As I continue my ride across America (details: Fat Mom Across America), I am thoroughly enjoying the scenery and the memories that pop up along the way. This morning, I started out where I stopped yesterday on highway 101 and rode through the charming little town of Chinook, Washington. I first recognized this old church by the side of the road.
It was actually converted into a restaurant (Sanctuary Restaurant) and to the left is "Little Ocean Annie's", where my kids and I ate fish and chips many years ago.
Continuing through town, more memories surfaced, There was a little house across from the boat-filled Port of Chinook where an older lady had a handmade "Fresh Caught Fish for Sale" sign propped against her porch when we came through back in 1999 or so. My kids and I stopped and walked up onto her porch and were invited into her front room, where a large cooler stood filled with ice and whole, fresh fish. My kids got to see whole tuna fish, halibut, and salmon... heads, tails, fins and all! The lady was friendly and told us her husband had just caught the fish that day, and was back out on his boat at the Port. It was a great experience, and we bought some cut-up steaks and fillets and cooked them on the grill back at out campsite. There was no sign at the little house this time through, but I did see some familiar sights in the middle of Chinook, such as the Fishtrap Bar and Grill and the little bait shop/grocery store next door where the kids and I bought a few (expensive) supplies and (cheap) bait years ago.
After passing through Chinook, the scenery went back to bushes and trees with a view of the water in the distance, where the mouth of the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean.
I rode a little longer for a total of 4.8 miles before I needed a break. Here is the scenery as I continued down 101.
After resting a bit, I got back on the bike and continued on, reaching Fort Columbia State Park (on the right in the picture below). Fort Columbia was built from 1896 to 1904 to defend the Columbia River. My kids and I have gone there and seen the historic buildings and original gun batteries. I didn't stop at the park today, but look at that cool tunnel up ahead! The nice thing is there is a button cyclists can press to give a warning to cars and trucks coming and going through the tunnel, and a sign that says "Bikes in Tunnel when Flashing." Good idea!
This is a pretty long tunnel! Kind of intimidating on a bike, but well lit.
Coming out of the tunnel, the view is gorgeous! Water on the right, the road lined with huge rocks, trees on the left, and up ahead, the historic St. Mary's Catholic Church.
Just past here, 1.7 miles from my last stop, I rested again and had lunch: chopped tomatoes and fresh basil from my CSA box tossed with cubed fresh mozzarella, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Then I started riding again for another 1.4 miles and look what's just ahead: the Astoria bridge! I am so excited! This bridge is over 4 miles long and spans the Columbia River between Washington and Oregon.
Tomorrow I will cross that bridge. I've driven over it many times, but imagine biking it in the fresh sea air with seagulls swooping around you!
Today I biked a total of 7.9 miles. Dinner was baked chicken thighs and roasted vegetables: broccoli, onions, carrots, and baby potatoes. Feeling great and ready for more adventure tomorrow!