Thursday, February 18, 2010

Astoria and Beyond

Yesterday I worked in Astoria, the gateway to the Columbia River on Oregon's north coast. This is the view looking east from atop the hill on which The Astoria Column sits. This is looking back at the water that enters Young's bay and then out to sea. This body of water is on the south side of the Astoria Peninsula. The Columbia in on the north side.

This is looking west at the entrance to the Columbia River. What a beautiful day. It's rare for Astoria to see sunshine in February. The ride here from Portland on Hwy. 30 along the Columbia was a chilly 44 (F). There were times of sun, clouds, and slight fog but by the time I got near the coast it was all sunshine.
Here's the Astoria Column. After spending most of the morning in Astoria and after having lunch, I headed south to Warrenton and Camp Rilea. Do you recognize this view below?

Irondad had his FJR in roughly the same spot (I think) and it was his header photo for a while. He allowed me to drop his name at the Camp for business purposes. I'm pretty sure the door opened wider for me here for future business.  Thank you Dan!

The original plan was to spend the night at the coast but I decided just before leaving home that I would come home. So after Camp Rilea I headed down the coast taking photos along the way. Here's a sea stack rock in Tillamook bay.

As you can see, the sun was getting low as I was getting ready to head inland through the pass from Tillamook. I wanted to make the 50 minute ride through the mountains before it got dark and too cold. I was also concerned about deer and elk moving.

On the way out of town I stopped at this dairy to capture the cows having dinner. On my other blog I posted a different photo of these cows. The owner of the dairy, unbeknownst to me, saw me taking pictures and somehow found the posting and commented. I'm still amazed at that.

When I got back to the farmland west of Portland the sun was already down below the coast range. The weather was nice for the 256 mile round trip. I was pretty beat when I got home. When I left Tillamook I was kind of wishing that I would have stayed but it was nice to be home.

We seem to have good weather in the west when the rest of the country is not doing so well. I hope your weather is good or will get better soon. Spring is only about a month away. 

On the morning ride along the Columbia I was thinking about how just a 3 degree rise in temperature can make a person feel warmer. I guess it felt colder because the river is cold and the air felt heavy and damp. At times the air felt a little warmer and lighter as the elevation would rise. Yet another interesting phenomenon we don't get to experience when in a cage.


  1. Ah ha! You did go to the Astoria Column. I recognize the tank shot - Looks like phototag has come to the blogs. Pretty amazing that the dairy owner found your blog. I hope she posts back how she found you.

    I mentioned a rainy camping trip on your other blog. Your sunset picture here reminded me that on that camping trip another guy trailered his bike in. I never saw it with it's cover off. But his wife got off work at 11:00 pm in Portland and rode her Honda Shadow over the coast range to Ft. Stevens by herself. It was the first time she had done that. I was impressed. Glad she didn't have any deer encounters. They never got another ride in that weekend.

    What a great ride you had. The sunset photo is wonderful. The bike lights as counterpoint to the sunset. Very peaceful, like all is right in the world tonight.

  2. Wow, that's one brave lady! I don't think I'd let my wife do that. Actually I wouldn't have to worry about it because she wouldn't do it. We've had a place at the coast for 10 years and traveled on Hwy 6 a lot. I don't think we've ever seen a deer on the road.

    When I got gas at that Chevron in Tillamook the young guy working there told me about all of his crashes on bikes. On one occasion he was blasting around a blind curve near Sand Lake and there was a deer in the middle of the road. He layed it down and the bike hit a tree after hitting the deer. I can't remember if he broke any bones on that crash but he said the deer got messed up. That story got my attention as I headed home. :)

  3. So that's what you call work? Riding around in in the sunshine, surrounded by breathtaking scenery? Talk about work life balance.
    Great pics, love the sunset.

  4. SonjaM, via Mike:

    You've been in Alberta too long. Soon you too will be able to experience the Wet Coast life style

    bobskoot: wet coast scootin

  5. Mike:

    We passed through Astoria last year on our way back from Lincoln City. Didn't even know about the Astoria Columns, but I did take some photos while going over that long bridge.

    bobskoot: wet coast scootin

  6. Sonja,
    Yeah, I know... it doesn't seem like work, especially when it's put that way. :) Not everyday is like that but a couple of those a month are nice. I hope you get nice weather and can get out and ride regularly! Thanks for your comment Sonja!

    I hope you had good weather. Oregon welcomes you back anytime!
    Thanks Bob.

  7. I'm honored by the tank photo. Showoff!

    So I take it your neck is better?

    Did you see Ken at Rilea? He's always a gentleman even if he doesn't agree with you. Nice guy. It would be interesting to see his reaction to your bike. If you mentioned me to him I can just see it:

    Not another sales rep on a bike!

  8. Ken was on the phone the whole time I was there. I even had to wait about 15 minutes for Tom to get off break. I mentioned your name to Tom and he said you had just been there. I'll tell you about it.

    My neck is better, thank you. :)