After traveling on from Aberdeen, we finally pulled up in the Raymond RV park around sundown. The only other tent camper was Brian, a fellow bike tourist who approached us and hung out with us during dinner. Brian had been working as a manager of a surf shop in Virginia for the past seven years, but this spring he quit his job and biked across the country with his best friend since childhood, and now his journey was on its last leg. His friend ended his trip in Olympia, but Brian is traveling on alone for 500 more miles to see his sister in Arcadia, CA. From Kentucky meth towns to midnight hitchhikes with a trucker with a loaded gun, it sounded like he had quite the adventure. When he gets back to Virginia he wants to finally got to college, something he's been thinking about doing for a long time.
The end of Washington was fast approaching. At least we got a break from tree farms and got to ride through some coastal bay areas, where the industry is oysters, not timber. The landscape transformed to flatter, marshy surroundings, but we were still counting down the mile markers to Oregon, which were fast dwindling. Thirty four miles. Eighteen miles. In case you were wondering, my knee and bruised Achilles' tendon felt every single pedal stroke.
Finally, we saw the bridge over the Columbia River that would take us into Astoria. We were taking a rest day in Astoria, the first day in a week that we wouldn't be breaking down tent and biking on. I have a confession to make: even though it was the VERY FIRST thing I packed, I left my toiletry bag at Travis' house. So I hadn't had my own deodorant or toothbrush for like a week and a half, and my hair was threatening to dreadlock itself in the absence of my brush. My toiletry bag was mailed to a bike shop in Astoria. I was very much looking forward to that bag, a shower, laundry, and lunch in Astoria.
But first, we had to cross the bridge to Astoria.
A sign warned the cars that there were bikes in the roadway, but there was no sign to warn US that this bridge was over four effing miles long and in places towered almost 200 feet over the water. There was a decent amount of room on the shoulder, but halfway over the shoulder turned into a seabird graveyard, so we had to navigate rotten pillows of feathers and still not deviate into the lane of traffic. To add insult to injury, the tallest part of the bridge is at the very end, and it is a very steep incline to reach the top.
Somehow, we made it over. And then we saw the sign.
The campground was NOT a mere three miles outside of Astoria as we had thought, it was an additional eight and a half miles more.
For those of you who wonder how Travis and I manage to spend so much time together on tour without fighting... this was not the day to use as an example. I got disappointed and whiney at my dreams of cleanliness being dashed, AND I was hungry and pretty tired of riding my goddamn bike. Travis got annoyed at me for complaining.
Our tiff lasted well into the next day, even after I showered (thank you Baby Jesus), washed our clothes at the KOA, and rode the eight and a half miles back into Astoria for some R&R at the local brewpub. But then I updated the blog and Travis checked his work email, and after two hours of being in our own little worlds, we were over it. We MIGHT have to schedule a little separate R&R time during the next few weeks as a preventative measure...