Sat. June 16† Astoria, Oregon
†††††† Bikes and bikers were coming out of motel rooms all morning.† The three of us went off to eat breakfast at the Pigín Pancake.† Great food.† I had a plate of fresh fruit and fluffy buttermilk pancakes.† I had some more time before the noon gathering of cyclists so I saw an internet store and decided to see if they cold solve my ISP.† No, they too tried, but no luck.† The manager wasnít there however and the person who was helping me kept saying he would probably have some answers.† No luck, he didnít come in.† We left and drive a few miles up to Astoria Column, a very steep uphill winding road that takes you way up above the town.† Standing up there the view was magnificent.† I could see the ocean, the river and the bays.† The Column has 166 steps to the top.† There wasnít enough time to climb Ė besides I needed the energy to do the biking in the afternoon.† Overlooking the bay area, I could see where Lewis & Clark set up their winter camp. Lots of history here.
†††††† Back at the Red Lion Inn, I was meeting and greeting the other cyclists.† We rode off in small groups heading down highway 101 and 26 on our way to the Pacific Ocean.† Going across the mile long bridge over Youngís Bay was on the narrow berm and it was very windy.† Lots of traffic too. It was just over 7 miles to the beach.† It was low tide, we took off our shoes and pushed the bikes through the beach to the water.† A Kodak moment when we each put the rear wheel of our bike into the Pacific.† Unlike yesterday when it was clear and sunny today was overcast, but pleasant. Stepping into the water was† a shock.† It was freezing cold.† Soon some stranger was loaded down with probably 10 cameras taking pictures for all of us.† My two high school friends were there too, they had driven to the beach to observe the little ritual.† Before I left I filled a film canister with sand. Iíll carry it and sprinkle some grains at each State line and save the last for the Atlantic.
†††††† We had a general meeting for all of us at 4 P.M. that lasted until 6 P.M. .† Doug, head of America by Bicycle reviewed the upcoming trip. We introduced ourselves also.† About a third ( of 60 people ) said they were riding for a charity. At 6:30 we were served a grand buffet of carbo food.†
†††††† Iím ready to start tomorrow towards St. Helenís, Oregon