Albany to Salem – Miles 60-99
For some odd reason I left for day two of biking with the number 24 in my head – 24 miles that is – but oh how I was wrong. Pedaling from Albany to Salem as the second part of our Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway adventure, I should have know by pure driving distance on the indirect roads that it would be more, but my legs would never have anticipated that the length was to be nearly double.
Leaving around 11 a.m. we hopped on our bikes –everyone a little more softly on the seat then the day before and my legs tight even after stretching and walking that morning. But once we got moving, muscel memory set in and the legs just kept pumping.
The first section took us through the main roads of Albany then out to the farm fields, freshly plowed signifying the end of summer – though the warm round sun, heating up the road begged to differ.
At the top Scravel Hill just outside of Albany, we received some beautiful benefits from this scenic bikeway. Stretching out flat across the fertile valley floor, brown and green patchwork of countryside spotted with trees and homes decorated the horizon. A white barn from the farm just down the road waited for us as we stopped at the quiet graveyard at the top of the hill to take in the view, stretch out our legs and snatch a few photos.
Along the route, we also enjoy some vineyard views.
Biking through empty field, nowhere near Salem, we hit 24 miles with my legs already aching. The previous day’s ride had really taken it out of me and a rough night’s sleep didn’t aid in the re-coup process, but I powered on.
Luckily when we reached Independence, we took a quick break for ice cream – the ultimate energy boosting snack. And we definitely needed that energy when we realized the time. With another ten miles ahead of us before Salem, we only had an hour until we were supposed to be at an event. We really needed to book it into town.
Working against us though were the rolling hills. Mound after mound along the two lane road grinded at my legs. Beads of sweat rolling down my back made me swat at my jersey like pesky flies landing on an elephant. Yet finally at 5:30 p.m. (when we were supposed to be arriving at the event) we rolled into Salem with rush hour traffic.
Strolling through the lobby of The Grand Hotel in downtown Salem in our shorts and helmets, we hastily shoved our bikes on the elevators and high tailed it to our rooms to shower.
At least there was prospect of wine to wash down the roughness of the day and relax the legs, I thought as I dropped my bags in my hotel room for the night – lots of wine.
More Photos from Day 2:
If you go:
Lush pillow top beds and spacious rooms greeted us at The Grand Hotel in downtown Salem. One of the only accommodation options in the downtown area, the Grand is in walking distance from the capitol building, shops, and food. Additionally the offer a continental breakfast in a large dining facility in the morning that gives your elbows room to dive into their various food choices.
Wonderful wine, beautiful views and a fabulous celebration for the new Oregon wine licenses plate awaited us this evening at Willamette Valley Vineyards. Meeting up with a few of our good Eugene friends, we felt right at home and enjoy some delicious finger foods and fabulous wine from all over the state. Both Eola Hills and Willamette Valley Vineyard’s Pinot Noirs wowed my taste buds and rejuvenated my legs. Plus Jim Bernau, the winery’s founder, graciously sent us loose for the night with a bottle of his wine in hand.
This is a great little place in the heart of downtown for late night appetizers on a budget. We strolled in around 9 p.m. and they were still serving a long list of food options from their “mini bits” menu. Plus check in on Foursquare and get a free mini bit with the purchase of a drink.