Day 2 - St Helens to Welches OR
Mileage: 75 miles
Weather: Partly cloudy, mid-50s to start. Warmed to the upper 60s. A few rain showers first thing in the AM.
Highlights of the day:
Rob, head mechanic, started off our day with an ABC Quick Check review. All the bikes went through a safety check at registration but this time it was the riders turn to learn what should be checked regularly on a tour of this duration. Simple checks performed on a regular basis can help find small issues that might arise on a tour of this duration. Small issues caught early can help avoid more major repairs. Less major repairs keeps bikes, riders, and mechanics happy (and safe)!
We headed out onto Hwy 30, quite the counterpoint to yesterday’s quiet 2-lane roads. Our 08:15 departure put us right in the middle of the Tuesday morning rush hour into Portland. The shoulder was wide, the route was flat and we all made pretty quick time of it from the hotel to SAG 1. There was a bit of rain but it was short-lived, just long enough to get our bikes dirty. We’ll give them some well-earned attention later today.
We had guests at our first SAG stop today. It’s fast becoming an annual event and we couldn’t be happier about it! 2 alumni from AAN17 who live in Portland stopped by to see us. We shared stories and laughs and hugs. We took pictures. We all hugged. It was great. Dave and Marty - it was wonderful to see you. Come back again soon!
The route took us up the Columbia River into the Cascade Range. We worked our way through Portland on bike paths, including a stretch between the river and East Marine Drive. We saw villages of floating houses on this part of the river - little two story houses, often with one-boat garages and extensive gardens, that happen to be afloat and moored to floating walkways. Between the airport, Marine Drive, the river, and the railway across the Columbia - it was a day for planes, trains, automobiles, and boats. Say, wasn’t that movie? 😉
From the city, we started our climb into the foothills of the Cascades. Traffic lessened and we enjoyed views of nurseries (of the plant variety), lush hill sides, and the Columbia River. In some years past, we’ve had good views of Mt Hood. Today? Not so much. A bit of its base was showing below the cloud line but most of its majesty was hidden. Perhaps it will reveal a little more tomorrow. 🤞
Our day ended at a resort hotel. We will definitely enjoy being spoiled for one night.