Thursday, July 10, 2014

From the RV Resort to the Bike Inn

Leaving Toutle River RV resort the rain had temporarily subsided, but we could see from the weather radar that there were still scattered showers moving throughout the area. After a meager 20 minutes on the road, it started to rain again so we stopped at a subway for lunch.

I don’t like rain :(

Ethan dons his plastic poncho.

It didn’t take long for the rain to let up a bit, so we got back on the road. But what’s annoying about Washington rain is that it doesn’t just rain, it pours for 5 minutes then 20 minutes later it completely stops. So, of course, we got caught in one downpour.

The image on radar while we got poured on.

It looked like there was a bridge not too far away but it took forever to pedal under it, all the while we were getting soaked.

Hiding from the rain under a bridge.

When we got close to the Oregon border, we stopped at a cycle stop to check our tire pressure and dry off a bit. I ended up buying a new, dry pair of cycle shorts as well as replacement CO2 canisters to fill up our tires with.

Pumping up our tires at Caynonview Cyclery.

Right after leaving the bike shop, we crossed the bridge into Oregon!

Almost to Oregon!

The view from the bridge leaving Washington.

Managing to pedal up the bridge.

Hello Oregon!


Immediately after crossing the bridge, Ethan and I were faced with one of the biggest hills yet. It was a steady climb about a mile long up to an elevation of 550 ft.

Past the bridge and gaining elevation

It definitely felt bigger than 550 ft.

We stopped at a local fruit stand for some delicious raspberries and cherries and to rest after that big hill.

Delicious post-hill snack.

I thought after that 550 ft climb that I would be done with hills…but alas, there were more.

Ethan waits for me as I struggle up yet another hill.

Some of the workers at the bike shop told us about a “Bike Inn” we could stay at that night since we probably wouldn't make it all the way to our original destination, Astoria.

Our route from Toutle River RV Resort to the Bike Inn, 32 miles for a total of 303 miles pedaled.

The logo of the Bike Inn.

The Bike Inn isn't so much a “inn” as a sort-of bed and breakfast for wayward travelers. The Lilich family in Clatskanie, OR have a beautiful, Tudor-esque cottage set along the River where they let bicyclists stay in their extra room. They've set it up so that the cyclist area has its own entrance and bathroom and it’s really quite lovely.

The Bike Inn. A beautiful home with eclectic furnishings.

We dropped off all our stuff and set out the tent to dry before heading into town for dinner. We stopped in at a local bar called Conestoga for burgers.

Outside of Conestoga bar.

They had amazing alcoholic milkshakes that Ethan and I decided to partake in.

The bar’s alcoholic milkshake offerings.

They had pool tables that were only 50¢ per game (most bars I've been to charge $1.25!) so Ethan and I decided to play a round. I don’t think Ethan realized how absolutely terrible I am when he suggested I break.

Me about to start off our game of pool.

I think in the end I sunk a whopping three balls. Yup, I’m that good.

Ethan’s burger and tater tots.

My amazing bacon burger with onion rings.

We hung around for a bit and talked to some of the people at the bar and generally had a good time before heading back to the Bike Inn. Two of the Lilich's friends were visiting, so they were hanging out by the campfire when we got back. Come to find out, they actually grow their own grapes and make their own wine on the property! Of course, I was super excited and gladly accepted to try one of their bottles. They grow a varietal called Marechal Foch which I knew nothing about before, but apparently it comes from a French general. It’s supposed to be a very hardy grape which grows well in rougher climates. Anyway, the wine was absolutely delicious. I found it to be quite savory and it made for really easy drinking. Ethan and I had quite a fun time sitting by the fire, sipping our wine, and discussing all the local Clatskanie gossip. I wish we could have stuck around for the fair because it seems like quite the event to attend. All in all we had a grand time and went to bed happily buzzed.

After sleeping in the next morning, we were sad to have to tell the Lilich family goodbye. They were amazing hosts and I highly recommend the place for anyone who has the opportunity to stay there. On our way out of town, we stopped at Colvin's Pub and Grill for a big breakfast before a long bike ride.

The artsy decorations outside of the pub.

It turns out that a lot of restaurants in Oregon have slot machines and other Oregon lottery games. Ethan had never played Keno, so while we were at the table we were watching the Keno games and figuring out the rules of how to play.

Ethan discovering Keno.

We had a delicious, huge traditional breakfast before it was finally time to leave Clatskanie.

Our amazing breakfast.

Clatskanie was a wonderful stop on our journey and I’m so glad Ethan and I got to see that town. All of the people we met were lovely and our stay there really reminded me of why Ethan and I love traveling in the first place. But alas, the journey continues! Thankfully, the weather improved and we finally get to see the Pacific Ocean! But more about that in my next post!

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