Oregon / Washington Bicycle Tour
(Summer of 1989)

Day 00 - Astoria OR (5 miles)
Flew on a commercial flight from Baltimore Maryland to Portland Oregon. Took a taxi ride across town to the bus station, my bike still in it's bike box in the trunk. Hopped a Greyhound bus for the two hour trip to the Pacific Coast. Spent the whole two hours watching the terrain intensely out the window, since I'll be biking the same route back to Portland over the next two days. Got off the bus in Astoria, assembled the bike in the rain, which I'm told is quite typical for the coast. When the bike was ready, I rode the easy 5 miles to Fort Stevens State Park. Set up the tent on the beach, and then watched the sunset over the Pacific.

Day 01 - Ranier OR (56 miles)
Found a professional photographer on the shore, had him take some really interesting pictures of me on the start of the adventure. Rear wheel dipped in the Pacific Ocean, the complimentary picture is only 50 or so days ahead. The weather was cold and raining, making for a tryly misrable first day. Sweating on the uphills, and freezing on the downhills, I think I spent more time adjusting the zipper of my jacket than I did switching gears. Spent the night at a motel, cold and wet is no way to enter a tent.

Day 02 - Portland OR (67 miles)
The first half of the day consisted of more small rolling hills, these hills are getting old really fast. The second half of the day is much better, the rain has stopped, and so have the hills. Unfortunatly, the traffic has picked up around Portland, but that seems preferable to cold rainy hills right now. Peddled past downtown to check it out, and then off to the hostel on the east side of town.

Day 03 - Hood River OR (88 miles)
Left town against the rush hour flow. Followed the columbia River, flat for the most part, a nice change from two days of rolling hills. The climate is getting noticabley drier and the scenery less green as I'm moving further from the coast. Headwinds are getting pretty strong.

Day 04 - Umatilla OR (120 miles)
Woke up with the sunburn from hell. The climate changed from rain forest to desert without me realizing it, ouch! After a generous application of sun tan lotion and aloe vera, its eastward bound, complete with 20 mph tail winds. With an average cruising speed of 30, I'm flying with more than double my usual speed. Stopped early today, it's only 2:00, but I already have 120 miles behind me, not bad. I hope this wind carries me all the way to the Atlantic. Towards the end of the day, my ankle is bothering me a bit.

Day 05 - Walla Walla WA (62 miles)
This day consisted of a gradual climb inland from the Columbia River. The scenery was absolutely stunning. Tonight is the 4th of July, there are fireworks at the town park. However I'm far too tired to stay up till sunset, I'll see the fireworks somewhere next year. My ankle is bothering me a little bit more than last night.

Day 06 - Lewiston ID (79 miles)
Ankle feels fine, ready to start the day. The mountain pass is ahead, small in comparison to the passes I'll hit next week, but a good start. At 1500 feet, I stop to enjoy the view, and a fabulous ride down the pass to the Snake River. I think this is where Evil Kenivel jumped in that motorcycle rocket ship thing a few years ago. Stopped in a campground just a few miles short of the Idaho border, my ankle is really hurting me.

Back to Marc's Page

mda@marcspage.com - Marc D. Alexander
Last modified 25 June 1997