In honor of Anthony’s bike Susie Bishop, a bit of fun:
In honor of Anthony’s bike Susie Bishop, a bit of fun:
Long story short: We made it to the coast.
We woke up in Matt’s machine shop and rolled out around 9:30 am.
Our initial plan was to go to McDonald’s for breakfast, but we saw the Cornbread Cafe and opted for something local instead. It might be too strong to call this a mistake, but…it was a mistake. All of us missed the clear signs that something was wrong. Very wrong. It was a vegan restaurant. They served us something called “eggfu” and “bacon.” It was very Oregon and all, but…should’ve gone to McDonald’s.
We started in earnest at 10:45 am and burned down the road and over the coastal foothills without a problem. We were doing 18-20 mph for a good stretch.
We got to Florence around 3 pm, having biked 61 miles, and headed for the coast. We went south of town to the dunes and pulled our bikes up the hill. That was harder than the bike ride!
We woke up to a cold morning and quickly packed up and headed down to Mackenzie Bridge for some breakfast. Also, I didn’t have cell service and I needed to make my NFL picks for the day, and the games start at 10 am out here, so the clock was ticking.
Thankfully, I got the picks in at 9:45 PT, a full 10 minutes before they were due. Working ahead of schedule as per usual.
After 30 miles, we stopped at a gas station to grab a bite and a drink. We were about finished when I thought I heard someone call my name. My cousin Terry and her husband Billy stopped to say hi! It was great to see them and we made plans to meet up in Florence after we finish tomorrow.
We finished the ride and rode into Springfield and bought some cleaning supplies for our bikes. They’re sounding squeaky and the cassettes and chains need cleaning.
We connected with Matt, a Warm Showers host who’s originally from Indianapolis, and cruised around Eugene in his suburban convertible, the Bewilderd Beast, listening to the Rocky IV soundtrack on cassette tape.
Matt told us some crazy awesome stories from his touring days in Latin America over beers at Ninkasi Brewery.
We spent the night at his machine shop in Springfield.
Next up: Our last day (hopefully)! We’re riding to the coast.
Today was one of the easier days I’ve had on this trip.
We started out going mostly downhill to Sisters for 20 miles. The scenery was gorgeous.
We stopped in Sisters to buy a few sipplies. I went to the Blazin Saddles bike shop looking for a patch kit but also got a tip about a camping site in Willamette National Forest from one of the bike shop guys.
We ate lunch at Dairy Queen and bought some groceries for the evening.
Our work for the day consisted of climbing up and over the Santiam Pass. At this stage if the trip, it wasn’t a problem and we knocked it out in an hour.
After that, it was mostly downhill the rest of the day. And once you’re over the Cascades it becomes so green everywhere. After weeks and weeks of sage brush, it was sweet relief to be in greenery again.
Twenty-seven miles beyond the pass and we found our campsite for the night and it may be our most scenic campsite of the trip. Thanks to the bike shop guy’s tip, we were right next to the river surrounded by huge trees.
We’re almost done! All told, we rode 67 miles today from Bend almost to Mackenzie Bridge.
After a short day, we knew we needed to go on a big run. There was nothing between Chickahominy Reservoir and Bend. Just desert. It was either Bend or bust. We chose Bend.
It was cold overnight — in the 30s. Anthony got up at 7:45 am and started a fire, and we all had some breakfast. For me, it was chicken noodle soup and instant coffee (in a washed out soup can).
We donned hat, gloves, and multiple layers of jackets and set off shortly after 9 am.
We saw on Google Maps that there was some sort of cafe 36 miles up the road. We set our sights on it for lunch. But when we got there it was closed for the season or something.
Undeterred, we continued on to Brothers, where, thankfully, there was a convenience store. I had a Gatorade, a Payday, and a Snickers. Nutritious for sure. Remember, you’re not you when you’re hungry. Snickers satisfies®.
There were some great sites to see along the way, particularly the Oregon Badlands. We had a long descent into the Badlands that was fun.
We soldiered on 35 more miles to Bend, and the Golden Arches (Welcoming weary travelers with crispy french fries and Big Macs for decades).
It was Anthony and I’s longest ride of the trip: 100 miles. Crazy! We’re glad to be out of the lonely desert. In a short while we’ll see the famous Pacific Northwest forests. I’ve been told that once you cross the mountains it’s like day and night. One minute it’s sagebrush, the next it’s a massive deciduous forest.
After reaching our hosts John and Alex’s apartment in downtown Bend, we went to Deschute’s Brewery for a celebratory beverage.
We’re taking Friday off in Bend, but we hope to only have three days of biking left: one day across the mountains toward Eugene, the next day to reach Eugene, then one day to reach Florence. There are some road closures due to fires in the area so we’ll have to work around that.
With wind, rain, and cold in the mix, we weren’t eager to leave the Days Inn, so we checked out around noon. We bought some supplies at the grocery store and ran around town to buy some hats and gloves. We left around 1 pm and had hopes of going 68 miles to Hampton.
After about 20 miles going into the wind at 7 mph, we knew we weren’t going to make it that far. It was getting into the late afternoon and we couldn’t keep up a fast enough pace.
We decided to call it quits after 30 miles and camped at Chickahominy Reservoir just past Riley, Oregon.
It was chilly and windy when we got in and we all set about finding fuel for a fire. We spent the night sitting around the fire cooking dinner and shooting the breeze.
It wasn’t the pedaling day we were hoping for, but we did get treated to a brilliant sunset.
The danger is greatest when the finish line is in sight. At this point, Resistance knows we’re about to beat it. It hits the panic button. It marshals one last assault and slams us with everything it’s got. — Steven Pressfield
Today was tough. It was cold. There were 20 mph headwinds for most the day. There were two big passes to climb. We had to dig deep to finish the day and get from Vale to Burns, Oregon.
The first 30 miles took us more than four hours to finish. We made it to the top of the second pass and sat down for a while to take a break until the wind and cold picked up and pushed us to go down the mountain.
Thankfully, on the other side of the mountain it was totally flat and the wind died down so the last 20 miles we could go 15 mph to Burns.
We made it to a Mexican restaurant in town by 7 pm and then checked in to the Days Inn. We decided it was too cold outside and we were too tired to camp.
We got this!
Today was probably our latest start yet. I woke up to two flat tires, so I had to take care of that right away. We went to the Starlite Diner for some breakfast then hit the grocery store for some supplies. There’s not much of anything in Juntura, Oregon, where we were heading. We started around 1 pm, but we only had 52 miles to go.
The ride started out alright, but pretty soon the wind was just beating us back to 6-8 mph. That was how the whole ride went for the most part, but it was scenic for sure.
It’s an arid landscape, but beautiful. As you can tell, there’s not much out here on US 20 in Eastern Oregon.
We made it to the hot springs just outside Juntura around 7 pm and pitched tents underneath a tree right next to the river.
We had to wade across the river to reach the island where the hot springs were, but it was so worth it after a long hard ride.
Not long after we arrived, a VW bus pulled up and a couple, Kimo and Genevieve, hopped out and joined us in the hot spring. Kimo is from Hawaii and Genevieve is from Colorado. They’re touring the U.S. in their ’69 VW bus looking for a new home longterm.
After we finished at the hot springs, we all hung out at the bus for a while and Genevieve made us hot chocolate. Nice folks, and I hope they find what they’re looking for.
We headed back to our tents around 11:40 pm and Reid, Anthony and I sat around in a circle cooking ramen, soup, and making more hot chocolate. I wonder what the rich people were doing.
Anthony and I had a bunch of flats today. I think 6 between the two of us. There was some little gnome running around and letting the air out of our tires apparently. Still, the flats didn’t hold us back from the border. Oregon. We’re finally here.
Nyssa was our first stop and we just got a quick Gatorade, I fixed a flat, then we continued on our way to Vale, Oregon.
Seriously though, what is a thunderegg?
When we got into Vale, we went to the Sheriff’s office so they could check our IDs to let us camp in the town park. They also made us bag lunches. Nice folks!
We pitched our tents in a pavilion in the town park and ate our bagged lunches. We also made good use of the park swings. It was a good day.
All told, we rode 65 miles from Boise to Vale.