Okay, so I just spent the last four days composing in longhand a very long blog post about my ride last Saturday and realized that (1) I really don't feel like transcribing the damn thing and (2) most of it has meaning only to me anyway. So, instead, here are some pictures and fleeting impressions.
The ride was a "workers' ride" for the Oregon Randonneurs' "Three Capes" 300K. 186+ miles, in 20 hours or fewer. The actual event is this coming Saturday; I am one of the organizers and in that capacity I pre-rode the course to check for road hazards, detours, etc. I was joined by my friends Lesli, Tom, Greg and, briefly, Lynne.
The forecast was for warmth and sun, but when we started at 6 AM it was 26 degrees. My water bottles froze. It was so cold that for the first 63 miles of the ride I could not use my fingers well enough to shift and brake properly, let alone take photographs. So from Forest Grove up and over the Coast Range on the Wilson River Highway I took no pictures. You'll just have to take my word for it that the river was lovely in all its David James Duncan-ness.
I warmed up in Tillamook, where Lesli, Tom and I spent way too much time faffing and taking each other's pictures.
From Tillamook , we skirted the coast on the Three Capes Scenic Route, which was, well, scenic.
In Pacific City we stopped for lunch at the Grateful Bread bakery, home of the world's finest cinnamon roll.
We then turned back inland and followed the Little Nestucca River and Highway 22 up, into and over the Coast Range at Sourgrass Summit.
Down the other side, we rolled through gambling towns (Grand Ronde),
timber towns (Willamina),
prison towns (Sheridan),
not-much-there towns (Ballston),
and small towns dominated by wineries and Kwiki-Marts (Amity, Dayton, Lafayette),