Pacific Coast Bicycle Route Day 11 – Cycling along the Columbia River

This morning’s route began in Castle Rock with a quick stop at the market and the post office.

Stopping at the local market in Castle Rock for snacks
Stopping at the local market in Castle Rock for snacks

Due to the prediction of rain and the cooler temperatures, we were layered in warm gear and rain gear. After our first climb and with just a little mist, we began taking off layers, leaving on the rain gear, just in case. Our hill climbs today were of the long variety, gradual, slow, 1.3 to l.5 miles up and then a quick 1-2 mile downhill run.

View from the top of the first hill outside Castle Rock, WA
View from the top of the first hill outside Castle Rock, WA

With the wet roads, we were cautious on the downhills and didn’t take advantage of the chance to get up to 30 mph. Also the roads today were filled with logging trucks, empty and full. After about 17 miles of up and down hills, we finally reached the Columbia River

Ocean Beach highway along the Columbia River
Ocean Beach highway along the Columbia River

and I figured the route would be flat along the river. NOT! We still had hills to climb, rocks to avoid, and passing trucks on the two-lane highway we traveled. It is still beautiful country and the short rainstorm just cooled us off after one of our hill climbs.

Waterfall along the highway
Waterfall along the highway

We stopped in Cathlamet, Washington for the night, staying in historic Hotel Cathlamet.

Historic Hotel Cathlamet
Historic Hotel Cathlamet

As we cycled into town, we noticed a highway sign stating that the ferry we planned to take tomorrow was out of commission this week, but thankfully will be back in service tomorrow starting at 5:00 AM. What luck! We walked around this small riverside community and captured some of the decline. It used to be a bustling river port.

Down by the riverside, Cathlamet, WA, on the Columbia River
Down by the riverside, Cathlamet, WA, on the Columbia River

Tomorrow after crossing the bridge in the background of the above photo and taking a short ferry ride, we will be in Oregon and headed to Astoria.

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