Monday, September 14, 2009

Day 2! Ups and Downs

We were up early once again, this time mostly due to such an early bed time the night before, I believe. Also, I, for one, don't usually sleep all that well when camping. I'm awake often and, unless I've got something to cover my eyes, I wake up early with the light. Of course, a t-shirt even works for this purpose usually, but between the early night and still having trip excitement...well, let's just say it was early.

We were sad to learn that our clothes were not dry or even, really, close. We strapped the various items to the outsides of our bags and trailer to let them dry as we rode.

As became our usual breakfast for the trip, with some exceptions, we made oatmeal with flax meal and cinnamon to which raisins, freeze dried strawberries, raw almond butter and walnuts were available additions. We each like ours a little different.

It was a day of ups and downs both in terrain with one big 'ol climb followed by a lovely decent and in emotions. We had a really nice ride. Even the climb was nice with hardly any cars at all and alternating between really steep and less steep, making it work, but doable.

Here's a picture of Davan on a break at the top of the hill. I loved seeing her in her white jersey because it really stood out. It was fun to catch glimpses of the tandem with her white jersey gleaming ahead of me on the hill before they'd turn a corner.

We were really excited to get into Astoria. Anthony, although he had been the one planning the route, hadn't really thought we'd make it to Astoria in two days. We were in town by 3:00.

Now, a couple of weeks prior, we'd been in Astoria with my Aunt Caren who was visiting from the LA area and had eaten lunch at a restaurant called The Columbian Cafe after online research had shown it was vegan friendly. We'd all enjoyed lunch there and Davan had requested that we eat there on our trip. We said we'd do the best we could to make that happen. Lunch is over at the cafe at 2:00 and dinner starts at 5:00, so we had a couple of hours to hang out.

We visited the bike shop just across the street from The Columbian Cafe to get new handle bar caps for my bike, as mine had fallen out at some point. The repair guy at the shop was really nice and quite interested in our trip. He also was able to point us in the direction of an organic co-op grocery store in downtown Astoria and we went there to stock up on a few items:

I have to admit that I thought it was funny that the same guy who was taking out trash just as we arrived and, very obviously, was checking out our rides, was our cashier inside and he asked if we had a co-op membership. Um, nope, just passing through.

Then we still had about 45 minutes until the cafe opened for dinner. We wanted to be there right at 5:00 to make sure we got a table and could eat before riding 10 more miles to Ft Steven's State Park, where were planning to camp. We sat on the water front nearby to journal and enjoy the scenery:

Pretty soon, it was time. We arrived about 10 minutes before opening and had the open admiration of two of the employees who were sitting at a table outside, enjoying a break. The third, however, who was the chef, was rude. I have to say that rude chefs seem to be the rule, as the lunch chef was rude, as well. I don't think that adds to the mystique of a place, myself.

When we were sat, at an outside table so we could keep an eye on our bikes, and had menus, we were in for a shock. The evening prices were much, much more expensive than the lunch prices and they didn't have anything that Davan wanted to eat. We should have just left, but we'd already eaten some of the beer bread that had been brought to us and, well, we were just on our course. We ordered very simple food, all three of us, as that was really the only vegan option was to go simple. Well, I take that back, I got the vegan chef's mercy. It was fine, but not great. Davan and Anthony got very simple things. Davan, in fact, got rice and beans. It was $15. For rice and beans. Our bill, with tip ended up coming to $56.

We were very disappointed. If you choose to go to The Columbian Cafe in Astoria, keep a few things in mind.

1) The chefs are rude.
2) If you are vegan, you can eat there, but don't count on much imagination for your meal at dinner time, at least.
3) Lunch is a much better cost choice.

Now, I understand that if you eat sea food, it is the place to go. So, don't necessarily avoid it. Just use caution.

Once we'd fought the winds out to Ft Steven's, which we'd had to battle coming into Astoria, as well, we'd ridden 65.5 miles for the day and had spent 6 hours and 24 minutes in the saddle. Whew! That's a lot of miles, I'll tell you!

We had showers and washed clothes. Indeed, the previous day's clothes had dried over the day, so we kept on with the plan of hand washing every day. Washing them in the shower was a lot easier than washing them in the sink the night before and is how we washed whenever we could after that.

The other down thing for the day was that my knee hurt the whole day. I've had knee issues off and on for many a year, but had been doing pretty well for a while. Well, the week before the trip, my left knee started feeling less than happy when I rode my bike. The first day of the trip it started out hurting, got a lot better, then got gradually worse over the course of the day. This, the second day, there was no reprieve. I took ibuprofen, which only took the edge off, really. It was quite painful. The realization that I'd probably be living with that pain the whole trip was rather sad, too.

I'll leave you with a list I made in my journal of things that made me smile/laugh/generally happy on day 2. The list was compiled prior to dinner, just so you know.

-oatmeal with walnuts, raisins, cinnamon and freeze dried strawberries; yummy and warm

-the "Dancing Frog Ranch" complete with a little dancing frog in a leo

-two horses and a llama hanging out together in a field

-a flush toilet with tp, even, that was relatively clean, just when I was feeling like I needed to poo

-the long climb up a quiet road that felt like a hike in the woods with only a few, mostly polite, cars that passed

-the decent after the climb!

-hearing a babbling brook for the first time (Now, I've heard brooks before and even thought they were "babbling brooks" because of the water sounds, but this one had me looking for the people on the other side of the brook who were having a conversation, it sounded so much like voices.)

-vegan, sugar free chocolate when it was exactly what I wanted at the moment

-seeing Davan and Anthony peddling along with Davan in her white jersey

-coming around the corner and seeing the Astoria column

-flag drill practice at Astoria High School

-new handlebar end caps for only 2 bucks

-shopping at a local, organic food co-op rather than at a big chain grocery store

-sitting on the bench on the waterfront, looking at the view

-making to Astoria in only two days!!!!

-smooching on Anthony

-the building right next to where we were sitting with a veritable roof of seagulls sitting on it

-dinner soon!

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