Day Seven – Astoria OR to Yakima WA
Miles: 304
Elapsed Time: 11:52

We headed to breakfast at the Pig -N- Pancake and had one of the better breakfasts of the trip. We pulled in around 7:15 and were on our way just after 8:00. We decided to stop at the Astoria Column and soak up the view of the mouth of the Columbia River before getting out of town. The column was a gift from the Great Northern Railroad and Vincent Astor in 1926 as a commemoration of the city's role in the family's business. The murals on the column show different significant events in the history of Oregon. There is an observation deck at the top but obviously we didn't take the time to go up. We walked around a little and took many pics and soaked in the view and were on our way by 8:30.

We crossed over Youngs Bay on US 101 and were quickly riding on the coast to our destination at Ecola State Park. The park offered some great views of the Pacific and the rugged shoreline 100 feet below the park. There were plenty of trails around but we took our pics and hit the road. It was a nice looking park with lots of space.

We headed back north on US 101 and picked up US 26 and headed east for the first time in seven days. We stopped at the Sunset Rest Area to shed some layers and drink some Gatorade as the temperatures had climbed significantly from the costal coolness. We skirted around Portland and I couldn't help thinking someday I would spend some time there, but not on this trip. We jumped off the Interstate and ran up to Crown Point. The road runs along the Columbia River roughly 500+ feet above with great overlooks, and Crown Point was the first on the route. This site is also known as Thor's Heights and Thor's crown and was a stop along the Oregon trail. The state park is a tribute to the pioneers and the Vista House was built in 1918. I would imagine there will be a nice centennial celebration next year.

We continued on the Columbia River Highway which is not much more than a12 foot wide path, but the scenery was nice and we were just riding like tourists. The traffic was really picking up as we neared Multnomah Falls. The traffic and wait to park was really quite long. As we got a little closer we were able to maneuver and find three spots that cars could not use. We navigated next through the crowds and wound our way up to the falls. It was a great view and worth the wait. We got back on the bikes after each downing some water in a vane attempt to stay cool. The temperatures continued to climb and the bumper to bumper traffic was not helping. We planned to stop at Horsetail Falls but a similar situation existed meaning no parking and long wait times, so we stopped on the side of the road and took a few pics and moved on.

Shortly we were on I-84 and enjoying the 70mph wind in our face. We stopped at Cascade Locks and the Bridge of the Gods to have a look around. The locks are no longer in use and have not been since the Bonneville Dam and Locks were built as a replacement in 1938.

Our next stop was going to be for lunch as the day was getting away from us. Hood River was our designated lunch stop and it was going to be close to 3:00 before we stopped. We had two choices; Double Mountain Brewery or Full Sail Brewery. We contemplated which place to go, and wanted to go to Double Mountain but there was a wait and it was outside whereas Full Sail was indoors and no wait. I think the indoor accommodation was the bigger factor. They had some great wings and we also enjoyed a pint before moving on. We stopped at Biggs Junction for gas and it was hotter than Georgia asphalt. We downed some more Gatorade and continued up US 97 toward Yakima and our final destination. US 97 parallels Satus Creek but there is not much to see along the way. We were pretty happy once we hit Yakima. We checked in at the Hilton and grabbed a few beers and a couple bottles of Cabernet and did our normal routine in the hotel lobby, after having ordered Dominos for the second time of the trip. It was a good day, but the sightseeing portion along with the very hot conditions made it less than the best day. Next time if I were riding the Columbia River I would allow more time and definitely stop in Portland.