Bridge, Nirvana, rainforest, National Park, ferry, Seattle.
This was a big day in the saddle – in fact, at 435 miles, it would turn out to be the 2nd longest distance ride of the trip.
Astoria to Aberdeen
Given the day’s packed agenda, I departed Cannery Pier Hotel at 6:30 AM, and made my way around the pier to traverse the Astoria-Megler Bridge, a steel girder continuous truss bridge – the longest in North America – that spans the Columbia River between Astoria, Oregon and Point Ellice near Megler, Washington. Construction began in 1962, and the bridge opened in 1966. It’s massive, it’s 4 miles long, it’s a heck of a lot of fun to cross. Make sure you check out the HD video of me doing so below.
I made my way in the driving rain to Aberdeen, Washington, the birthplace and childhood home of Kurt Cobain. There is an unofficial memorial to Cobain on the east end of the city. I stopped to take a few pictures, stepping into a muddy bog up to my right knee when I did so.
Hoh Rain Forest
The next destination was the Hoh Rain Forest, part of Olympic National Park and on the west side of the Olympic Peninsula. The Hoh is a temperate rainforest, and receives over 12 feet of rain each year. In addition, condensed mist/fog contributes 30 more inches of precipitation.
I made my way from the Hoh back to Highway 101. Passing through Lake Crescent and Port Angeles, I rode up Hurricane Ridge Road to the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center. Weather permitting, the Road is open year-round. It twists and turns from sea level up to 5,242 feet. Spectacular views of Olympic National Park can be seen from the Visitor Center.
Ferry to Seattle
The next destination was the ferry terminal on Bainbridge Island. After parking the bike in the queue, I walked up to the road from Eagle Harbor and found a small pizza-by-the-slice joint.
Because I was on a motorcycle, I was first onto the ferry and moved to the very front. It was a great spot to absorb the view as we crossed Puget Sound. It was really cool to land in the downtown terminal, then hop onto the Interstate in downtown.
By this point, it was getting close to full darkness. I made my way across Lake Washington, into Kirkland, then to the Smiths’ house. Megan, Zach, Jamie and Rowan were outside waiting for me. It was so great to see the boys in particular, as I hadn’t seen them since they moved back to Seattle from the Twin Cities.
The boys had prepared a special surprise for me in my bedroom. For one of Row’s birthdays, I got him a big Batman pillow. Jamie had placed it on the bed and was very excited to see if I recognized it.
We stayed up for a while, talking over beers. I was pretty exhausted and retired for a very sound night’s sleep.
The Day : Weather
|Location||State||High (F)||Low (F)||Precipitation (in)||Max Wind (mph)|
The Day : Images
The Day : Video
The Day : GPS
|Avg Speed||25.6 mph|
|Moving Speed||43.4 mph|
|Elevation Max||5,276 ft|
|Elevation Min||0 ft|
|Elevation Gain||33,318 ft|
|Elevation Loss||32,816 ft|