Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Day 72 - August 14, 2013 - Richland, OR to Baker City, OR

Miles - 40
Total mileage - 1,957

We went to sleep so early last night, around 8:00, but still didn't get up until after 7 this morning.  Our bodies are telling us we need a break, methinks.  We stopped quickly for breakfast at the Shorthorn Cafe, where another westbound cyclist stopped in as well.  Sounded like he was German.  The guys we ran into yesterday were across the street at the post office.  

Today's ride appeared to be gradual uphill for about 24 miles, topped off by a steep climb at the end, and a gradual downhill into Baker City.  After a few short bit slightly steep climbs, most of the morning seemed almost to be downhill.  We were confused as to why this was, but weren't going to question it!

The ride transitioned from ranch land back to a desert canyon.  At one point we passed a crew doing roadwork, who turned out to be inmates from a local prison.  I always am torn in these situations...I start saying hello and having those short conversations with them, but I'm sure they probably aren't supposed to be talking to any passerby.  I'm always interested in their story - it really got me thinking about The IF Project (  

We passed an interesting site describing a landslide that happened in the late 80s - you could see where it buried the old highway.  Interesting stuff.

There were no service stops angling the route at all today - luckily we found a "rest area", aka put toilet in the desert, almost halfway in.  And not too long after that, we found the first steeper climb of the day - short and sweet.  I only to be followed by the big one.  It didn't seem steep, but went on forever.  We walked up some of it at the end.  More nice mountain views most of the way up, obscured by smoke from all the recent fires in the area though.

After all the climbing, we met a less than exciting downhill, which we had to pedal down due to the headwind that found us!  We really wanted to stop in at the Oregon Train Interpretive Center, about 7 miles out of Baker City, but they put the damn thing at the top of a big hill!  Some other time I guess...

We crossed over I-84 - the first major highway we've really seen in days, and stopped at the first tiny has station/RV park we saw for cold drinks.  We were nearly out of water, and so happy to see this place!

Mel's parents are generously putting us up in a hotel tonight - thank you guys!  We ate the slightly melty and toasted sandwiches we had packed but not eaten for lunch today for dinner.  Baker City water is currently contaminated with some sort of bacteria, so we are trying to remember to not drink it or wash our hands in it.  At least the hotel is handing out bottled water for guests to use until the problem is resolved.  Even the slushy machine at the grocery store is down until they fix the problem!  Thanks to Adrienne for forewarning us of this days ago!

We are taking a rest day here tomorrow. We've had 6 days of tough riding and high heat, and it's starting to catch up with us.  Thinking we will visit the Baker County Museum.  And eat Chinese food. And relax!

No comments:

Post a Comment