July 8, 2004

7/08/04 Ainsworth State Park OR

70 miles (2998 total)

Last night a youth group camped out under the stars next to us. Looked to be about six leaders and about 30 kids. It was our entertainment watching the group dynamics unfold with individuals trying to fit in at the same time making themselves stand out. Ah, to be young again.

Went to bed to the sounds of the wind pushing the tent and trees around. But this morning, all I could hear were the sea gulls. Kind of exciting starting the day without much of a headwind.

Today was a remake of 'the good, the bad and the ugly'. The 'good' was riding the Historic Columbia River Highway that as originally built solely for pleasure driving back in 1915. It's been replaced by the interstate, but segments remain that are blocked off for non-motorized traffic. What a beautiful road through forests, along cliffs and even one tunnel. The 'bad' was the several segments of interstate we did have to ride. With all the debris on the shoulder, it didn't surprise me to get another flat. The 'ugly' had to be taking the bike up 30 steps to continue on the old highway.

Historic Columbia River Highway

Now, this is a Great bike path!

Just before the Dalles, we had a good view of Mount Hood covered in snow. The people of Hood River sounded more like Californians that from Oregon. Another highlight was climbing up from Rowena to get a spectacular view of the gorge. The wind picked back up in the afternoon, but we were too psyched to let it affect us much.

Finally, some trees to block the winds

High above the Columbia River

At camp, the another youth group next door asked us to be judges of a thrift-store costume contest. They were kids on the last day of their “Wilderness Ventures” trip that included rock climbing and rafting. Good kids.

Kids next door having a little fun

Looking forward to tomorrow's scenery and getting to Portland. Plus, I pass the 3000-mile mark soon. Yippee!