Wow, what a day. It started around 5 when I woke up. I didn’t feel tired so decided to get started early. As I got out of my tent I got to witness the most beautiful sunrise I think I’ve seen on the trip I was surprised to see that Claus and Martin where already gone. I got packed in my usual slow fashion and had a quick breakfast of a cliff bar. I think my mind is getting a bit slow: I packed the socks I needed to wear into my bag and had to unpack all my stuff. Being sleepy sucks. I got rolling around 6:30 after refilling my bottles at the spring, and got this shadow selfie from the morning sun
The day was scheduled to be 2 climbs followed by descents, finishing off with flats. The first climb was long but gradual and I felt amazing during it. I made great time up it as the sun started leaking through the canopy. I think climbing in the cold really makes a big difference for me. I made it to the top of the first pass
A fantastic descent followed, though in the back of my head I did realize that I was undoing all the climbing I just did, but I guess that’s just a metaphor for life. I got to a flat section and was still feeling great so got into the drops and made some good time through the valley between the two climbs. I passed Claus and Martin from last night here and wished them well on the rest of their tour. The second climb started with a series of small hills then descents before settling into a sustained climb. I felt a little less spry on this climb but it also wasn’t too bad. Halfway through I could feel my seat coming loose so I stopped and tightened it. I passed a pleasant clearing in the trees. Maybe I can sleep here next time
I looped through a few large switchbacks before finally cresting the summit. There was no sign here marking the elevation, but it was 5000+ feet too.
I started the second descent and it went for a long time. I got up to almost 40 mph. At one point with the wind howling in my ears I couldn’t hear a car behind me. He passed and scared the hell out of me coming out of nowhere, so for the rest of the descent I checked behind me occasionally. The descent gradually mellowed out in a beautiful valley above Phillips Lake. The hills were rolling which made the going slow but I really enjoyed the sounds of the forest in the early morning. The scenery was nice too.
I followed this valley to the dam containing the lake. Another large descent followed down the side of the dam to the Powder River in a valley below. It was very pretty and I stopped for snacks and photos
I kept moving. I got to a part of the road that was being repaired. They only had one lane open with a follow car. I talked to the flagman and he was super nice and said that they’d wait for me to make it all the way through the 2 mile construction zone before letting the cars go. It didn’t end up being an issue, since he drove slow enough that I could keep up with the other cars. From there I had about 15 miles to Baker City. It was mostly carless except for occasional groups of cars due to the construction zone clumping everyone up. I proceeded down the flat to vaguely downhill road until I made it into the last town in the second set of maps, Baker City. I rode down main street and saw a tourer on a gravel bike. I said hello and he told me he was vaguely doing the same route I’m doing, just he’s doing lots of extra gravel on the side. I got a room at a small motel nearby and asked him where he was staying. He said that he’s been wild camping for 2 weeks straight and doesn’t usually stay in town. He asked if I wanted to get coffee and I said definitely. We went to a small diner and I got a beef dip sandwich. He got a beer having already eaten. He told me that he works for 3 months a year as an electrician then rides around the world the other 9 months. He told about the crazy adventures he’s been on and I got somewhat jealous. He also described riding in the mornings, doing chores during the hot hours, then riding again at night. Overall he’s doing a much more intense tour than me, and it showed me just how involved in this sport you can get. He said we’d probably cross paths again soon when he rejoins the route in the future. I look forward to it.
I went to my room and rested for a bit, then went and restocked on food and propane. I tried to buy a new seat but the bike shop was kind of douchy so I decided to wait until Grangeville, where my mom has shipped my brooks saddle. Hopefully that will relieve the soreness!
I did laundry then grabbed some dinner. At dinner I talked to an older man who used to be in the coast guard. He said he was going to buy an ebike that evening! We talked about maintenance and other biking things. I told him about my tour and the other staff of the market/deli all stood around and listened. It was really fun being the center of attention 😁. Anyways I’m going to bed. Night!
- 3 cliff bars
- Shot blocks
- Vitamin c drink mix
- Beef dip sandwich
- Iced tea
- Peace tea
- Sour patch kids
- Hi chews
- Double cheeseburger
- Large cut fries