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Journal of my 12 day tour from Bellingham, WA to Newberg, OR

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Journal of my 12 day tour from Bellingham, WA to Newberg, OR

Old 10-01-11, 08:22 AM
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raybo
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Journal of my 12 day tour from Bellingham, WA to Newberg, OR

On August 19, 2012, I flew up to Seattle, spent 4 days sightseeing in and around Bellingham, WA and then rode for 12 days down to Newberg, OR.

I followed the ACA Pacific Coast Route from Bellingham through Fidalgo and Whidbey Islands and to Elma, though I took Hwy 101 down the west side of the Hood Canal to Shelton. From Elma, I went west to the coast instead of following the ACA route south.

To avoid riding on the bridge over the Columbia at Astoria, I crossed it on the small ferry at Cathlamet, where I rejoined the ACA Pacific Coast route down to Tillamook. I rode over the coastal mountains on Hwy 6 out of Tillamook and took a back road to Newberg.

It was a much better ride than I thought it would be. I'd underestimated the beauty of the Washington coast and the weather, other than rain on the first day, was very nice.

I've posted my journal of the ride, should you like more detail.

Ray
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Old 10-01-11, 08:33 AM
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Thanks for the trip report! Great detail and pictures!

I'm starting to think I might need to plan a trip through Washington after reading it.
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Old 10-01-11, 08:35 AM
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My impressions of the area were pretty different. I started by taking the ferry to Bremerton and took the same or a very similar route to Astoria from there. Seattle was pretty nice. I think the views from the Bremerton ferry were probably great but it was fogged in. The rest of the route in Washington was OK, but not nearly as nice as the rest of the ride in Oregon and California. I pretty quickly decided that If I ever ride the coast again, I'd most likely skip Washington and start in Astoria. I found the scenery once away from the Seattle area to be just OK and the camping opportunities to be not that great. The weather was fine though with only a half day of light rain.

BTW I am puzzled by the comment about rejoining the ACA route in Astoria since my ACA maps show the route going across on the same ferry you used.
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Old 10-01-11, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
BTW I am puzzled by the comment about rejoining the ACA route in Astoria since my ACA maps show the route going across on the same ferry you used.
That is what I meant to say here.

I crossed it on the small ferry at Cathlamet, where I rejoined the ACA Pacific Coast route down to Tillamook.
Maybe my commas confused you?

Did you follow the ACA Pacific Coast route all the way down Washington or some other route? That is, did you go inland from Elma or out to the coast. The reason I didn't want to follow the Pacific Coast route in Washington was that it went inland.

On the route that I rode, there seemed to be places to camp most everywhere I stopped for the night (I wasn't carrying camping gear) and lots in between.

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Old 10-01-11, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by raybo View Post
That is what I meant to say here.
My bad I misunderstood your route. Perhaps I would have had a better impression of Washington if I had taken it. I was definitely not all that thrilled with the more inland route.

Originally Posted by raybo View Post
Did you follow the ACA Pacific Coast route all the way down Washington or some other route? That is, did you go inland from Elma or out to the coast. The reason I didn't want to follow the Pacific Coast route in Washington was that it went inland.
I more or less followed the ACA route through Shelton, Elma, Centralia, Toledo, Castle Rock, and Cathlamet.

Camping seemed scarce to me where I was and never seemed to be at a point where I wanted to stop. There were some state parks with hiker biker sites, but most were off route a few miles. There was the county line park with only two tent sites (they let me squeeze in next to the bathrooms even though the actual sites were full). Then there were a bunch of RV parks of the sort I try very hard to avoid. As a result I wound up getting rooms more often than I prefer to. The scenery throughout was just OK, and definitely nothing spectacular.

If I go again maybe I'll follow your route or something close to it. Then again I may just start in Oregon. The Oregon Parks are awesome and typically have hiker biker sites and nice free showers. The beauty of the Oregon coast was amazing too. The fact that Oregon has a really nice map and signage that marks the Pacific Coast Bicycle Route are pluses as well.

Oh and the portion of California was I rode was pretty amazing as well. The ride through the redwoods was breathtaking and the hiker biker sites were nice. That said I am concerned what parks California will be shutting down in future years due to their budget problems.

Depending on the amount of time I had I would be likely to pick from the section between Astoria and Santa Barbara first and add Washington if I wanted to either go border to border or to just extend the trip a bit. In any case I would not ride the route I rode through Washington again.
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