A wintery weekend ride to Astoria

Well, as promised, an explanation of the last post. Biking from Astoria to Portland doesn’t really comprise that much elevation gain, and yet here I was:

highway 202 in the snow(I did not expect snow on this road. Nor did I expect it later on the Banks-Vernonia trail)

That’s why it might have been a nicer day to snuggle up in a warm, cozy house than spend 10 hours on my bicycle. As I’ve told some of you, the only hour and a half where it didn’t rain on me was the hour and a half it snowed on me–making for a rather wet, quite cold day of riding.

Just FYI, 10 hours is a really long time for me to get from Astoria to Portland. For perspective, going from Portland to 10 miles shy of Astoria and back on the Olney Gothic Logger 300k took under 14 hours. So it was a long, long day, and not because I actually took any breaks, since I was kind of too cold to get off my bike for long (plus, breaks are less fun when you’re drenched and standing around in the rain:) It just was kind of a trudge with all the snow. And rain. And wind.

So yeah. That’s why I was a little popsicle.

BUT! This was simply the rather epic end of a lovely weekend. I had Thursday and Friday free from work, so opted to bike out to Astoria and stay at the same lovely Rose River Inn Bed and Breakfast that I stayed at last time I was there. Pam, the woman who owns it, is super sweet and will cut you a deal if you’re out there by yourself in the winter. So I had a lovely (and dry!) ride out Thurday, then a super cozy place to stay for two full days of exploring the city before I had to come home.

It felt really nice to get out of the city, even just 100 miles away. And Astoria is seriously becoming one of my favorite places. It’s a really nice city to explore on foot, since it’s full of old roads that dead end for cars but allow pedestrians through on treacherous little staircases or super steep paths. Like this one:

astoria staircase

It makes for really good exploring, since every direction feels like an adventure. And I even got lucky enough to have a day of sunshine on Friday! I was fully prepared to get rained on for my entire trip, but sunshine? So nice!

astoria ships(ships on the Columbia River, sparkling in the sunshine)

So it was a lovely little adventure, even if the last day of it was crazier than I expected (who knew that too much snow made your chain stop working, for example?:) A big thanks to David, who braved the elements to come out and meet me halfway–even if we didn’t actually end up meeting since the Scappoose-Vernonia Highway in the middle was impassably snowy for a bike:) And thank goodness for these little adventures I can intersperse throughout my year. This kind of thing truly keeps me sane.

Need more pictures of lovely Astoria and the ride out there? Find all of them here!

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