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Messages - adventurepdx

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Routes / Re: seattle to portland
« on: April 03, 2011, 06:12:20 pm »
That is until you hit the bridge into Oregon. Then there's tons of traffic, negative scenery, and lots of roadside flavor you might want to do without.

Well I wouldn't go as far as to say negative scenery, but I do agree about the tons o' traffic on the STP route once you cross the Lewis and Clark (Longview), as the route follows busy US 30.

There is an alternate route into Portland that connects to the STP route at Kelso/Longview, which is on the Washington side of the Lewis and Clark bridge:
This route stays on the Washington side of the Columbia and crosses into Portland at Vancouver (Interstate Bridge). 
I've ridden this route once, and it is pretty nice, except for one big exception: the hill just south of Kalama.  It is an intense, "I hate my life" type of hill.  If you wanted to experience "Appalachian Grade" hills on the West Coast, here's your chance.  The only way to detour it is by hopping on the shoulder of I-5 (yep, the freeway) for about 5 miles.

And here's a routing for the STP:

I'm planning on biking up to Seattle soon and use most of the STP route, but want to detour at Tacoma and take the ferry over to Vashon Island.  Has anyone done that route before?

I rode the Lewis and Clark Bridge...once.
Once was enough.
The approaches are steep, the traffic fast moving, the shoulder narrow.  And the worst part?  The debris in the shoulder that flies off the numerous logging trucks that use the bridge.  The only flat on my Portland-Vancouver tour in 2009 was on the bridge, when I hit a wood chip at speed.  They must only sweep the bridge once a year before STP.

You can avoid it by staying on the "north" (at this point actually the east) side of the Columbia and cross it at Vancouver, Wash. into Portland.  Here's a route here:
It's not a bad route, except for the one giant, Appalachian-grade hill out of Kalama (Lane Rd).  Heck of a hill.  You can avoid it by riding on I-5 for a few miles (it is legal at this point.) 

The main benefit to going over the Lewis and Clark Bridge into Oregon is simplicity--you stay on U.S. 30 all the way into Portland.

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Portland, OR to Pacific Coast Trail
« on: February 06, 2011, 07:23:22 pm »
You can also take the Wave bus from Portland Union Station (Amtrak) to Tillamook. $10 one way, 2 round-trips weekdays/Saturday, one Sunday.

As for riding to the Coast, I HIGHLY recommend the Hillsboro-Astoria route to the Coast.  Hillsboro is a western suburb or Portland that can be reached by MAX light rail.  It's a 100 mile ride, low traffic, beautiful scenery!

Routes / Re: Portland Amtrak station to Champoeg State Heritage Area
« on: February 06, 2011, 06:40:34 pm »
Here's another route from Portland to Champoeg that stays on the east side of the Willamette, avoiding the issue of the Oregon City bridge under construction:

This route starts on the Eastbank Esplanade by where the Hawthorne Bridge intersects it.  Easiest thing to do from Union Station is get to the Steel Bridge (use the pedestrian bridge with elevator to cross the tracks by the station), then onto the Eastbank Esplanade.  A little over a mile distance between Union Station and the start of the ride.

I've ridden the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway once before.  It's nice, mostly flat (there are a few small hills, but no mountains to worry about), but my main issue is beyond Willamette Mission, there is no legal place to camp anywhere near the trail until almost the end.  This is about a 100 mile stretch between Willamette Mission and Brownsville (next camping.)  Be prepared to stealth camp (options seemed limited, since it's mostly farm country and the route doesn't exactly parallel the river), stay at a hotel/B&B, or pull a century to Brownsville.

General Discussion / Re: Surly LHT: Need help setting my bike up
« on: January 21, 2011, 10:51:20 pm »
I second a Princeton Tec light.  Their EOS is a pretty bright battery powered light. It can be either mounted on the 'bars or on the helmet, and it comes with a soft strap so you can use it in-camp as a headlamp.  Very practical!

It doesn't look like it's been mentioned yet, so: don't forget a lock!

General Discussion / Re: Accomodation in Portland
« on: June 10, 2010, 03:53:28 am »
To throw another one out there- there is the HI-Hawthorne Hostel on SE Hawthorne Blvd. and 30th Ave. Dorm beds and private rooms. And if you are bike touring you get $5 off a night!

Hawthorne is a cool and very bike friendly area. It's one of the more "Portland" areas of Portland. Staying on 82nd might make you wonder what all the hubub about this town is about. Though I'll admit that the Travelodge is close to the airport.

(Full disclosure: the Hawthorne Hostel is my day job, that is, when I'm not on the bike!)

General Discussion / Re: Trans America Astroria, OR to Coburg, OR
« on: June 10, 2010, 03:39:26 am »
The weather in July for that part of Oregon is about the best it gets. It's usually about 60-70 degrees (fahrenheit) for the high temperature on the coast, 70-80 inland. And July is the driest month, but still pack some raingear, especially since it can get foggy on the coast.

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