Friday, September 26, 2014

Bend, September 24-25

September 24
We had been warned the night before of a mountain pass to start our day, and indeed, a few miles in, we started to climb.  We went up and up, gradually in places and steeply in others.  Soon before entering the Ochoco National Forest, the pine forest around us turned into a charred mess.  
It had burned earlier this summer, and the air smelled of a campfire that had just been doused. A light rain began to fall, and the wind picked up as well, a mild headwind.  Even with the inclement weather, we were at the top before we knew it.  
A short, chilly snack break at the top had us hoping for a big downhill into a warm, flat valley.  Unfortunately, that didn't happen.  Because the wind had picked up even more, we had to pedal hard to maintain any speed. A short while later, around 1 pm, we pulled off the road for lunch.  We realized we had cell service for the first time in a number of days and were only 44 miles from Bend, the site of bike shops and good breweries.  We decided to go there tonight, even though it would make for a long day of cycling.  
Even though the downhill from the pass persisted, so did the headwind, and progress was moderate.  Coming out of the forest, we had entered ranch lands with a high desert landscape: juniper, sagebrush, and a clear view for miles.  We passed through Prineville, battling traffic along with the wind, and shortly after, turned off the main road onto some small farm roads.  Anything to get off the heavily trafficked main road!  By this point, we were pretty tired.  60 miles down, 20 to go.  Why was the wind still blowing in our faces?  
20 long miles later, we turned into some suburban roads.  The sun was going down; a few more minutes and we would have had to turn on our headlamps.  But we arrived safely, and Rosemary, the warmshowers host we had contacted, greeted us warmly.

September 25
Errands.  Tam got a new shirt, replacing her very holey green one, and we both replaced our clipless pedals with platform pedals and Power Grips (fancy name for straps that go over the top of the shoe).  
The old shirt

Great to see the small, outdoorsy city of Bend and to re-orient ourselves with the world after the remote past few days.
Bend.  Photo credit:

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