Day 13 Date 21th May 2015
Total Distance 
Weather Sunny
Rolling Time
Total Rolling 
Terrain NA
Total Climmbing 
Hostel $35.00
Helmet $40.00
Glassware $15.00
Coffee $4.00
Average Speed 0.0k/h Sleeping Hotel/Hostel
Max Speed 0.0k/h Difficulty  Easy

Yesterday I decided to stay another day in Astoria to recover some more and explore the town so I went onto and found Norblad Hotel & Hostel located in the centre of Astoria on 14th Street so I checked out of the Motel at 11am and made my way the 500 or so metres to Norblad where I checked in, this place is a spacious, airy, open hotel/hostel, its really nicely done inside and it looks like I have the 4 bed dorm to myself for the night as the receptionist said I was the only booking.  I had mistakenly booked the room for the night before and didn’t realise it as the day on my watch was wrong but they didn’t care and just moved the reservation for tonight.  It looks like I’m going to have to spend the next few days inventing stories to match my look, I decided not to use there bar fight line with the hip receptionist at checkin!  I stored my bike in the basement of the hotel which was derelict, the size of a football pitch and pungent with the aroma of bud, then shoved all my bags under one of the beds before making my way to the local bike shop to buy another helmet so as to try and hold onto what brain I have left!

I’ve decided to rename Astoria to Hipstoria,  this place is a hipster boutique from the people to the buildings to the things, they all look slightly dilapidated on the outside but you get the feeling that this look didn’t happen by chance and it took a lot of work to get it that way, like the messy hair look that took a stylist hours to perfect, the place does look great with the smell in the air somewhat like Guinness in Dublin with their many microbreweries in town, Buoy and Fort George being two that I passed.  There are skinny beardy hipsters at every coffee shop and bakery in the town, I must’ve looked so out of place with my bar brawl eye and beat up hands, I’d say their fixes were trembling as I walked past.  Okay, enough hipster talk.  I walked along their wooden boardwalk by the ocean where they have a tourist trolly that goes by on tracks, there is a funny and appropriate sign along the boardwalk that depicts somebody falling off their bicycle that I had to accost a local waker to get her to take a picture of me, holding my new helmet, with beat up face and warning sign in the background.  Hopefully the next time I come off the bike I’ll be taking pictures of my helmet and not my head!

Buoy Brewery

Buoy Brewery

A homeless guy bummed a cigarette off me as I was walking back to the hostel so I said I’d use the moment to ask him something good to do in Astoria, just for the heck of it to see what he’d say, he suggested the Astoria Column which is a tower on a hilltop overlooking the whole region, the tower houses a spiral staircase with 164 steps to a viewing deck at the top and it’s free to visit, so that’s what I did.  Cheers dude….may all your bins be bountiful!  I walked up 16th street to access the hill that leads to the tower, it was an uphill climb for about twenty minutes before I got to the tower which is perched on the highest point around Astoria, you can see all the bridges leading into and out of the town.  Megler Bridge, the one I crossed yesterday that links Washington to Oregon is 6.6km long and I sure as hell know it feeling every inch of its crossing yesterday.  I climbed the 164 steps to the top of the column and the view up there was great, 360° around as far as you can see.  There was a girl on top that had bought a small wooden glider plane in the giftshop at the bottom and she was going to launch it from the lookout platform, it was pretty windy but she threw it into the wind and off it went, swirling in loops rising and falling for well over a minute until we could no longer see it behind a treeline, it flew a lot more impressively than any of us at the top had anticipated!

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My plan for the evening was to go have a few local beers in the Fort George Brewery beside the hostel, it’s open until 11pm but first I wanted to go get my head checked out at the local hospital to make sure everything was okay, I felt fine but my head and eye were quite swollen and it was best to make sure there was so fracture or concussion.  I walked to the ER room of the Columbia Memorial Hospital a few blocks away from the hostel and requested to be seen, I handed over my ID and insurance documentation then sat and waited, and waited and waited….I got checked out by a doctor at about 10pm all the while feeling disappointment at missing an opportunity to have a couple of local beers before I left the next day!  The doctor checked me out, looked into the back of my eyeballs and was able to tell me I was not concussed, he said the blood vessels at the back of the eyeballs look different when there is swelling inside the head and mine look great!  He also manhandled my head and made sure there was no steps in my skull or misaligned jaws, all of which he was happy with.  He said the only way to make sure there was no fracture was to take a CT scan as an X-Ray can be non conclusive when it picks up the other side of your head aswell.  I declined the scan as he had already confirmed what I thought that everything was mostly okay.  We agreed to X-ray my hand as it was puffed up and sore in parts that were not scraped, especially when he squeezed it, they came back fine so after some paperwork I was on my way.  I really do seem to get value for money out of this travel insurance game, if there was a loading for pre-existing claims i’d be non-insurable at this stage with my previous bill coming to $15,000 CAD!


I arrived back at the hostel at 11pm, too late for the brew house next door so instead i cooked a feast in the kitchen before going to bed…..maybe i’ll stay another night ;-)…

  1. Darragh says:

    Glad to see you are on the mend Tony – the crash sounded nasty! On the plus side though…with that black eye you look like one mean b*****d!! Really enjoying your blog and am growing increasingly jealous with each post…feeling the lure of the open road and the adventures that await! Enjoy the ride!


  2. Ross says:

    Hey Tony,
    Bad luck about the tumble – looks like it could of been a bit worse though, 40km/h with no Lid is a bit mad!
    Good to hear that it is all surface cuts and bruises – a little downtime and “liquid medicine” and you’ll be back better than before!

    Keep her lit!


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