Bicycle TouringOur StoriesUSA

Raymond to Astoria

posted by Tim May 5, 2019 0 comments
  • Date: May 3, 2019.
  • Distance: 95 km.
  • Route: highway 101, 4, and 401.
  • Roads: fairly low traffic and wide shoulders, thus enjoyable, except for the bridge from Megler to Astoria which is narrow and has a steep climb at the end.
  • Scenery: mostly forest, rivers, and some views of Willapa Bay.

Healthy meal in Raymond

Yesterday evening, we arrived early in Raymond, so we decided to make a healthy meal. Haven’t really developed a sense for prices per ounce yet, so just grabbed some items at the supermarket including a floret of broccoli and one bell pepper. Turned out to cost $3 each! While the McDonald’s offers a double burger for $2… Understandably, that makes it hard for people here to make healthy choices. Combined with going everywhere by car results in the number of terribly fat people – more than we’ve seen anywhere else.

Main business here is in lumber and fishing, including oysters. Those are supposedly healthy, but we we’ve tried a variety before, and really didn’t like them.

Mountain of oyster shells

Cut pine trees

Camping at RV Park Timberland in Raymond

Road to Astoria, Oregon

We continued our way to Astoria via highway 101, 4, and 401. The roads were good: fairly low traffic and wide shoulders.

Vast wilderness of Washington

Once we left the forests of Washington, we saw the Columbia River, which separates the state of Washington from Oregon.

We still had to cross the longest truss bridge of north America – 7 km of narrow road with a steep climb at the end. We didn’t love it (understatement).

Final section of Megler Astoria Bridge

Warmshowers host

What we did love was the overwhelming generosity of our warmshowers host. He allowed us to stay in his cyclists refuge while he was visiting family in Holland! We found the place and had all the luxuries we could wish for – a whole floor with bed, table, small kitchen, bicycle maintenance corner, toilet, and last but not least, a delightful warm shower!

Resting day in Astoria

We’re spending a day in Astoria to rest, eat a delicious burger and drink a local beer at Port George, speak with locals, and visit the heritage museum. Astoria is the oldest city of the American west coast founded in the early 1800s. Rich in natural resources, the area attracted explorers and traders, about a third coming from Europe, mostly from Scandinavia. Soon, the woods and rivers were eavily exploited. Scientists estimate that 16,000,000 wild salmon returned each year to the Columbia and bake rivers around 1800. Sadly, today, only one percent of these fish remain. Lumber and fishing are still the main businesses here, but it’s clear the city hasn’t lived up to the promises of becoming the New York of the Pacific Northwest. Nonetheless, it has an interesting history, some beautiful Victorian style buildings, breweries and restaurants.

Flavel House

Victorian style house

Salmon is big in Astoria

Size of trees cut here, only few left of this age and size

Steep road in Astoria

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