My Vanilla bike on the Canby Ferry

Two ferries century via Corral Creek

Published 2023-07-23
Written about 2 weeks after this ride

One of my longtime favorite centuries is Two Ferries, connecting the Canby Ferry with Wheatland Ferry. I like to start from the west side, 1) to avoid riding on (or around) 99E near Oregon City and 2) to take me along Mountain Road between Wilsonville and West Linn. I also try to stage my return along the Willamette, to avoid 99W between Newberg and Tigard.

On July 23 I rode this century — actually a little more than 108 miles — with a few modifications along the route.

The day was bone dry and warm — mid- to upper-80s. The two themes for the day were “locating drinking water” and “nursing the batteries on my phone and watch.” These led to some unexpected tweaks to my route, for example circling around Newberg or Dayton looking for a tap in a public park.

I also underestimated how sunny it would be. Between Canby Ferry and Parrett Mountain (about 65mi or more), there was functionally no shade at all. I did an ok job sunscreening before I left home but neglected the top of my (utterly bald) head. Leaving me with a stripey sunburn on my scalp reflecting my helmet vents.

I made a few other route alterations. I started southbound on the eastside then crossed at Oregon City, so I crosssed the Willamette four times. After crossing on the Wheatland ferry, instead of taking Dayton Highway north I went a little farther west and took Webfoot Road — a huge improvement.

But by the time I reached Dayton my devices were flashing low battery warnings so I was mostly navigating from memory. This was a mistake. I had a few truly terrifying miles on 99W between Dayton and Dundee — no shoulder and cars ripping past me at 60+mph. I sometimes take a detour south around Dundee to avoid this stretch but couldn’t remember it without a map. I eventually made it successfully to Corral Creek but accidentally turned south onto Parrett Mountain Road which added another 500' climb back up Ladd Hill.

This was my first trip along Corral Creek Road since 2014 or so, and in that time it has been paved. Of course pavement bums me out but it was still a quiet rural road. Unfortunately my phone battery was flashing low warnings, I didn’t dare take any pictures for fear of tapping it entirely.

Unlike Corral Creek, Tualatin-Sherwood Road is undergoing major work. This was always a reliably — if not reliably awesome — route out of the suburbs, with a broad shoulder, plenty of shade, and moderate traffic. It currently has none of those things. It is being widened to support heavy development along its entire length, so all the trees are gone and so is the shoulder. It looks like it will have a separated bike path (yay?) but that’s not finished yet. So more riding in the lane with exurban highway traffic!

I arrived home after about 7 hours in the saddle. Salt crusted my kit, helmet, and sunglasses; my legs were pre-cramping from electrolyte shortages. I drank copious volumes of cold water and stood under a cool shower for half an hour.