We put our bikes on the Metro bus to get downtown, then caught an early train from Seattle to Kelso/Longview in southern Washington. It was an unusually hot and sunny day for early June. We headed west on Highway 4 which runs along the north bank of the Columbia River. Behind us much of the time was a stunning view of Mount Saint Helens.
Fort George brewpub was just a couple doors down, so we got some food and a delicious Spruce Bud ale.
I slept in a little, focused on hydrating, slathered on some aloe, and the morning started looking up. We had not been diligent about sunscreen and got pretty burned the day before, so we were actually happy about the overcast weather. We walked around town, saw some historic sites, and drank some Stumptown coffee.
(Our bikes with Astoria bridge behind)
We got an early start and decided we would stop and make coffee and breakfast at the next good view point. It wasn't long before we climbed up to this in Oswald West State Park.
We awoke to another sunny day. We made breakfast and coffee and fared the San Fran riders well before heading out. Within a mile, we started the biggest hill climb of the trip, about 830 feet in a mile and a half. We stopped part way up to catch our brea--, er, take a picture.
Pelican Pub we knew had found our lunch spot with patio right on the beach.
It was time to head away from the coast and back east. We had a really nice ride down through the Siuslaw National Forest over the coastal range. We were still lucking out with the warm and sunny weather.
We got to Salem that evening after about 60 miles of riding. We were pretty happy to take showers, eat dinner, and have one last celebratory local Oregon microbrew before calling it a day.
The next morning we caught the train home, changing once in Portland. It was a really fabulous trip with a nice mix of activity and downtime to soak in the scenery. While on the train, I was already thinking about what bike tour I might want to do next. But for now I'm going to enjoy being back in Seattle, and let my quadriceps take a little break.