June 20 - 29: Oregon

6/24 - Redmond (70 miles 3782.5 total)
the day started off cool at the oregon hotel in mitchell. we had a high pass to face early, so were glad for a short downhill stretch that gave us a head start. leaving mitchell we pedalled thru the area of the painted hills again....the area that we drove to last night after supper. i'd look around in disbelief that i could be biking along on a gorgeous early morning with such majestic beauty looming on all sides.
our biking route didn't take us past the painted hills themselves; they're on a gravel road off the route. but i thot i'd throw in this photo i took last night to give you another view of those spectacular hills that were again nearby this morning. notice the little patch of bright green in the back left of the photo; that's an irrigated field.
soon we started uphill. we're getting used to this...if a biker ever does. some had sagged to the top. the climb was about 10 miles long & pretty steep. we were sweating buckets in no time. becky was driving the subaru today; she was at the top to provide us fuel for the descent. ochoco pass topped out at 4,720 feet. the downhill turned out to be very gradual...fine with me, not so great with everyone else. we also had a headwind much of the way down, which slowed the coasting.
we got back into agricultural lands as we got lower....lots of hay. many fields were dotted with freshly baled hay in neat little packages. huge walls of neatly stacked hay bales were a fixture in many farmyards. the cattle & horses that eat that hay populated many huge pastures along the way.
finally at about 45 miles we were biking along a beautiful lake...lake ochoco...& were almost to prineville, our one hope for food today. claudine had switched places with becky, so was now driving the subaru. she alerted us to a restaurant only a mile or so along that was sitting down on the lake's edge...the lake ochoco lodge. that was for us. we got there & found a few other bikers already enjoying a relaxing respite. sari & i enjoyed some delicious, freshly made minestrone soup.
the proprietor took this picture of us all as we lounged on the deck at the water's edge. from left are patty fainer, judy, debby, me, lee, sari, rose, & anne. you can see how tough cross-country biking can be!
back on the road, we finally reached prineville...a big town at almost 7,000 population. we were on the lookout for a restaurant that sarah had recommended for pie & found it. our blackberry pie was very good. little did we know as we got back on the road what a huge surprise awaited us a couple of miles away.
we wheeled carefully to a point on our route that we knew we had to watch....a Y in the road where we had to veer left from US hwy 26 to hwy 126. as we veered, i noticed a young couple on the side of the road; he had a camera up to his eye & was taking our picture. strange, i thot. sari was riding right behind me, & suddenly i heard her shrieking. it took me a few seconds to decipher what she was shrieking: "it's my erik. it's my erik. and verdi." sari & i stopped & greeted them. what a miracle. sari hadn't thot she'd get to see her son, erik, & his wife, verdi, on this trip, but they had flown to portland late last night from their home in san diego, rented a car, then tried to find us along our route today. they knew we were going from mitchell to redmond. they had driven to prineville & asked at the police station if "those women" had gone thru yet, but the police didn't know about us. the truth is that "those women" are very stretched out on the road every day...often 20 miles & an hour or 2. sari & i are almost always at the end; we're known for that. in fact, a new word pretty well describes our biking style: lollydawdling.
but here we were...appearing at the very time & on the very road along which erik & verdi had posted themselves. they'd been there only 20 minutes. no other bikers had come by; i was amazed that they'd continued to wait. & if sari & i hadn't stopped for soup & for pie & meandered along in our usual relaxed way, we never would've ridden by at the right time. i can't describe how excited & happy sari was; i doubt that she can either. i was thrilled to be part of such a special occasion.
erik & verdi let us go on along our way & followed us. we started climbing a hill. soon they drove up alongside....to tell us that we'd missed our turn to redmond. so we rode back down the hill & got back on track. (needless to say, we didn't have our wits about us!) a little further along the road, there they were again, standing alongside the road with a sign they'd just created.
here's a picture of the 3 of them with the sign. CBSari is the way sari signs off on her email messages during this trip; it stands for 'crazy biker sari.'
erik & verdi drove on to redmond to find overnight accommodations. they have to fly back home to san diego late sunday. sari & i had almost 20 miles yet to ride to redmond. much of the time we had headwinds, tho' the winds were gusty.
here's a photo that gives you an idea of the landscape. i don't think you can see the snow-capped cascade peaks on the far horizon.
we're staying at the new redmond hotel ("new" in 1927)...a beautiful old hotel that's exremely well maintained. sari & i are roommates; we have a view of the cascades out our window.
at this evening's map meeting before supper, debby told us about the local relay for life, a cancer fundraiser, that's underway tonight here in redmond. we on this bike ride are also raising funds for cancer research (see the first page of this web site). the local relay organizers are pleased that we're in town & that some of us will attend this evening to cheer on the local participants. they relayed to each of us thru debby a necklace made of beads that depicts the various sizes of breast tumors.
the sun was baking the parking lot late afternoon, making it much too hot for patty to do any cooking in her galley, so we had supper at a nearby restaurant. it was good; i had some delicious salmon. erik & verdi joined us--for the map meeting, where sari described to our whole group the miraculous roadside rendezvous, & for supper. we're so relieved to have a rest day here in redmond tomorrow, tho' it's hard to relax with the excitement of the final 3 days of our ride before us.
Higher quality versions of the pictures from my trip are available here. If you would like copies of the original, full-size photos, or if you would like text-only versions of these daily reports e-mailed to you, feel free to e-mail my son Mark with your request. Stay tuned....

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