Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ride Across America Day Three

Yesterday we spent the night in the City Park at St. Helens. It was a nice park and very busy. Lots of families, kids and dogs. Beau had a great time checking out all the dogs.

The camping sites were in a nice wooded area of the park. There was also a nice one mile jogging/walking path so I was able to get a nice quiet walk in. I tried to get Beau to go with me but he wanted no part of it. So he stayed at the campsite with the guys and I walked on my own.

On the third day the goal for the guys was to ride from St. Helen's to Corbet and we were going to stay in a campground that was listed on the map as a place for cyclists to stay. I had a mission to find a Wal Mart in Portland on the way there to get my prescriptions refilled. Then I was off to check out the campground. We were unable to reach any one by phone the night before to confirm that they had sites available.

So I started my journey from St. Helens to Portland to find the Wal Mart that was on my GPS. Everything was going well until I saw the highest longest bridge off in the distance. I kept telling myself that there was no way that I could possibly have to go over that bridge. Until I heard the GPS navigator say merge left and exit to route 30 by pass. On No Mr. Bill. I was going over the bridge. I said a few quick prayers and told Beau not to look out the window and over we went. When I say I was hyperventilating I am not exaggerating at all. But we made it.

The next big adventure was when the navigator said you have reached your destination and there wasn't a Wal Mart in sight. But there was a gas station up ahead so I quickly pulled in and inquired where this mysterious Wal Mart was. It was 4 miles up the road. I knew it would be pretty hard to miss a Wal Mart. So much for the GPS navigator. But we found it in a jiffy. I got my prescriptions and more food for Beau. I decided to call the campground and just verify that they had sites. And much to my surprise they told me they no longer have camping at their park. This was not good.

I quickly called the guys and we went to plan B. I was to stay at the Wal Mart until they got there and then we would look at the map and make another plan. Well, their route didn't take them by the Wal Mart so now I had to find them. Luckily they were only a half a mile a way and it was not long until we were all together. The problem was finding a place to camp.

The end of the story is there was no place to camp that was in biking distance or at least not in a distance that was reasonable to do after already biking 50 miles. We did find a hostel in Troutdale that the guys could stay at and Beau and I had to rough it at a Motel 6. The Hostel does not allow animals. It is dorm style and the guys are sleeping in bunk beds. And all the bottom bunks were taken so they are on the top. I hope no one forgets in the middle of the night.

The pictures here are from the garden at the hostel. We did join them there for dinner and beverages. It is very beautiful and looks like a fun place to stay. I hope tomorrow is a little less adventurous even though it all did turn out well in the end.

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