Saturday, August 13, 2011

Day 11 - Eagle Cliff to Cascade Locks, OR

A nice gentle start out of camp today, then we start the two stage climb to Oldman Pass (appropriately named, no?) It is steep, then gradual, then steep again. We reach the top and have our favorite sighting: not elk, not bald eagle but the illusive "downhill truck sign"!
Another white knuckle descent for 5 miles and then a beautiful, slightly downhill cruise through with NO traffic and we are all thinking: " Now THIS is why we do this stuff" We turn towards Carson, WA & the Oregon border and encounter the ubiquitous afternoon headwinds and more traffic. We take a short stop in Carson for some lunch and then press on the last 7 miles to Cascade Locks. We go from the best riding conditions to the worst in a span of about 3 hours as we ride on Hwy 14, narrow and winding with minimal shoulders and lots of truck traffic. We cross the old, metal-grate Bridge of the Gods w/ spectacular views of the Columbia River Gorge which those of us with acrophobia can't fully appreciate.
We find a campsite close to the river but even closer to a very busy train track but, again, free hot showers and easy access to food and adult beverages.

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