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June 17


Sun. June 17  St. Helens, Oregon     69.52 miles  3,500 feet climb


     My roommates are Nancy and Lee.  Both of them have done a cross-country trip, Lee in ’93 and  Nancy in ’97.  This morning Nancy was up at 5 A.M., Lee and I were up at 5:30.  They both were very nervous with first day jitters.  I slept very well and felt fresh and ready to get on the road.  Breakfast at the Red Lion Inn was buffet style.  Great pancakes, muffins, fresh fruit, bagels and juices.  Everyone ( 60 of us ) was eating by 6:30.  This first day we gathered at 7:30 for a group photo and then we all left.  I rode out of town visiting with Jim Klima.  He too was having problems getting his computer connection to stay connected to the Ohio ISP.  He did connect after going to the motel office and they let him plug into their modem.  The ride out of Astoria was nice and quiet this Sunday morning.  Sun was shining off and on, over all very pleasant in the upper 40’s.  I had a great ride, even the first climb was manageable and not tiring.  Some climbs were 3 – 4 miles long and I was taking off the layers of windbreaker jackets. But then on the 2-mile descents I got very chilly and was glad I had the extra jacket on.  I wore long tights all day, I like my knees to stay warm. The first sag stop was 30 miles into the ride.  We had a chance to fill the water bottles and eat snacks they provided for us.  Leaving the first SAG, I rode with Lee, Peg and Deb for a while.  Most of the way, I rode solo and kept up a nice steady pace.  The scenery was so beautiful.  Everywhere there is pine trees – very, very tall pine trees.  We could see the mighty Columbia River to our left (North).  Saw large freighters and barges moving along the river.  What I really liked were the beautiful wild flowers along the highway.  Flowers so bright in colors and ones I’ve never seen before.  Arrived at the Best Western by 2 PM. Found the Whirlpool right away and relaxed in that for a while.  Dinner will be at 6 PM. I am very hungry.  More Later.

     Good Italian supper next door at the Village Inn.  Lots ‘O pasta.  Bed by 8:30PM.