Day 66 - Tuesday, August 13, 2002
Total to date: 4313.69 miles (6942.2 km)
Moving time: 5 hr 7 min.
Average Speed: 11.1 mph (17.9 km/hr)
Total ascent: 2678 ft. (816.3 m)
Minimum elevation: 5 ft. (1.5 m)
Maximum elevation: 628
Ending elevation: 37 ft. (11.3 m)
Wind: West winds 10 mph (tailwind) for 30 miles.
Fort Clatsop is where Lewis and Clark made their camp for their winter of 18056. They arrived at the Pacific Ocean in the mouth of the Columbia River in November of 1805 and knew they should winter here to replenish their salt, clothing, and food supply before returning to St. Louis in March of 1806. The National Park Service has faithfully reproduced the fort using Lewis' original drawings that he sketched on the cover of a journal. They have also located the expedition's canoe landing spot and display reproductions of the large dugout canoes these early explorers used.
I met another rider today at Fort Clatsop as I was leaving. He rode up from Portland and is riding back tomorrow. We rode together to Astoria where he bought me lunch [Thanks!]. He's an elementary teacher from Portland and is considering a TransAm ride with his wife on a tandem. I shared with him some of the tricks of the trade and we talked about teaching for a while.
My rear tire and tube blew out on a piece of glass or something sharp. There is a halfinch gash in the tire and tube. Both are unusable so I put the Schwalbe tire on the rear. I hate the Schwalbe tire. I really hate the Schwalbe tire. I rode really slow.
I took the ferry from Westport to Puget Island in the Columbia River. It's worth the dollar the passage costs. The river is cool, peaceful, and beautiful.
When I got off the ferry I was immediately greeted by a "Welcome to Washington" sign. I took the obligatory photos and headed into Cathlamet for some dinner. I hoped to see a "Welcome to Oregon" sign on the other side of the river so I could get a picture of me with one. There wasn't one. Neither Oregon border I passed through had such a sign so my collection is incomplete.
The Schwalbe tire sucks. My rear tube had a complete blowout, splitting along a seam in the tube for about 5 inches. This left me in a bad sitution since I was completely out of usable tubes and I don't trust the Schwalbe tire any more. I put a bunch of duct tape inside the shredded Continental tire and rolled my bike to the motel just one mile down the road. From there I would figure out what to do - either walk or hitch hike to Longview (26 miles) to buy a new tire and some tubes. If the bike shops don't have tires and tubes for my bike then I'll just bag the ride and take a bus or train to Seattle. We'll find out in the morning.