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Messages - adventurepdx

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1
If you want to go to San Francisco and avoid "San Francisco" prices, you can stay at one of the hostels. There are several, including three HI ones.

If you want to go to San Francisco and stay at a hostel, but want to avoid the hassle of getting through the central city with a loaded bike, you can stay at the HI-Fort Mason (Fisherman's Wharf) Hostel. It's about three miles (via bike) from the GG Visitor Center, and uses a lot of bike paths. Then you can leave your stuff at the hostel and either ride around town, or take a break and use transit.
https://www.hiusa.org/hostels/california/san-francisco/fishermans-wharf

2
For anyone travelling the L&C through the Columbia Gorge in Oregon: There is a wildfire burning near Oneonta Gorge:
http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2017/07/wildfire_burns_near_oneonta_fa.html#incart_river_home
ODOT (Oregon Dept of Transportation) has closed the Historic Columbia River Hwy (old US 30, part of the L & C) between Multnomah Falls and Ainsworth State Park.

You can detour around this area by using the shoulder of I-84. Please note that if you are heading west, you'll be stuck on the freeway from exit 35 to about exit 18 as there are a lack of exits. (You can get off at exit 22, but it's quite the climb up Corbett Hill Road). Going east, you can go to Corbett, bomb down Corbett Hill Road to exit 22. You'll get off at exit 35. Note that you'll miss Multnomah Falls no matter what direction you go.

Looks like Ainsworth State Park, just east of the fire, is still open for camping. However, since the park is downwind of the fire I wouldn't recommend camping there.

3
General Discussion / Re: 6 week trip from Seattle to Sant Francisco
« on: July 11, 2017, 02:17:50 pm »
1) Washington+Oregon: Olympic, the coast down to Astoria: some advice for somenthing more? NOrth Cascades/Mount Rainier/Mount St Helens/more Pacific Coast?
  • Olympic is worth it if you make the side trips, so I would plan on it if you went that way. Otherwise, the ride along 101 is pleasant but not that spectacular.
  • North Cascades is very much a "backcountry" park. There's not much to do right off the highway (though the ride itself it beautiful.) But if you went that way, would you ride up to Rainy/Washington, then turn around? Or go further and loop back around?
  • Rainier is great, and riding to Paradise is beautiful. But traffic on the routes to and from Seattle gets busy, especially on weekends. And the campgrounds get packed.
  • St Helens would be more of an out and back trip, unless you planned on looping around the east side. If you did Rainier, that would be a feasible option.
However, the more stuff you add on in Washington, the further you get from the coast.

2) Crater Lake (I can take the Coast STarlight to Chemult)...

There is a stop at Chemult, but I'm not sure that you can get the bike on/off there. You can at Klamath Falls.

4
Pacific Northwest / Re: Camping in and around Olympia
« on: July 08, 2017, 12:37:07 pm »
Where are you going to/coming from? Or are you just looking for anything close to Olympia?

If it's the latter, Millersylvania State Park is the closest I know. It's about 10 miles south of Olympia. No hiker-biker sites. I camped there once, it was okay.
http://parks.state.wa.us/546/Millersylvania

5
General Discussion / Re: Amtrak roll-on in Seattle
« on: July 06, 2017, 05:14:19 pm »
Was there something that prevented you from boarding the first coach behind the baggage car and walking on the train to your particular car?

If I remember correctly, on the Coast Starlight the cars behind the engine and baggage are first class (sleepers), so they won't let you on there if you aren't in first class.

6
General Discussion / Re: Amtrak roll-on in Seattle
« on: July 06, 2017, 12:21:48 pm »
Yeah, no matter how you get your bike on the train, whether in a box or "roll-on", you have to remove your bags. I doubt that will ever change, since Amtrak has a 50 pound per item limit, and in the case of the Coast Starlight, the bike needs to be lifted several feet in the air.

To avoid some of the bag hauling, you could check the bags at the baggage counter. This is providing you are boarding and unboarding at stations with baggage service. You won't have access to the bags until you get off, but you don't have to haul them.

7
General Discussion / Re: Transport to Florence from PDX
« on: June 27, 2017, 11:34:41 pm »
Regarding transportation, when I checked about six months ago they did not allow roll aboard.  Only a boxed bike. If you had it shipped to Portland I would leave it in the box to get it to Eugene at least or could  have it shipped directly to Eugene.
???
There is roll on bike service on Amtrak between Portland and Eugene. We've had it since the late '90's, on the Cascades line. And now the Coast Starlight has roll on service as well. So every train between Portland and Eugene has roll on service.

8
General Discussion / Re: Transport to Florence from PDX
« on: June 24, 2017, 03:57:18 pm »
There is a bus that runs from Eugene to Florence and then Coos Bay:
http://pacificcrestbuslines.com/eugene-to-coos-bay/
NOTE: I have not used this bus before. They don't talk about bikes, so I'd contact them. (I'm guessing they will take bikes.)

So, from Portland, you could take Amtrak down to Eugene, and then take this bus to the coast!

9
General Discussion / Re: Canada+USA: Biggest accepted bill?
« on: May 31, 2017, 01:33:26 pm »
How do you know/see if a store offers cash-back?

Typically, regular grocery stores in the US will allow payment by debit card with the option of getting cash back. Some smaller markets will as well. You can always ask!

10
I have heard some people warning about hostels in the US... compared to Europe/Australia/New Zealand.. I heard some unsavoury characters can stay there?!
I could be wrong though!

Maybe? But there can be unsavory characters at motels too, you just don't see them as much since you're not sleeping in the same room with them. I wouldn't worry too much about that.

Anyways, you won't run into that many hostels on your tour.

11
General Discussion / Re: Canada+USA: Biggest accepted bill?
« on: May 29, 2017, 01:10:52 pm »
Many small town general stores frown on plastic especially for small purchases, so carrying some cash is essential IMO...Sometimes I have stayed in campsites with honor boxes that allow no provision for making change so either having some small bills to make exact change or a checkbook is a good idea.  I pretty much never use checks in normal life, but on tour they can come in handy.  Some small town general stores actually prefer them to plastic, but I usually use cash there.

Yeah. While you can charge a LOT while on tour, there are still places where cash is handy, esp. when you are out there. Smaller bills are more helpful. It won't do you a lot of good to show up at one of those campsites with an honor box and only have a $100.

12
There are plenty of state parks with hiker-biker sites. They are quite inexpensive. There are hostels.

There aren't as many hostels on the coast anymore. There is a concentration in the Bay Area, and there's some south of there, but north is pretty scant. In Oregon, there is Seaside and a small one in Newport. The Norblad Hotel in Astoria has a bunk room.

Some of the nicer hostels that used to be on the route, like the Olympic in Port Townsend WA and the Redwoods Hostel south of Crescent City CA no longer exist.

13
What is the easiest way to plan accommodation options while en route?

Haven't you already answered your own question?  ;)

But seriously, it looks like you have plenty of tools to figure out accommodations for your tour. And the thing about the Pacific Coast is that there are few places where there are a scarcity of lodging options. And if you have the ACA map, it'll warn you about them.

Camping is dead easy on the Pacific Coast, with a couple exceptions (noted on the ACA maps). Since the majority of places you stay at will be state run hiker-biker sites, you don't need to think much about them. They'll always be available to you, no reservations needed. Just look at the maps. Other map apps and google maps are useful, but if you are strictly staying on the route, superfluous. (They would come in handy if you decided to do considerable detours off the main route.)

Indoor lodging would be trickier. There are a decent amount of hotels and motels on the route, but if you are going in the high season, many will be booked up. That's when you can use google maps and other searches to book them a day or two in advance. If you plan on doing this, I'd recommend getting a North American cell phone number when you get State-side. Some of these places won't have online booking options, so you'll need to be able to call them (and possibly leave a message if you hit them at the time they close the office to clean, run to town to do errands, etc.)

But I wouldn't sweat these things too much. It's easy to overthink things before hitting the road. Many people have biked the Pacific Coast with less tools, and have come out fine.

14
Routes / Re: cycling thePacific Coast Oregon in May
« on: May 15, 2017, 03:39:28 pm »
I plan to cycle the Pacific Coast from Astoria Oregon to Crescent City Cal. in May.

May, as in this month?

I would like to receive comments, suggestions, special recommandations, etc, from cyclists that cycle that Route recently.

I haven't ridden the route recently but do plan on being out there a bit next week. I live in Portland, though. May is a mixed bag of a time when it comes to weather. And we've had a very wet winter and spring. May is the transition period to summer, so you can have a few nice sunny days with temps between 16 to 22C. Then you can have a few crappy days with lots of rain, headwinds, and a temp of 10 to 16C (but will feel colder because it's wet and windy.)

I would have liked to order the booklet/Map from the AdventureCycling Organisation but unfortunatly I will not receive it on time for the trip. Can We buy that booklet in Portland?

I've seen the ACA Pacific Coast map on sale at the REI in downtown Portland. Can't say that they'll have it stock when you need it, though. And they'll only have the closest map sections, so if you go further down the coast, you'll need to figure out a way of getting those maps. If you know where you will be when you arrive in Portland, you can have the maps sent to you.

i will stay in Motel/hotels along the Route.

Before Memorial Day, you should have okay luck finding indoor lodging. And ending up in a warm and dry place will make those wet days more tolearable.

15
For anyone travelling the L&C through the Columbia Gorge in Oregon:
A large rockslide has closed a section of US 30, aka the Historic Columbia River Highway, at Rowena Crest (about 10 miles west of The Dalles.) This slide is going to take awhile to clear, so ODOT estimates two to three weeks of closure.

Here are the known detours:
  • Use the shoulder of Interstate 84 between exit 69 (US 30/Mosier) and exit 76 (Rowena)
  • Cross the Columbia River at The Dalles Bridge (US 197) and use Washington Route 14 between The Dalles and Stevenson (cross to Oregon side at Bridge of the Gods)
  • Use Dry Creek and Sevenmile Hill Road between Mosier and The Dalles. It's got quite a climb, though. https://ridewithgps.com/routes/21029304

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