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Kelso/Longview to Astoria

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Max!:
I'm planning on riding from the Amtrak station at Kelso/Longview to Astoria (and then down the coast) and I'm hoping for some advice, from what I can see there are three potential ways to make the trip from Kelso/Longview,WA to Astoria.

#1) Cross into Oregon right away across the Lewis and Clark Bridge - this looks like about 53 miles
http://goo.gl/maps/tJ054

#2) Use the ferry - 59 miles
http://goo.gl/maps/Sa4yw

#3) Staying in WA until the Astoria bridge which looks like it is 75 miles and well, this looks like the worst option. . .

My IT band is acting up, so minimizing hills on the first day of riding would be nice. . . the second concern is of course traffic and shoulder width.

Thanks!

adventurepdx:
Max! My question for you is: Do you need to get to Astoria in a day? And are you set on de-training at Kelso? (Okay, I asked two questions, so sue me.)

If you were coming down from the north, you could get off at Centralia, WA and then ride out using SR 6 to the coast and pick up 101 at Raymond. SR 6 has some rolling hills but is a relatively easy and pretty quiet way to get out to the coast. This routing would of course be longer at about 110 miles, so it would be a two day ride. Here is the rough route:
https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=Centralia+Amtrak,+Centralia,+WA+98531+(Centralia+Amtrak)&daddr=Astoria,+OR&hl=en&sll=46.71747,-122.953062&sspn=0.006341,0.013797&geocode=FR7ayAIdmuKr-Cnxe4bAKl6RVDEI8cTGuFEV1A%3BFWzFwAIdK3ye-CmL-5UJRHuTVDG_ihuh8XLd9w&oq=astor&dirflg=b&mra=ls&t=m&z=9&lci=bike
(Note: Google Maps routes you on the "Willapa Hills Trail". Much of this trail is not improved and there are lots of washed-out or unrideable bridges and rough surfaces. Best to stick to SR 6.)
You could camp at Bruceport County Park outside of South Bend, which would be about 70 miles from Centralia.

If coming from the south, you can get off at Portland and take "Route One" from this link out to Astoria:
http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/301633
Also about 100 miles, but can be broken into two days.

If you do want to get out to Astoria in a day, and want to de-train at Kelso, I'd probably go with option one that you listed as it's the fastest. All of those options use high-traffic roads that sometimes lack shoulders, and you will be hitting a few good hills that you really can't avoid.  I despise the Lewis and Clark Bridge, but others find it less odious. Option two might be the least hilly, though.

Max!:
Thanks AdventurePDX. . . Train tickets to Longview/Kelso have been bought and whle we could just get off the train early we do need to get to Astoria that same day as we have paid for hotel reservations too! We plan on camping the whole rest of the trip, but well, we figured we would treat ourselves on the first day and allow ourselves an opportunity to explore Astoria a little on day 2.

I've never been across the Lewis and Clark bridge (at least via bike) so I don't hold any specific grudges against it. . . what is so bad about it?

adventurepdx:

--- Quote from: Max! on June 03, 2013, 12:34:44 am --- I've never been across the Lewis and Clark bridge (at least via bike) so I don't hold any specific grudges against it. . . what is so bad about it?
--- End quote ---

For me, it's not just the fact that it's narrow, busy, and has a good climb on each side. It's the woodchips and other logging debris that litters the narrow shoulder. I got a flat on that bridge years ago because of the unavoidable debris. (Well, you could avoid it if you wanted to get into that busy lane...) I don't hear this complaint from STP riders, but I'm guessing that they get around to sweeping it right before the event.

Another thing to note: The Westport Ferry is a pretty cool experience. If you choose to go that route, make sure you check the schedule, as it only runs hourly.
http://www.cathlametchamber.com/ferry_schedule.php

Max!:
Well I did the STP, so I must have gone over that bridge! I think that was the one where they stages everyone had had the goldwings bring people across in groups. Well I'll talk it over with the other rider and we'll figure it out.

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