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Messages - adventurepdx

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General Discussion / Re: Deciphering AMTRAK
« on: July 26, 2021, 03:10:18 pm »
Can someone give me a compelling reason why I should ask the American tax payers to subsidize my adventures?

Because other forms of transportation in America get more subsidies?

Roads and airports get A LOT of money from American tax payers. Amtrak has been starved from its inception, and if we want better train service and alternatives to just roads and planes, they are going to need more $$.

General Discussion / Re: Deciphering AMTRAK
« on: July 24, 2021, 03:37:30 pm »
Have you checked out these two links? If you haven't, you definitely should:

In short, if the train doesn't have some sort of roll-on bike service, to bring a bike aboard:
  • You will need to box the bike. Amtrak provides boxes for a cost, but sometimes a station may be out of boxes.
  • The train you take will have to have checked baggage service.
  • Both the origin station and destination station have to have checked baggage service.

If you use the Interstate Bridge (I-5) from Vancouver to Portland, there's not that much bike path you'd be on, the rest is city streets.
Taking the Glenn Jackson Bridge (I-205) would mean more bike path, but that would be going out of your way if you are trying to get to central Portland.

The Sam Hill Memorial Bridge is only a half-mile long. A number of the bridges on the Pacific Coast Route are longer. The most oft-discussed bridge there is the Coos Bay Bridge, which is over a mile long.

People do talk about the Coos Bay Bridge, but I think the Pacific Coast bridge people fear most is the Astoria-Megler Bridge, which is a whopping four miles long! The fear of this bridge has people going far out of the way to avoid it. (I'm pretty sure that's the reason why ACA's Pacific Coast Route through Washington is so weird.) I've ridden it several times, and didn't find it anywhere near as bad as people made it out to be. I think the length is what gets people worked up--no matter how fast you ride, you are going to spend at least fifteen minutes of your life on this bridge, and once on, there's no way out until the other end.

One good thing about the Astoria bridge is there are traffic lights at both ends, controlling the flow of vehicles onto the bridge. Traffic comes in waves vs. being a steady flow. So there will be a minute or two with no cars passing, then a minute or two of cars passing.

Getting back to the Sam Hill Bridge, there is a light on the south side of the bridge, so if you are northbound you'll have that same "waves of cars" phenomenon like the Astoria Bridge.

I did it once. It seemed OK to me. Yeah, there's not much of a shoulder but traffic was courteous. I liked it more than crossing The Dalles Bridge (US 197) to the west, though that bridge has a sidewalk.

My least favorite bridge across the Columbia has to be the Lewis and Clark (Longview) Bridge further west.

As for suggestions: I always ride these kind of bridges as fast as I can.

All true. Related to crossing from Vancouver, I have read that the bike trails there are frequently blocked by encampments  of homeless this just exaggeration?

I couldn't tell you, since it's been at least a year since I biked in Vancouver. However, the routing I'd take from Seattle/Tacoma to Portland via Vancouver doesn't really use bike trails.

What about crossing at Cathlamet, as per Pacific Coast Adventure Cycling Map?

One can do that, and the Westport Ferry is a pleasant crossing. But if one is trying to get from Tacoma to Seattle, it can add about 45 miles onto the trip, a ride that's about 150 miles by itself. That's quite a bit to add onto it if you aren't in the mood for a leisurely route, or don't have the time to devote almost an extra day to the trip.

General Discussion / Re: Tires for a 29" Fargo
« on: March 23, 2021, 11:41:46 pm »
You guys do know that 29" is the same as 700c right?  So any 700c touring tire will work fine.

True. And I know that 29" is a bit of a marketing gimmick. That being said, when I hear about a bike with 29" wheels, I think about tires at least 1.75" wide or wider and a bike built around handling that particular width. While someone could slap some 28mm wide Marathons on a 29" wheel, I'm guessing that possibility is slim.

Yeah, the Lewis and Clark Bridge, aka Longview Bridge, is no fun. I rode it once.

FYI: The bridge is maintaned by Washington DOT, so send your complaint/request there for the bridge, ODOT for US 30.

After using that bridge, I've stayed on the Washington side of the Columbia River, then cross into Portland at Vancouver. You can do most of it using roads that were formerly US 99. There's a small section north of Woodland where I-5 totally paved over old 99, so either you take the shoulder of I-5 for a few miles (legal), or go up a really steep hill. I've done both, and will stick with the shoulder of I-5 for now.

Routes / Re: How are you getting to Anacortes?
« on: March 10, 2021, 12:07:33 am »
Or you could fly to SEA-TAC and start from Seattle. Take one of the ferries (think it's Bainbridge Island) to pick up the Pacific Coast Route to where it insersects with the Northern Tier in the Mt. Vernon area. Gives you an extra couple of days to find your legs before hitting the North Cascades. And Fort Worden S.P. in Port Townsend is really nice. It is the former military base that was used in the filing of "An Officer and a Gentleman."

Or you could take the train from Minneapolis directly to Seattle.  No need to box the bike for the Empire Builder.

All great advice there. The light rail runs from Sea-Tac to downtown Seattle, and it's less than a mile to the Bainbridge Ferry Terminal. It's a pretty scenic area. You'll be able to see more sea water this way than just starting from Anacortes. And you'll need the warming up, that first climb over the Cascades is something. Another option is crossing Whidbey Island from the ferry at the south (Mukilteo to Clinton). Getting to Mukilteo by bike from Seattle is a bit trickier, though.

Taking the train would be great too. You should be able to get off at Everett, a couple stops before Seattle, if you didn't want to see the city. Everett would be closer to Anacortes. There's bus service from Everett Station to Mount Vernon (or take Amtrak), and buses from there to Anacortes.

Routes / Re: Westport OR to Champoeg SP
« on: February 23, 2021, 02:29:26 pm »

Follow Hwy 105 south from Westport to Raymond
Then take US 101 south to Hwy 4 (well before Ilwaco)
Take Hwy 4 east to Cathlamet
Then take the ferry across the Clumbia River.
East on US 30 to Clatskanie
Then south on Hwy 47 to Vernonia
Next the Banks Vernonia Rail Trail
Lots of options after Banks

Westport is a nice starting point.
The waterfront on the bay is pleasant - with distant views of the Olympics.
Then there is a paved bike trail along the dunes on the beach with ocean views.

Looks like the OP asked for directions from Westport Oregon whereas you gave directions from Westport, Washington. If that's the case, Westport OR is the "town" that is at the Oregon end of the Columbia River/Puget Island ferry. So the OP can start directions from there.

General Discussion / Re: Daytime Lights in Montana
« on: January 26, 2021, 12:23:48 am »
Otherwise, my top states would be Montana, Washington and Vermont. Bottom would be Oregon, New Mexico and Illinois.

Out of curiosity, what puts Oregon on the bottom of your list?

General Discussion / Re: Daytime Lights in Montana
« on: January 26, 2021, 12:22:54 am »
Welcome to the next wave of big government.

The irony of course is that most (most, not all) of the proposed laws like this come from those who claim to be about limited government.

Routes / Re: Lower Columbia - Washington or Oregon Side?
« on: January 25, 2021, 11:11:03 pm »
PS - They have an $80 zillion plan to redo the stairs.
Mega concrete structure with concrete columns and retaining walls.
Why not a Trex composite ramp like they have at the beach parks?
Or wood.

Since it's part of the Historic Columbia River Highway Trail, certain aesthetic concerns have to be addressed. This leads to the new design.

As for wood, well, wood tends to be slippery when wet, and it gets pretty wet here...

Routes / Re: Lower Columbia - Washington or Oregon Side?
« on: January 18, 2021, 09:53:50 pm »
I think I'm gonna beg, borrow, or buy me a boat ride
from St Helens to north Sauvie Island.
Then ride down the west side dike along the Multnomah Channel.
Kinda crazy, but it sure beats US 30, eh?

(I've hitched across the Mississippi and other big rivers before.)

Cool if you can pull it off. But does the "back" way not appeal to you?

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