Bike Tour 2022 – Dayville to Mitchell

It was a day of the unexpected. We left the church hostel at 6:30 to eat breakfast at the town cafe. The food was mediocre (my kingdom for some Cheerios). The owners/cooks were both wearing holsters with side arms. I know we look fearsome but we were wearing freshly laundered clothes! There were magazines on our table. The one on the top of the stack was “Open Carry”.

After breakfast we rode west on US 26. A mile out of town we came to a full stop at a construction zone. A section of the road ahead was being chipsealed. We had heard about this and were dreading it. It turned out to be a great break for us.

Half the road was closed to traffic with each side being let through at 20 minute intervals. We followed the last car and had four miles of road to ourselves. The side of the road we were on was untreated. Beyond the construction zone, we still had the road to ourselves thanks to the intervals at the start of the zone.

The road next passed through Picture Gorge in John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. This part of the road is narrow and twisty with no shoulders, normally a real headache for cyclists. Without traffic it was like the best bike path ever. We could stop and take pictures of the gorge to our hearts’ content. And we did.

We skipped going off route to the fossil beds because we wanted to get off the road before temperatures hit the forecasted 104.

We began a gradual climb out of the gorge toward Keys Creek Summit. As in days past, our effort told us we were climbing but our eyes said we were not. The views were splendid regardless of our delusions. The summit came without extraordinary effort. Are we getting stronger or are the climbs getting less intense? Are we overloaded with hemoglobin? Maybe it’s just the fact that we weigh less.

We’d been told the descent from the summit would be very scary. It wasn’t. We are jaded. I think I touched my brakes twice. Mostly I braked by sitting up tall.

We pulled into Mitchell. I found the hostel and backtracked to the Tiger Town Brewery for a much deserved lunch. The food, a big salad with spicy chicken, was excellent and the pint of Kolsch hit the spot.

After lunch we moved into the hostel, Spokes N Hostel. This place is terrific and the owner, Jalet Farrell, has thought of everything. Comfortable beds, a fully stocked kitchen, showers, clothes lines, seating areas, hammocks, charging stations next to each bed, and on and on. We’d been hearing about this hostel for weeks from eastbound riders and it has definitely lived up to its reputation.

Tomorrow another climb, our next to last pass.

Nice day for a ride
Waiting to enter the chipseal zone
Approaching Picture Gorge
Picture Gorge
Picture Gorge
End of Picture Gorge
Leaving Picture Gorge
More rock formations
Today’s summit
Home for the night

Miles today: 39 Tour miles: 2,911.5

4 thoughts on “Bike Tour 2022 – Dayville to Mitchell

  1. I remember that construction zone and thinking to myself, I wish I was going Westbound instead of Eastbound because that side looks great. Glad someone got to enjoy it. Tiger town is worth a 2nd visit.

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