Jim O’Horo Memorial Columbia Gorge Explorer Recap
Great Weather and Camaraderie
Last Memorial Day weekend, twenty-five hardy souls strapped everything they needed on their bikes and spent four days cycling and camping in the gorgeous Gorge. We left from Larson’s Bakery in Vancouver, heading east for two days along the north side of the Columbia River, going as far as Maryhill and Biggs Junction. The last two days, we explored the south side of the Gorge, returning through The Dalles and Hood River, taking advantage of the Old Historic Columbia River Highway bikeway. Several riders came from as far away as Seattle, and members of both the Portland Bicycling Club and Vancouver Bicycle Club participated. ✎
The weather was fantastic: highs around 80º, lows around 50º, and only one thunderstorm for a few hours on the first day. Otherwise, we had sunny skies, and glorious tailwinds on Day 2, from Skamania to Maryhill. Of course, winds from the west meant we had the usual headwinds heading west from Biggs Junction on Days 2 and 3.
A highlight of the tour was having the honor of being the very first bikers to sleep at the new hiker/biker campsite at Viento State Park. It features brand new showers and bathrooms, lockers to store and charge electronics, and cute lean-tos for tents or bikes. Stop by and check it out if you are driving through the Gorge!
Last but not least, good cycling usually goes with lots of good food! Many of us stopped at restaurants along the way, including Walking Man Brewing in Stevenson, Carmen’s Kitchen in Bingen, Maryhill Winery, Cousins’ in The Dalles, and Bridgeside (formerly known as Charburger) in Cascade Locks. Fun times to stop, rest and socialize!
The tour is designed to just cover its costs, and due to a few last-minute dropouts and our ability to cancel a few campsites, we netted $133.50 for the club.
Special thanks to our Vancouver Bicycle Club ride leader Kyly McMurray, my co-leader Dave McQuery, and Maria Sworske, who made daily posts to our Facebook PBC Group! Photo credits to Maria Sworske, DJ Phillips, and Dylan Schultz Vandehey.
Christi Horton, Ride Co-Leader