Sisters, Oregon

Seven volcanic peaks of the Cascade Range usually stunningly snow-capped in the view from this tourist resort town are obscured by hazy skies. Smoke from various fires, twenty- three burning in Oregon according to the cook at the cafe this morning.

We have ridden hard and long in the West. And it’s been hot. It’s been a full-time job to take care of camp set-up and take-down every day, get hydrated, get calories, shower and do laundry and…oh yeah…get a good nights sleep. It takes a very focused effort to go day after day.

I’m looking back at the photos that never made it to this blog as we traversed Montana and Idaho. Here are ones you might enjoy.

This is Earthquake Lake just north of the town of West Yellowstone. It was formed over the course of a few weeks in 1959 after a massive Earthquake caused a landslide that blocked the Madison River….overnight.

The maps don’t always tell the whole story. Here’s our intrepid leader Wally emerging from a “unexpected road collapse” we encountered on the route.

Waiting for our cooks to finish shopping and divvy up the food to carry to camp, Steven grabs a nap. He can go to sleep anywhere!

Shoe tree next to the road. No explanation!

Marijuana farm in eastern Oregon. Saw two that day.

Fire area under repair from fire a year ago near the Mackenzie Pass.

Lava fields at the top of the Mackenzie Pass as seen from atop the “observatory” built by the CCC during the depression.

Last Days

We are just six days away from finishing.

I have been having technical difficulties uploading my recent blog posts…until tonight. Sorry for the lapse. All is well. Stay tuned for ceremonial wheel-dipping in the Pacific Ocean 8/4/18.

Smelling the Barn

We went past the three thousand mile mark back in Jackson on July 7th. Today it’s nine days later and we’ve been chewing up the miles in Montana, riding 70 plus miles per day. Tom and Charlie pose under an elk-antler arch at the Jackson town square.

I rejoined the tour in West Yellowstone. My leg was hurting from driving a car and my back was hurting from sleeping in a bed. Guess I’ve become road adapted. Yellowstone and the Tetons are a wonderland though, and seeing the sights with Barbara was a special time.

Montana offers scenic highways over mountain passes and though lovely valleys. We have been on the path of the Lewis & Clark Expedition circa 1804. We also encountered a cattle drive on the highway.

Last night we arrived at the mosquito capital of the world located in the town of Wisdom at the bottom of the Big Hole Valley.

OREGON !!!

Baker City

Yesterday, July 25, was our first full day of riding in Oregon. Today is a rest day, our last one before finishing in Florence, Oregon.

There has been a long gap in this blog… The last entry was three states ago. I have draft posts from this time saved on my phone and will insert them later. (Can’t get them to upload…)

Meanwhile, tomorrow will be 82 miles and the first day of a nine-day ride to our finish. There will be a couple of guest riders joining us before the end. The new faces will be welcomed. We are somewhere around 3800 miles now.

We are all looking rather lean and weathered at this point. Yesterday we caught up to an ACA van-supported Transam group. They had comfortable lawn chairs…with cup holders!…set up in the shade for our arrival in the late afternoon. (And cold drinks to fill the cup-holders.) Simple pleasures but oh-so-welcome!

Lovely’s shot of me and this special point of interest…the closest outhouse to a state borderline anywhere in Oregon!

“Smelling the Barn” in Idaho

We blew through the 3000 mile mark at Jackson, Wyoming and marked the occasion with this photo featuring Charlie (seated) and Tom under one of the elk-antler arches that adorn the four corners of the town square.

We proceeded to blow right past the 3500 mile mark several days ago and now find ourselves in Idaho after several days pedaling the byways of Montana. In Montana we went to Missoula and enjoyed a BBQ at the headquarters for Adventure Cycling on a layover day. Adventure Cycling is the non-profit organization that organized the tour I’m on. Their mission is to inspire and empower people to travel by bicycle. So they create maps, organize rides, advocate for trails, bike paths, signage and cycle-friendly policies and laws.

They treated us kindly, directed us to the freezer stocked with assorted ice cream bars (I had two!) and took us out back for photos and bike weighing. My loaded steed weighed in at 81 pounds.

On the wall is the tandem bike used in 1974 to scout out the TransAm Route that was created for the BikeCentennial in 1976, the same route I am doing now. For the last several days we have been following the trail taken by the Lewis & Clark Expedition in 1804. The west is so majestic and so grand, it’s no wonder that Americans created a huge mythology of the west.

Towns and services in the west are further apart so we are traveling daily distances often greater than 70 miles. And for long stretches there is little or no cell service. Thus, it’s been tough keeping current on this blog. And now…the end is in sight and we are all “smelling the barn” that is the coastal Oregon town of Florence where we will have a ceremonial front-wheel dip in the Pacific Ocean and a farewell dinner on August 4th.

Today we landed in Grangeville, Idaho, where one of us on the ride was born and raised! Our companion, Bob from Cincinatti, is having the group over to his parents’ house where they are preparing a dinner for us!