The day began with a huge bowl of Cheerios, the old fashioned kind not the honey nut monstrosity. I also had a massive cup of coffee and a banana.
Locked and loaded we left the hostel around 6:40, heading west over Ochoco Pass. When the day begins like this, you know you’re going to have fun.
After some warm up miles we began the climb to the pass. Knowing that some types of pine trees need fire to generate seedlings, I had been expecting to see a burn area along this route and today we rode through one. This part of the forest will regenerate over the next decade or two.
Just like the last few passes, today’s was more of an exercise in persistence. I didn’t run out of breath even as my left quadriceps muscle ached a bit from time to time.
When I reached the pass Corey was waiting in the shade. Mark was right behind me. We munched on some snacks then began the fun part. Down!
The ride down was somewhat steep but we are descent veterans so it was not at all scary. The grade lessened after a few miles but remained a slight downhill nearly all of the 30 miles to Prineville.
In Prineville we had lunch at a Dairy Queen. They have a $7 meal that is a very good calories per dollar deal.
I have been using an out-of-date Adventure Cycling map for planning purposes. The newer maps direct riders on a northerly path from Prineville to the town of Terrebonne. We followed the old route, state highway 126 to Redmond because Redmond is a city with many more services. It was a very busy, mostly two-lane highway. The shoulder was narrow and filled with assorted debris. It was a stressful 18 miles. I rode it as fast as I could.
In Redmond we stopped at a bike shop then spent about an hour trying to find a reasonably priced motel. The cheapest looked like a hangout for junkies and hookers. A Motel 6 only had single bed rooms. Another hotel told me over the phone that they had a two-queen-bed room available but when we pulled up on our bikes just minutes later it magically had been booked by someone else.
We ended up at a Comfort Inn. It’s quite nice and ought to be for the price. It’s my turn to sleep on the floor. I have vowed to lay waste to the continental breakfast.
One thing about living in the DC area that I have grown to dislike is the departure of so many friends.
After getting settled at the hotel, I spent the late afternoon with one of my favorite bikedc expats, Rachel Cannon. She moved to this area a year and a half ago. We spent a couple of hours nursing beers and nibbling at nachos but mostly just catching up. The visit was too short but the hugs were heartfelt. Thanks for coming by, Rachel. It was great to see you.
Tomorrow we climb McKenzie Pass, our last big climb.
Miles today: 72 Tour miles: 2,983.5