Sauvie Island - Northwest passages: riding out the storm - CycleBlaze

February 22, 2020

Sauvie Island

Two confessions

I have an embarrassing confession to make.  In looking back over the map and our calendar I realize I have made two errors in what I’ve told you about the tour so far:

  1. First, I gave you the wrong starting date.  We begin the tour on March 24th, not the 23rd.  I’m not sure where this error slipped in, but I think we originally planned to begin on the 23rd but changed our minds when we considered our flight options.  A small point, but still.
  2. Second, I was slightly off about the dimensions I gave you for the giant breadbox the tour would fit inside of.  It’s not 500 x 200 x 2 miles.  It’s more like 1,200 miles x 200 x 2; and even then we’ll slop over the edges just a bit.  Oops.

How could we have been so far off, you’ll be wondering.  Simple, really.  You’ll remember that the trip includes an embedded flight.  In fact, it’s really two separate but consecutive tours.  When I drew my theoretical box on the map, I only included one of the two segments.  Mea maxima culpa.

Twenty Questions, continued

Question #9: Will you be taking the Bike Fridays on this tour? Pah!  What a wasted question.  Obviously we’re taking the Bike Fridays.  The tour includes an embedded flight, remember?  That’s the whole point to having Bike Fridays.  Next! 

Question #10: Will it begin in Austin and end in Albuquerque?  Cheater!  You peeked!  Yes, of course it will.  You obviously looked at the link for the website and saw its name, AustintoAlbuquerque. That was a blunder on my part when I named this journal, since it can’t be modified once created and I didn’t anticipate this slow reveal at the time.  It’s a mistake I won’t make in the future.  So, there’s a very big hint.  Visualize a 1,200 mile by 200 mile box two miles deep, oriented WNW/ESE, that contains both Austin and Albuquerque.  

Today’s ride

It’s another fine day today; and since it’s the weekend we decide to dash out to Sauvie Island.  Weekends are by far the best time for this ride because there’s much less traffic on Highway 30.  I’ve been wanting to bike out to Sauvie specifically because I know there are sheep out there, and I’m still on the hunt for some shady sheep tor Tony from Tasmania to post over on the Cycle365 channel.  

It’s twelve miles from our current home to the Sauvie Island Bridge.  It’s all urban or highway travel with no big reason to stop, so we bike through save for one stop to photograph a freighter reflecting nicely on the Willamette.

Northbound on Highway 30, approaching the Saint John’s Bridge. The shoulder is in much better shape than it often is in the winter, when it typically is pretty trashy.
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The Summer Sky, a bulk carrier sailing under Panama’s flag.
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Crossing the Sauvie Island Bridge, we come up with a ride plan that works for both of us.  I’ll ride up the west side to the end of the pavement, which is where the sheep typically hang out.  Rachael will add a few miles by detouring out Oak Harbor Road, giving me some time to stop here and there.  We’ll meet up somewhere along the way and then bike home together.

Looking south along Multnomah Channel from the Sauvie Island Bridge. On a clearer day we’d be seeing Mount Hood out there.
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This is an unusual sight. Normally all these piling in Multnomah Channel are reserved for the cormorants.
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Looking north along Multnomah Channel. It’s a bit too dim to stand out in this photo, but straight ahead at the head of the channel is Rocky Point.
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The season is really transitioning quickly. Every day it seems like there is more in bloom than the day before.
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Steve Miller/GrampiesIn Victoria, we spotted our first four daffodils in bloom yesterday. But here in Cowichan - nada! However, when we left for Europe last March 13, there was snow on the ground here.
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3 months ago
I don’t remember grass sprouting in one of these nests before. It must have been a really wet winter. The ospreys won’t return for another month yet, but they’ll have some serious housecleaning to do when they arrive.
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Another look at Multnomah Channel. The water is interesting today, with its mottled mix of slackwater and choppy patches.
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It’s been a great weekend for hawk portraits. The red tails are out in force today - I saw three different pairs soaring above the channel.
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Bruce LellmanWhat kind of tree is that?
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3 months ago
Rachael arrives at our turn back point, just north of the county line.
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Hah! Here you go, Tony. There are a lot of sheep out here, but all but one are inside under shelter today.
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Image not found :(
On the way home again, we find two more sheep. Rachael spotted these and was waiting for me here, like a bird dog. She’s getting to be a really good spotter - yesterday the rough legged hawk and a snowman, and today this! She says it’s because she’s started wearing her glasses more regularly.
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At least I think it’s a sheep, but what breed is this? Or maybe it’s a goat?
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Suzanne GibsonShade or no shade, that is the question.
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3 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Suzanne GibsonNo shade, no question about it. I only needed one photo of those, and the ones above are definitely a shady lot.
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3 months ago
Jen GrumbyI've never seen a sheep like that before .. or a goat.
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3 months ago
Mount Hood, and the Sauvie Island Bridge.
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Ride stats today: 44 miles, 700’.

Rate this entry's writing Heart 5
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Bob DistelbergI prefer the term excellent sleuthing rather than cheating... :-)
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3 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Bob DistelbergI agree Bob, and no disparagement intended. Well done, Hercule!
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3 months ago