Distance: 71.3 miles Average Speed: 14.3 mph
Vertical: 3867 ft Departure: 6:57 AM, Arrive: 12:29 PM
As you can see, the real activity started this morning. We had our first load by the motel. The picture shows my old friend, Carl Hagen, from Junior High and High School, who honored me by coming by to see me off in style. He is making sure that Mike and his team get the truck loaded in the proper fashion.
The ride today was perfect for the first day. The route was somewhat challenging , but not too much so, and the weather was ideal, starting around 52 degrees, and ending about 61. The sky was overcast the whole way, so it was my kind of day.
Early in the ride, I think I was the only one to take the short detour to the Astoria Column, a 1.3 mi side trip up a very steep hill. The column is a tower built by John Jacob Astor's grandson, I believe, in 1926. There are 164 steps in a circular staircase to get to the top, and once there, the views in all directions are spectacular. I have included the one looking down on the bridge over the Columbia River to Washington.
There really is not much to say about the scenery the rest of the way. We were generally along the Columbia, but not much exciting to photograph or report. We did have our first SAG at the Gnat Creek Hatchery, which was somewhat interesting. Here you see one of the workers in one of the ponds full of fingerlings.
Now that I have had a little time on board, I should report on the riders. We have 47 of us going the distance, and an additional 7 who are with us for the first one or two legs. We have a staff of 6 supporting us. The youngest rider just finished his sophomore year of high school, and is riding stoker on a tandem with his dad. He had the most memorable quote of the introductions: " I have been training real hard for this for a couple of weeks now." There is also a young lady of 18 who just graduated from high school. Most of the crowd, however, is in there 50s and 60s. Haven't got a handle on the oldest yet, but I am guessing pushing 80. More details as I figure everyone out.