Longview Washington to Portland Oregon

The team in Portland

Thursday 18 August 2011
Inn at Northrup Station
Portland Oregon
0815 – 1345
85 km

Portland streetcar route

Early start and headed for breakfast at Ranier. We took the Lewis and Clark bridge, which was narrow, crowded with logging trucks and completely unsheltered for bikes. So my one handed riding and photo taking of the logs shipping to China made the team nervous. Luckily Olin was in front. It was important to get a pic of the raw log exports.

The road to Portland was easy riding with wide shoulders but busy with heavy traffic all the way. Olin likes to find a steep and rather unnecessary hill for the last day, to make sure we are paying attention. But it was all good, easy riding to our hotel, and an afternoon and a couple of days in Portland. We’ll take the Amtrak home on Saturday.

Next stop: Back to Europe and continuing our round the world trip.

Lewis and Clark Bridge over Columbia River

Cycling the Lewis and Clark

Centralia to Longview, Washington

Raw log exports from Longview

Wednesday 17 August 2011
Hotel Monticello , Longview Washington
0815 – 1600
82 km

The short ride from Centralia took us into Chehalis for breakfast at Sweet Inspirations. Flat road, sunny morning, hot day to come. Very easy cycling through prosperous farm country.

On 18 May 1980 Mt St Helens blew. Olin and I heard the deep thud in Duncan, where we were visiting just before we got married. The nearby town is Castle Rock, but it’s very small and I looked in every single shop without finding a single Mt St Helens souvenirs.

We cycled to the Hotel Monticello is historic Longview. It’s a pretty city, nicely designed, but very quiet and all closed down by 5, too early for tourist shoppers.

Hotel Monticello

Shelton to Centralia, Washington

Southwest Washington fair, the cows came home

Tuesday 16 August 2011
0910 – 1530
Peppertree Motel
Centralia Wash

77.8 km

Breakfast at Goldie’s next to the Shelton Inn, with her outstanding home made pie as the perfect breakfast food. Then an easy morning ride down highway 101, with warm weather and perfect cycling conditions.

We had our morning coffee at the Shipwreck Cafe outside Olympia, with more good home baking: caramel buns and boysenberry pie.

We are on a country road running more or less parallel to the I5,through farm country, with a warm day it was perfect cycling.  We picked up the well-marked backroads Seattle to Portland route (STP).   We had lunch at Farm Boy off I5 and Case Rd – milkshakes and good takeout.

It was easy cycling after lunch into historic Centralia. We looked for historic lodgings but the only B&B was not taking customers. Luckily the bar at the Olympic Club was open, so we enjoyed their patio and the afternoon sun.  Then out to the Peppertree Motel, out of town and near the freeway, not a very convenient location.

We mitigated our disappointment by going to the Southwest Washington Fair and watching the demolition derby.   Olin and I inspected the cows and pigs, the prize winning dahlias and the quilts.  We cabbed back to the motel, having walked the very long distance to get there.

Mount Ranier

Quilcene to Shelton, Washington

Shelton Inn

Monday 15 August 2011
Shelton Inn, Shelton Washington
0920 – 1615, 84.21 km

Another huge meal from Loggers Inn  – I had the blueberry cobbler left over from last night’s dinner.  Then girded our loins to climb  Mt Walker hill,  4.5 km and 250 m rise, slope 5%.

Hamburgers for lunch

Road very winding and hilly with narrow shoulder but warm day and good cycling.  Lunch at Eagle Creek Saloon, good food, one guy waiting on us all, warm day, people to gossip with, all very pleasant.

Huge trucks all afternoon, no room on the road but we all managed fine and arrived safely to sit in the warm sun in front of our rooms in the Shelton Inn.  We are more in cottage country here as we go south along the Hood Canal.

Life is tough on the road

Olympic Highway along Hood Canal

Sequim to Quilcene Washington

Quilcene Washington

Sunday 14 August 2011
Mount Walker Inn, Quilcene Washington
0915 – 1230
46.7 km. 20.27kph

Continental breakfast at our hotel

Fat Smitty's

We had an easy morning ride on hwy 101, with a wide shoulder and the wind at our backs.  Our morning coffee at Fat Smittys Restaurant at Discovery Bay was quite an experience.  Thousands of souvenir dollar bills were pinned to the walls and ceiling.  A lot of flags and slightly threating requirements to support our troops.   Makes me think about Cold Mountain.  They served excellent blackberry milkshakes and coffee, a very satisfactory stop.

V easy cycling after that to Quilcene and the beautiful Mount Walker Inn.  Quilcene is a park town, Olympic National Park nearby.  But there’s nothing going on in the town nor in the area.  Many closed businesses and down at the mouth buildings and it all seems pretty desolate.

Half day today and big mountain tomorrow.

Lunch at Loggers Landing next to hotel, dinner down the road at the Timber House Restaurant.

Quilcene Inn

Dollar bills at Fat Smitty's

Victoria BC to Sequim Washington

Sat 13 August 2011
34 km
Holiday Plaza hotel, Sequim Washington.

Victoria inner harbour from MV Coho

After a lollygagging in Victoria for the day, including lunch with niece Charlotte, we caught the 3 pm ferry to Port Angeles.  I’ve lived in this area all my life and never once been on this ferry – which BTW is a very old vessel.  Never been to Port Angeles, nor the Olympic peninsula.

We didn’t stop though, but set off straightaway to go 34 km down Olympic Discovery trail.  The trail was (to me) an unexpected surprise, paved and in good condition, v pretty thru N Washington forest and farm.  Saw very few people, area feels quite deserted.

Sequim is v dry; lavender capital of N America.   Dinner at Alder Bistro; local fresh food, Washington wine and brilliant chef. Wonderful dinner. O and S walked back to hotel thru acres of low density asphalt.  Small scale urban sprawl.

Olympic Discovery trail near Port Angeles

Vancouver to Victoria BC

Selkirk trestle coming into Victoria

12 August 2011
Duncan BC (Suzanne)
Executive Inn, Victoria (everyone else)
70 km approx

Our route took us from the Anton home in Kerrisdale to the Deas Tunnel bike shuttle (always a timing consideration), through Ladner and along the well-marked bike route to the ferry.

Then the Lochside trail and Galloping Goose into Victoria.  The Galloping Goose is an outstanding rails to trails route, with the beautiful Blenkinsop and Selkirk Trestles, and traffic jams of cyclists.  Downtown Victoria busy with Dragon Boat festival.

I took a rented car to Duncan to visit Laura, happy as ever on Gibbins Road. The others stayed at the Executive Inn and enjoyed Victoria. The Dragon Boat festival is on and Victoria is hopping.

The team on Lochside trail