Day 19 06/09/22
Got on the road after a day off and we felt refreshed. After picking up a few groceries we headed toward Richland, Oregon. Just out of Baker city we stopped at an Oregon Trail historic site. It was so amazing to see the wagon ruts that were worn into the ground from all the travellers in the mid to late 1800's. We snapped a photo of the landscape that has remained virtually unchanged since they came through. Jeff stopped by while we were there as well as another rider who is in the Trans America Race. We were riding in a wide open space which suddenly compressed down into a very long canyon ride next to the Powder river. What a beautiful day! We stopped on a rock outcropping over looking the river and took a break around noon. We were 17 miles out from our destination and we were in no hurry. Got into Richland around 1:30pm to find Jeff and a Trans America racer having a drink at a little cafe called Sara's Cafe'. I ordered a strawberry smoothie and Sarah had an iced coffee, both hit the spot. While we were sitting there three more racers popped in. The girl that waited on us had moved from a larger town near Eugene to Richland because she fell in love with some cowboy who asked her to dance at a rodeo. Why people tell me these things I don't know but a small town story for sure. We set up camp at a very nice RV park just outside of town. $10 for a biker campsite and both Sarah and I commented on how the showers were much nicer than some of the motels we have a stayed in. BTW our last motel handed us ear plugs at checkin...no joke! Walked to town and got dinner. My teeth about fell out of my head when Sarah said she is getting tired of eating out. "Good thing" I told her because starting tomorrow we are heading into some remote parts where we will be on our own.
Rode 43 miles today
Day 20 06/10/221
Woke up early to beat the heat but somehow we spent close to two hours packing up. Could not get the Garmin to hook up and not sure why. It finally connected at mile three. We headed for a campground called Woodhead Park, in Hell's canyon which is in Idaho. Yes, I said, Idaho! I swear they keep moving the border! We had a nice 6 mile uphill to start off the morning. We have figured out that we can climb these things if we zig and zag our way up. We took a couple of breaks on the side of the road but, with no coffee in sight, one can get quite grumpy. We did stop for drumsticks at a roadside store called Scotty's. The owner cheered us up with bicycle stories of accidents and dehydration. With such encouragement, she offered some cold water from her well and we were on our way. We were 5 miles from our campground, and came upon a steep uphill that was cut in the side of a canyon wall leading up to the top of a dam. This day had an uphill challenge; beginning and end. While looking up at the dam we crossed a bridge and our saving grace came into view. There was a sign that said, "Entering Idaho". We finally crossed out of Oregon and into Idaho! That was a good feeling. We stopped to have a lady snap a photo for us and then spent some time talking with her and her family. Very nice people. We pumped up the hill and made it to the campsite by 2:30pm. Trying to stay out of the rain and heat we showered and hung out on a bench by the restrooms. We couldn't wait for dinner time so we could eat and go to bed. Both of us were spent today because we did not eat enough calories. They call it bonking, and we bonking we did. Tomorrow we have a 7 mile climb out of Hell's Canyon.
Rode 43 miles today.
Day 21. 06/11/22
We woke up this morning feeling better after bonking yesterday. We decided to load up on calories and protein so we each had two packs of oatmeal, split a bananna, ate some nuts and drank a 30 gram protein shake. I could hardly choke it down at 6:00am. We powered up for that 9 mile climb and began the ascent. I believe my body used every pore and maybe even developed some new ones to let the sweat out. Sarah called the weather sultry and mentioned how it felt like her hands we're swimming in her biking gloves and made grabbing the handle bars slippery. What I can say is, the scenery looked like a cross between Hawaii and Ireland; green, lush and a river running through a narrow canyon. We arrived at the top in cooler weather which now required an additonal top layer for the screaming 10 mile downhill into Cambridge. Along the way, Sarah mentioned that she liked campgrounds that had paper towels in the bathroom because she had something she could clean her face with. The first thing that came to my mind was that I had something I could clean the bike chain with. So thankful I am married to a woman. Arriving in town we found a great espresso bar, a lumber yard to get gas for our stove and a general store for supplies. We had made reservations at Mundo Hot Springs so we checked in. What a treat to soak in a hot pool after a short day of riding. They even had towels you can rent. I know that sounds trivial but when you have been using a camp towel that is the size of a cloth napkin, it is nice to have something that feels like home. We are facing some serious rain the next few days so our plans are up in the air. We hope the weather report is wrong and we can move on.
Rode 28 miles today.