Thursday, August 22, 2013

Day 78 - August 20, 2013 - Dayville, OR to Mitchell, OR

Miles - 40
Total mileage - 2,117

We started today by making pancakes at the church.  They generously provide pancake mix for cyclists!  We were looking at another mountain pass today, so we headed out soon after breakfast.

In just a few short miles, we approached the entrance to picture gorge, part of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.  The ride through here was really pretty, with very little traffic early in the morning!

After the gorge, we had about 25 miles of gradual climbing to do before reaching the pass.  The high desert scenery was beautiful.  We noticed that the area must have gotten a lot of rain recently because a lot of the ditches on the side of the road had been washed out.  There were trucks full of rock passing us all day headed out there to repair the damage.

We also rode past what us known as the "pair tree".  Basically a tree that people toss pairs of shoes into.  Interesting.

We passed through a wide valley just before the final climb to the pass, and had a chat with some friendly local cows.  I never tire of the looks these guys give us - they are so curious!

Our personal little curse of the headwind struck us then as well just to make the last tough part of the day a little tougher. We made it to the top of the pass though, and couldn't wait for the downhill coast!

We stopped into the cafe in Mitchell, a really small town, and then to the hotel next door.  It was set up like a bed and breakfast, very quirky indeed.  On my way out of checking us in, two gentlemen on the porch asked where we had ridden from, and invited us to share their microbrew beer after we got settled.

We headed back out to the porch to join them for snacks and delicious Mt. Hood Brewery IPA.  Turns out, they met in third grade in a town about 47 miles away, and come back to the area every year for a class picnic.  Then they take 3 days at this hotel and use it as their home base for fishing together.  Al and Stan were 75 and 76 years old respectively - they have been friends for nearly 70 years!

We had some great conversation about religion, politics, and all of those fantastic topics :)  We helped them finish off their beer, delicious French cheese and crackers, and a bottle of wine, so they didn't have to take all of that home.  Just trying to help!

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