Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Day 12 Rolling down the Salmon River

A gentle climb in the morning took us to New Meadows where we had a nice breakfast. The ride from here was a beautiful 50 mile roll down the Salmon river. 

The temperature in the canyon was very hot so we stopped early and took advantage of the cool river.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Day 11

The escape out of Hells canyon was not near as bad as expected. Fresh legs and a cool morning climb made the 6 miles of 7+% go almost easy. I guess many things are that way - the anticipated challenge is worse than the actual event. C'est la Vie.

Second breakfast was at Cambridge. From there we rolled through Council and up a hot steep grade that was difficult either because of the heat or possibly the two cans of beer and bottle of wine I was carrying for this evenings hydration.

Evergreen campground on the Weiser river was our resting place this evening. Spanish rice with onion and salami. The climb from council was longer than anticipated so that our beers were warm.

Today was was a short 65 which was very nice. The days ahead will have a number of shorter days though Lolo pass looms ahead.

Day 10 Hells canyon

It was supposed to be an easy day. Somehow 107 miles in very high heat made the day more challenging than yesterdays 3 passes. Lack of sleep made Wayne grumpy because of the late night music and my waking him at 4:15 instead of 5:15. A quick downhill roll to a baker city truck stop and we were ready to descend down to Hells canyon. Ok so for some reason there were 2 summits to climb on the way down. The first was only about 400 feet and was barely noticed. The second one at the end of the day was 1600 feet at 7% which translates to just over 4 miles of hard climbing in very high heat. All to get to the bottom of the snake river canyon so we can climb over 3000 to get out tomorrow. Beans and rice with salami for dinner with a couple of cans of steel reserve. The sky is pink on the clouds above the canyon and its time for bed.

Day 9

Three 5000+ passes today and another 105 miles.
We had breakfast in John Day and had concerns about the days passes to come. The climbs ended up not being so bad. It turned out that our newly selected route is part of the cycle America cross country route that ends in Astoria. We chatted briefly with a Dutch couple headed for Denver. Towards the end of the day we rolled into the old gold mining town of Sumpter. A few miles further we arrived at an informal forest service camp site. No water so a dip in the lake was our bath again except for the loud music until 1 am when Wayne finally yelled out for some quiet it was ok. Well maybe not so ok since earlier I had found a tick crawling on my neck. Wayne assured me that there really shouldn't be many around this area. I still checked my clothing and self. The next morning a couple of miles down the road we passed a campground with shower, oh well.

Day 8 John Day

Two big climbs and 105 miles got us to to Mt Vernon just outside of John Day. We've rerouted ourselves through Baker city and hells canyon.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The first 7 days

I thought I'd be able to update daily but it has been a crazy 7 days. First day to Lewis and Clark campground was 10 hours and 23 minutes and with our 10:15 start it was getting dark when we arrived. The day went well except for Hugh's Centralia jinx. No crash this year but he did trash his rear wheel. While rolling through Centralia the wheel was wobbling and we stopped to true it we noticed that a spoke was pulling out through the rim just like the photo of my wheel from an earlier blog. We trued the wheel and called Corliss and Janet for a rear wheel delivery.

The second day was even crazier, 15.5 hours along I5 frontage roads to Portland. After one of the longest straight up walks I've done in a long time. I rolled into woodlawn just as Wayne were putting the cassette onto the new wheel that Corliss had delivered. Navigating a detoured bike route through Portland took what seemed forever. We found a city park on the Clackamus river were we bathed and camped. We Finished dinner at 11:15.

The third day we took the elevator in Oregon City and followed 99 south. 10.5 hours took us part way over the cascades toward Santiam pass. We bathed in the river at the whispering falls campground and got chastized for doing it in the buff by a fisherman.

The fourth day was just over 9 hours to Sunriver. I thought with a couple of days off I would be able to catch up with the blog but with the demands of 4 four grandkids it just was not possible. We did get to watch Corliss and her team mates win their division for the Northwest region. The team will be heading to nationals in palm springs in October as one of 16 teams from around the country. Hugh finished the Sun River half ironman in just under 6:30. He looked fresh at the finish but he did go to bed early that night.

Today we started rolling again. First breakfast in Sunriver and second in Bend. Hugh headed North and Wayne and I went East along Hiway 26. We stopped for a brief visit with an old fried of Waynes who lives just East of Prineville. A few miles further down the road we stopped to camp at Ochoco reservoir. Dinner was a loaf of French bread with hummus, avocado, onion, tomato and of course herring.

With luck tomorrow should take us the 110 miles to John Day.

483 miles