What better way to start the day than sharing breakfast with two new friends who are also doing the TransAmerica! Rob and Garry rolled in last night, think I mentioned that! They were having a day of rest today, a zero day so we tip-toed around this morning trying not to disturb them . . .but they were already up! Rob had the pancake batter ready, I found a dozen fresh farm eggs yesterday that were a must have for our breakfast, the coffee was ready so we all sat down to a great home-made breakfast! Stories were shared, information exchanged and we all said our farewells knowing they would catch us up in a few days!
Pat the proprietor and pastor of the Spoke'N Hositle warned us the climb was waiting for us as soon as we started the day! But it wasn't bad, it actually was fairly gradual and we happily met the challenge, it was cool and quiet and we climbed!
Funny the things you think about to keep your mind busy! As i plugged along with the side of the road dropping dramatically off to my side, i started to think of the bicyclist attacked by a puma last week, couldn't help but visualize some giant cat springing up from the side of the road! How absolutely shocking would that be??Crazy! But the funny thing, I was trying to focus on the very comforting scene unfolding in front of me as I watched the cattle grazing on the thick Oregreen grass in the valley below. . . But I was still thinking about attacking Pumas! Suddenly these grazing cattle were all restless and started mooing and sounding stressed, and in unison all started moving towards the center in a huddle! I couldn't help but think OMG there must be something down there stalking them! I got off my bike to look . . .but saw nothing! And believe me I looked! I knew the edge I was standing on was a good barrier being a very steep gravel angle of repose. It was just so strange to see them happily grazing one moment and then for no obvious reason move to the middle! Just when I was thinking of Pumas! No answer to the mystery. . . Just an interesting coincidence!
As we reached the summit of Keyes Creek Pass 4,382 ft, brilliant sunshine erupted from behind the coulda and we continued to enjoy it for the rest of the day! The downside of the pass was nothing less than amazing in the distance! We just kept going down, and going down and going down! The difference was the descent wasn't so steep that we had to ride our brakes, we in fact had to pedal to get us down! It makes a difference when you don't have to pump and ride your brakes! Your legs get stiff because you can't peddle, already going to fast! As we descended we started going thru unbelievable canyons, twisty roads and ever changing scenery! It changed from my now favoite Ponderosa Pines to stark rocky rubble and buttes. These rocks hold life's mysterious history as it has revealed fossil beds now known as the John Day Fossil Park. We only had a quick glance in the distance as our bikes hurtled us down wards but it was enough of a glance to see the landscape in fact looked pre-historic in the bare hills out there!
Had a great lunch break at Dayville and the local Mercantile store, it literally had a little bit of everything! The young guy inside made us welcome as we relaxed and mingled with the locals!Made the decision to push on and add more miles. In a few days we have a big challenge, 3 summits in a row so we want to get as close to the start of the climb as possible!
We put in 64 long miles today! It got hot! The road was fairly easy just long and hot! Not like yesterday at all! In fact we got a little rain shower this afternoon and we welcomed it because we were so hot and sweaty!! The truth is, we just have totally run out of steam today! Even to go the extra mile out of Mt Vernon and check out the State Park seems like such an effort! What if there is no room, then we have to ride back, should we eat first, go out come back . . . Those simple questions seemed to be just overwhelming which confirms we were just out of steam! So we settle on a sleazy, I mean less than adequate cheap hotel!!
I am so glad you all enjoy keeping up with us, your support and emails have been joyfully welcomed! Some days are not as exciting as others! We are doing great! Taking care of our knees and feeding ourselves enough calories! Still plenty of miles ahead of us!! Thanks for sharing it all with us! See you tomorrow!!!