Day 9: May 17th; Eagle Cliff WA – Astoria OR; 41 miles

Nothing like starting the day with hills, rain, and logging trucks to really wake you up! We both were pretty traumatized by yesterday’s afternoon ride so getting back on the death road took some encouragement. But eventually we did and thank God the traffic at 6:45am was pretty manageable. Of course we had some close encounters, but the majority of the trucks and cars kept their distance. Eventually we made it to the end and had a nice easy 3 miles to the ferry. We got a picture with the welcome to Washington (better late than never) and got on the ferry.

Because we spent 13 miles in the rain and cold, we were freezing. All we wanted to do was find a coffee shop and warm up. After we got off the ferry, we did just that. I’m pretty sure we were 10 minutes away from hypothermia. We spent and hour and a half in a coffee shop to warm up. We even indulged in the best breakfast burrito I’ve ever had. But alas, all the stalling in the world couldn’t put off the inevitable so back on our bikes we hopped.

We only had 28 miles left, but we were still chilly and just wanted to be at our destination. We even considered asking a man at the coffee shop who had a huge truck to drive us there, but we chickened out. We mainly didn’t want to start cause the ferry man told us about a 2.5 mile steep hill that we’d encounter right away. I wish people would just leave us to find out these things on our own! Sometimes it’s nice to have a little surprise – ha! We surely did encounter that hill immediately, but I’d say 2.5 miles was a bit of an overestimate. We got over it just fine and dandy.

It was an especially pretty hill because we ascended right into a cloud of mist. Sure once we got into the cloud it was rainy, but it made for a pleasant distraction. And the big climb gave way to an awesome descent. During the descent there were times I thought it down poured for brief second or two intervals. I soon realized that the rains matched up perfectly with when trucks without mud flaps would pass by. Upon this eureka moment, I looked down at my jacket and noticed it was splattered with mud. As was my face. Cycling is such a glamorous hobby.

After a bunch more hills, we eventually made it to Astoria. This was an especially important stop because it is the official end of the Transam. It only took 103 weeks to get to it but we made it!

Along the way to Astoria, we saw a ton of white crosses along the highway, noting the death of someone along that road. Not surprised necessarily, as there are beer cans and liquor bottles littering the side of the road and the cars are going way faster than the speed limit, it is a huge reminder to ride defensively and carefully. Before she left this earth, my grandmother promised me she’d watch over me this summer, and I know she 100% is keeping that promise. I have a reminder of her on my handlebar bag and thank her for being with me every time a car gets a little too close.

We are staying with Steve, an awesome host from warm showers. We haven’t gotten to know him too well yet as he’s been working all day, but he’s super relaxed and hospitable. He lives on the steepest hill we have yet encountered. What a way to end the day.

We went out for dinner and got to explore the town a little. It’s super quirky with cute houses and sea lions! Steve said they’re a constant presence and once the novelty wears off, they’re super annoying, which makes total sense cause they’re super loud. We had a great dinner at a brewery and are turning in early. Astoria is known as the home of The Goonies, so in addition to exploring more tomorrow, we’re gonna check out some of the sights from the movie. So excited to have a day off the bike!

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