Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Day 76 - August 18, 2013 - Sumpter, OR to Prairie City, OR

Miles - 45
Total mileage - 2,032

We are ready for these mountain passes today!  Had a good breakfast at the cafe in town, and got on the road at a fairly decent time.

We hit the start of the climb to Sumpter Pass just out of town.  It wasnt all that steep to begin with, and wound through some beautiful pine forest.


Certainly not the worst way to start a morning.  It got steeper here and there, but we pedaled all the way up, with plenty of breaks, and made it to the top of number one - two to go!



The downhill was fun, but it's slightly depressing to lose all the altitude it took you a couple of hours to gain in a matter of minutes!  Someone needs to build a bridge from the first to the third do you only have to climb once!

We had a long flat valley to pedal through before the start of cling number two.  14 miles I think of rolling hills.  We kept anticipating the start to the climb at each little hill, but they let us down!

We passed a place offering rest and water for cyclists - I didn't go seek it out, but that person is awesome for doing that!


We finally found it, and the first part was steep!  We walked it, but were soon back in the saddle, pedaling away.  After the first part, the climb wasn't as steep as the first, and we made decent time to the top.  The bonus was that we knew there was a cafe in between this one and the start of the third!




We sailed down the hill, pedaled through a little more flatland before we found the cafe, and had a good lunch, including some ice cream for me!



Time for the final pass...this one was not nearly as steep as the first two, and we managed to pedal most of it, even though we were pretty darn exhausted by this point.



Now, nothing but downhill to Prairie City! It was a fast one, 6% or so grade, and beautiful views of the valley below.


There was a giant wagon thing halfway down the hill that we paused to take a photo on, then continued down.  We were going to go the extra 13 miles to John Day, but they had no camping options, it was getting late, and the dreaded headwind had found us again.

We grabbed drinks and rode to the local RV park to camp.  We couldn't find a camp host, so we didn't end up having to pay...they had really low cyclist rates anyway.  I pedaled back to town and visited the good old convenience store again for dinner snacks.  If I never eat another convenience store dinner, it'll be too soon!  We used the pay showers at the place, enjoyed our convenience store snack dinner, I made a cow friend in the field next door, watched some episodes of Friends, and drifted off to sleep.


She licked my hand, and probably loved it because I was still covered in salt at that point!  I've been whistling at and talking to cows in fields all across the country...they are all very curious, but this is the only one who wanted to actually come over and chat!


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