Day 12 06/01/22
This is the day of our first big challenge. We woke up to packing in lots of protein and hit the road. We were heading over McKenzie Pass but were not sure if it was open due to snow. As we were getting ready to leave, our new cyclist friends in Montana, texted me to tell us that it is open to cyclists. A quick check with ODOT didn't give us certainty but at least some hope. We rolled the dice and began to 29 mile, 4000' ascent. We had the road all to ourselves as it was closed to motorists. On the way up we ran into an ODOT worker who was driving down. He said they were up at the summit clearing the snow with heavy equipment. It took Sarah and I seven hours to reach the workers and we drove right by them. The road had six foot walls of snow on both sides with snowbergs on the road. Reaching the summit opened up some of the most amazing views of the volcanic Cascades. The Civilian Conservation Corp built an amazing stone structure that made the views that much more amazing. We finally headed down around 5:00pm from the top; gliding some 13 miles though staightaways and hairpin turns. But as I said the road was closed to autos so it was a blast. We headed straight to a burger joint in Sisters called the Sno Cap. There we wolfed down a couple of mushroom burgers and onion rings and wonderful chocolate shakes. Headed to a campground, showered and were off to bed. The day was a gruelling and we were beat. Rode 43 miles today.
Day 13 06/02/22
We didn't get going till 9:00am. Did I say yesterday was grueling? First order of the day was to get coffee and a breakfast burrito at Sisters coffee. Got on the road at 10:00am and headed to Prineville with a stop in Terrebon to get some eats. The ride was fairly flat, thank God, as we rode though treed, high desert. The people we have met have been so nice to us. There were no shoulders on most of the roads but traffic was light and the day was warm. Neither of us wanted to ride today but we did and we were better off for it. Made it to Prineville just in time for rain so we decided to get a real roof over our heads and got a motel. Packing up all of your stuff in the morning takes time so tomorrow we can just get up and go. We have few days of mountains to ride before we get to Baker city. Going out to get BBQ in a few minutes and then getting horizontal, can't wait!
Rode 48 miles today
Day 14 06/03/22
We got up early after some restless sleep. Our legs feel really sore and fatigued but we decided to ride today and pleasantly surprised as we left around 7:00am. The roads were great with little traffic but amazing countryside. Our plan was to ride to a little town called Mitchell where it was recommended to stay at the Spoke'n hostel. I will get back to that in a minute. Pretty much rode for five hours with stops along the way to hydrate and eat. At one point Sarah was saying that it she smells a foul odor so I immediately starting checking my shirt thinking that it had to be me. As we cycled along even I began to smell it and when she almost had me convinced that it was me, along comes a dead deer on the side of the road. We both had a laugh. We summitted Ochoco Pass and rode a nine mile descent nearly all the way to Mitchell. As we descended we spooked four horses that were eating grass by the side of the road. The horses took off in a full sprint just out pacing us at over 30 miles per hour. They were running parallel to the highway and at times on the highway. Fortunately, they came to a small clearing and the chase was over. What a thrill and no one was hurt. We arrived at a place called the Spoke'n Hostel, what an oasis. It is an old Assemblies of God church building. Jalet and her husband, Pat, run the place and we were impressed with the facility and hospitality. We talked with Pat, the pastor and their friends, Doug & Donna Strange, who were there helping with the hostel. Went to dinner at a local brewery (Tiger Town Brewing CO.) and just enjoyed the evening. We may stay another day but we may also ride tomorrow weather permitting.
Rode 47 miles today.
Day 15 06/04/22
Called it a rest day and stayed another night at the Spoke'n Hostel.