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  #1  
Old 03-22-2007, 07:06 PM
the Wumpus's Avatar
the Wumpus the Wumpus is offline
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Default North Vancouver to Skamokowa

http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=742774

Okay, this isn't exactly a Portland area route, but what the heck! I'm borrowing heavily (okay, shamelessly copying) from Michael Wolfe's Portland to Longview route for the first half, and making the rest up from there. This trip would be around June or July-ish.
So... Anyone been out that way? Will I be smooshed or abducted or shunned by the locals? Might there be scenic alternates?
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Old 06-06-2007, 11:40 AM
cyclotouriste cyclotouriste is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the Wumpus View Post
http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=742774

Okay, this isn't exactly a Portland area route, but what the heck! I'm borrowing heavily (okay, shamelessly copying) from Michael Wolfe's Portland to Longview route for the first half, and making the rest up from there. This trip would be around June or July-ish.
So... Anyone been out that way? Will I be smooshed or abducted or shunned by the locals? Might there be scenic alternates?
No shame needed. I put the routes out there so people will use them. I'm actually honored and flattered that people can use me as a resource.

Man, that climb up out of Rainier on Highway 30 is a b*tch. Might make you swear off cycling.

The climb up to the top of Clatskanie Hill isn't as hard, but you get buzzed by passing traffic pretty bad there, too.

Instead of taking Highway 30, you might think about one of these two options:

http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=1023123
http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=1023129

Be warned: I haven't personally ridden Old Highway 30 up out of Rainier, but from google maps, the satellite photo shows a centerline, so it is definitely paved. I have ridden Old Highway 30 from Apiary Road to Alston though, and Alston-Mayger Road to Clatskanie, and it's beautiful. You get some great views of the lower Columbia. It's got some rollers (probably similar elevation change to going over Clatskanie hill, though) and it adds a couple miles, but it's much nicer to pedal on than Highway 30.

Regarding the second option, I have not ridden Beaver Falls road between Alston and Clatskanie. I can't even tell from the satellite image if there is a centerline, so it might not even be paved. I know it is paved at each end, but it could be gravel in the middle. If you are feeling adventurous, and have nice wide tires, you might try that route. If you do, report back here and let us know how it is!

Beyond Clatskanie, Highway 30 to Westport is much more reasonable.

Last edited by cyclotouriste; 06-06-2007 at 11:58 AM.
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Old 07-05-2007, 02:57 PM
adventure! adventure! is offline
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Getting beyond Skamokowa, how is Washington Route 4 westbound to US 101? It is busy/hilly/narrow etc? Would it be a better option for heading west along the Columbia than US 30 from Clatskanie? (I understand the Astoria Bridge is difficult any way you slice it.) Any advice/tips/info would be appreciated.
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Old 07-07-2007, 10:23 AM
cyclotouriste cyclotouriste is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adventure! View Post
Getting beyond Skamokowa, how is Washington Route 4 westbound to US 101? It is busy/hilly/narrow etc? Would it be a better option for heading west along the Columbia than US 30 from Clatskanie? (I understand the Astoria Bridge is difficult any way you slice it.) Any advice/tips/info would be appreciated.
Well, SR 4 between Longview and Cathlamet is must to avoid. Definitely better to take the route that I described to John above to get to Cathlamet. Between Cathlamet and 101, SR 4 improves quite a bit, with much lower traffic and good shoulders much of the way. Hill-wise, you have to do a major climb over KZ mountain, and there are some pretty good rollers from Naselle to the Astoria Bridge. No services except in Naselle. To get to Astoria, I still say the best route is Oregon 202, but going to Skamokowa and then SR 4 to the bridge isn't too bad.
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Old 07-23-2007, 10:11 AM
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the Wumpus the Wumpus is offline
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Ride's done!
I took off at around 7:30 Friday morning. It was cool and drizzly. That actually worked out really well, the cool temperatures and a few raindrops kept me drier and more comfortable than I would have been at 80-90 degrees in the sun!

When Michael Wolfe warns you about a climb, he's not kidding! Green Mountain Road is steep. I took my time on that one, it turns into a series of steep climbs separated by nearly flat sections. I took those steep bits one at a time, stopping to catch my breath in between intending to save some oomph for the majority of the ride still to go after the climb! It wasn't even a very rewarding climb (other than the views!) in that the descent was just as steep, twisty, and the pavement was soaking wet.

Old Rainier Road isn't too bad. The only thing I'd change would be the timing; I rode up it on a Friday afternoon when the locals were starting to head home for the weekend. I just shifted into the little chainring and winched on up the hill, no drama! A little bumpy on the east end, something to keep in mind if you're headed east, aka downhill. There's one spot at the top with a great view of all of the low elevations you've left behind, and it's just swarming with cliff swallows. I wasn't worn out by the end of that one, so I crossed Highway 30 and took Alston/Mayger to Clatskanie. Met a gregarious dog named Misty who can jump over a five foot fence. Saw a paceline of 15 or 20 small cars with sticky tires and loud exhaust go ripping by the other way. I asked a friend who's done some local car club runs about this, and these two roads (Mayger and Rainier) are a familiar route. Something to keep in mind, but at least you'll hear the loud exhaust coming for miles, they aren't going to sneak up on you. Also met the only serious rain of the entire trip, about ten minutes of monsoon just before Clatskanie!

Made the ferry just in time. Puget Island is flat, with almost no traffic. Steamboat Slough Road through the wildlife refuge has got to be one of the best places to ride a bike on a rainy Friday evening. Made it to the campground around 6:30.

I rode back on Sunday. For some reason I decided to return along Highway 47 to the Hillsboro Max. If I'd checked the elevation on Highway 47 beforehand, I wouldn't have done it! (but I'm glad I did) From Clatskanie, it's hilly for the first mile or so, then it goes up steadily until somewhere between milepost 7 and 8. After Green Mountain, it didn't seem all that steep, just relentless. I took a break around milepost 6 to contemplate eternity. But eventually the road went back down, with lots of nice sweeping corners, and that made the whole climb worth it!

Broke a spoke in Vernonia. After some mangling the rear wheel was flat enough to fit between disconnected rear brakes, and held up all the way to Hillsboro.
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Old 07-25-2007, 10:10 AM
cyclotouriste cyclotouriste is offline
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Sounds like you had a great ride, John!

Sorry about Green Mountain, I hope I emphasized enough what a tough climb that is. But isn't that view worth it?

I absolutely love the climb on 47 from Clatskanie to Mist, it's a great climb and a fun descent.

Thanks for reporting back to us!
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