Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Portland, OR to Hood River, OR -- 67 miles & Hood River, OR Rest Day

We started off today leaving the city of Portland, OR and finally arriving at the scenic Columbia River Gorge. I met up with Joan D and took a moment to have a picture taken. When I rode this section of the Historic Columbia River Highway during the X-C 2008 ride, I was like a kid in a candy store and I didn't know where to look first. It is a gradual climb from the Sandy River to the Portland Women's Forum State Scenic Viewpoint. Well, three years later it is still the same thing and just as beautiful. This area is gorgeous...I couldn't live here...way too cold for me, but I can visit for a few days because this area is stunning.
I stopped at the Portland Women's Forum which is one of the most photographed views of the Columbia River Gorge. It was so awesome of a site, I got over zealous and upload the same photo several times just in case you didn't see the beauty in the first picture! Chanticleer Point is where I took the picture. I went back and erased the duplicates....

Next along the way was the Vista House on Crown Point.  Looking down at the road can instill the fear of God, but what a beautiful sight.

Then came Latourell Falls. The informational signs are so nice because I read them, but I forget what I read in about 5 minutes. Now I can take a picture of the sign and re-read it when I forgot what I saw!

The beauty is just breath-taking.  As I traveled down historic  Oregon Route 30 East I am just amazed at how pristine this tourist area is. If this was the east coast, I suspect it would be townhouses by now.
Shepperd's Dell was the next facinating stop. The power and beauty of the waterfalls is hypnotizing.

Then came Bridal Veil Falls:

This B & B is located at the trail head to Bridal Veil Falls. I just thought is was interesting so I took a picture.

Then came the big tourist attraction...Multnomah Falls:

This is a view of the road leading away from Multnomah Falls.

And finally there was Horsetail Falls:

I took a couple of pictures as I was leaving the Historic Columbia River Highway

 The clouds had been threatening, but now they seem to be brightening up.

 This tree seems to have outgrown its root system and fell down and went boom. Hmmm...if a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there to hear it, did it really make a sound ?
 The cloud formations are facinating.

After I arrived in Hood River, OR I took off on the bicycle to run some errands. I had been asked to get some keys made, so I did some research and found out that the hardware store just a short distance from the hotel on the east side of town made keys. So I jumped on my trusty bike and pedaled over to the hardware store. Did you know that the town of Hood River is built on the side of a mountain? Well, the hill up to the hardware store wasn't all that bad and I made it without any problems. Once in the hardware store I was told that the key I wanted copied was a Yale Lock key and not a Master Lock key and they did not have any blanks for a Yale key. Who knew a padlock key could be so picky.  Now I know I am not going to like the answer but I asked the question anyway...where could I get Yale Lock keys made. The gentleman at the hardware store was most kind and helpful in telling me that I needed to go to the Ye Olde Locke Shoppe to get this key copied. I asked where it was located and I was told that it is at the other end of town. Figures. I was told to stay on State Street until I hit 13th St. It was right there. hard could this be? So off I went on my trusty stead heading west on State Street, which happens to be a hill all the way to 13th Street. Did I mention I don't like hils? I arrive at the corner of State and 13th Streets, huffing and puffing, but I had survived the trek across all I have to do is find the lock shop...I don't see it...well thank goodness for smart phones...I pull up the Internest and get the address...yes, the shop is located on 13th Street, but much to my chagrin it must be at the other end of 13th...did I mention that 13th Street is a huge freaking hill? But, alas, off I pedal up 13th Street in search of the illusive Ye Olde Locke Shoppe...I passed the hospital and thought about stopping in since I thought I was going to have a heart attack, but decided against it and just kept pedaling..I started out at 4.5 miles per hour and when I was passing the hospital I was at 3 I continued up I found out that I can still stay upright on my bike going only 2.4 mph. phew! I finally got to the top and low and behold I found the shop...only to find out that it was closed.
Now, as I stand on the porch of the shop dripping sweat and cursing a blue streak, I once again pulled out my handy dandy smart phone and called the shop. When Larry answered I asked if he was working today and he said he was out on a job. I guess he heard the desperation in my voice because he was kind enough to ask me what I needed and when I told him he said he would return to the shop in about an hour. I said fine, I will wait. There was no way I was going down the hill without the keys!
Larry shows up about 20 or so minutes later and makes the keys I needed and I am once again a happy camper. I decided to stop and get a little lunch and an adult libation across the street from the Ye Olde Locke Shoppe before I began my ride down the mountain.
Just as I was ordering an adult libation, my smart phone rang...One of our riders Jim K had taken a tumble and needed to be picked up in Cascade Locks, OR. After cancelling my adult libation I was back on the bike racing (downhill, thankfully) back to the hotel to get the support vehicle so I could drive out to Cascade Locks, OR to get Jim.

The support vehicle made it out to Jim and transported him to the Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital so he could be checked out. The hospital checked him out and I am sorry to say he will not be riding for a while, but we won't know for sure until he sees his doctor within the next week or so.
I hope Jim is OK and will be able to rejoin our group just as soon as possible. If you look closely, you can see the pin that his wife Vicki K gave him....
"No Whining!"
And that was only Tuesday!
Wedesday, today is a rest day and most of the riders are doing laundry (or attempting to since the construction crew hit the water main and the hotel is without water), sleeping in, or wandering around town. My roommate and I rode into town...I managed to get a flat shortly after leaving the hotel...stopped at Mountain View Bicycles and Marnie bought a new helmet and I bought some flashing lights for the back of my bicycle. Then we went over to the other bike store, Discover, and wandered around there for a while. Then we went to Horsefeathers for lunch. It is also a brewery. The meal was very good, but I am not a fan of their wheat beer...oh, well, not a lot that can be done about this now.
We headed back to the hotel to take naps before the Map Meeting / Happy Hour, but I got side tracked writing this blog so only Marnie got a nap.
Tomorrow we are off to Biggs, OR...should be a short day...but only time will tell. 

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