed 4 days overlooking the Columbia river. I really couldn’t wait to kick a few beers and sit to watch the ships. I love reading the local paper and read about Mary Todd who owned the Workers Tavern and was retiring. She owned a bar but had quit drinking years ago. So I wanted to go visit and I was lucky enough to meet her (& get a photo). I ate at the famous Bow Picker for Fish & Chips and it was the best, for sure.
I left Astoria and headed to Fort Stevens Park (12 miles). I had been dreaming about swimming in the lakes and could hardly wait. I stayed too long in the sun, I was asked to show the photo again. (It’s on Facebook)
Leaving Fort Stevens, now the real test comes, real traffic and lots of it. I knew kinda of what to expect, but reality is harder to take. The traffic is ridiculous, calling 101 a bike route is a joke. I stopped in Seaside, Cannon Beach and Manzanita and stayed several nights at Nehalem Bay state park. Manzanita was having a music festival, so I hung out listening to music and eating Vegan wraps.
The best part of bike touring is, setting up camp and having a luggage free bicycle to tour around with. I rode 12 miles to Cape Mears and had a great lunch and visited the fish hatchery too.
I stopped at the famous Pelican Brewery in Pacific city and a cool art gallery too. I finally made it to Newport, great camping at the South Jetty state campground. Every campground has it’s “longer than 3 day people”, this was no exception. Crazy lady was finally rescued by the church, I like churches (that truly help). My friend Mike from North Bend drove up, camped and had dinner with me. He was leaving on a bike trip about the day I was getting to North Bend. We had cycled many Cycle Oregon rides together over the years, it was great to see him.
Mike and Smokey
I love waling through all the shops and galleries and “taking” photos. Here are some pretty fun signs.
Thanks for reading. I keep this blog going, trying to avoid “everything” being on Facebook. If you enjoy the blog I would love to hear from you. I’m going to be on the road another 4 months, then another year and a half. Hang on.