Astoria Loop from Portland Via Neskowin
My ride stated out with a bit of a hiccup. There were supposed to be 4 bikes on the ride but Curtis' Shadow shit a brick and we had to leave him at the warehouse trying to sort out why his bike wouldn't start. We then left Portland down through McMinnville with just two co-workers on street bikes and me. After all the stop and go of traffic lights the roads finally open up and get progressively more exciting the closer we got to the coast. They definitely left me in the straightaways but I caught up to them at all of the fuel stops they kept making.
We cut up 101 N along the coast and got word from Curtis that he'd torn the bike down and made that starter his bitch. He took the more direct route into Tillamook showing up within just minutes of us. Perfect timing. Not too long thereafter Josh split off on his Ninja saying something about how long rides on a street bike were no fun...
We had a brief stop in Seaside. Hopefully my last to be honest. It's a town with a great beach, but is way too much the manicured tourist mecca for my tastes. All the people lining the streets remind me of why I have a dualsport and need to get out in the woods more often... Gotta stop riding with the street bikes so much.
Our "midway point" of sorts was Kim's Kitchen in Astoria. I'm a HUGE fan of fish n' chips and this was rumored to be about as good as it gets on the Oregon Coast. No doubt about it they were damn fine and tasty. Worth stopping over and trying out if you're in the Astoria area.
After lunch we made a stop at the Astoria Column to take advantage of the clear day. It's pretty easy to find once you're in town just follow the signs that look like a castle, and markings on the roadway.
All in all it's an easy and quick detour and on days like the this one it's definitely worth the view. You can climb the stairs inside the tower to the top deck for a better view. We were a bit more interested in continuing the ride so we didn't stick around too long.
There are several ways to take back from Astoria to Portland. This particular ride we traveled back via Highway 30, but on the map at the top I have an excellent route lined up that drops down through the Scappoose-Vernonia Highway. A really good path to take to avoid all the traffic and speed traps the pepper 30s lanes.