Last night we camped at a primitive Campground outside Dale on the North Fork of the John Day River. There was no cell service or wifi available as explanation for why there was no blog last night. Yesterday and today have been big climbing days with high, long passes to go over. Yesterday we went over Dixie pass outside Prairie City and today we went uphill for 30 miles starting at 1,400 feet at camp, and ending at 5,200 feet which is 3,800 feet of climbing with no break. A couple of good things, one was that it was overcast and relatively cool, so we didn’t have to climb in blazing heat, the other was when we finally got to the top we went down hill for 12 miles without pedaling once. John got up to 40 mph and I made it to 37 before braking a bit. Another good thing was the road that we biked on was a paved Forest service road with very little traffic. In the 12 mile downhill plunge I road in the middle of my lane keeping my eye on my rear view mirror and wasn’t passed by a car once in that 30 minute ride, though we did have a couple close encounters with beef cattle in the road. Today we saw a black bear, 2 elk, and about 20 deer and lots of beautiful scenery. Tonight we are camping at Willow Creek RV Park in Heppner. The view here is beautiful as we sit overlooking the Willow Creek Reservoir. Tomorrow is going to be another huge day of cranking up steep hills in low-low gear as we have 4 major passes to go over, but the good news is we only bike 48 miles.
I took a hard fall this afternoon on my bicycle. As we were coming into our camp sight there was a big speed bump, and we were coming into the camp going downhill a bit and I was going a little fast, so when I hit the speed bump I went up in the air a little bit and when I came down one of my back pannier’s (like saddle bags) swung into the spokes and stopped the back tire cold resulting in me losing my balance and going down in a pile. I hit my head hard on the pavement, which didn’t hurt my head having a helmet on, but I did sprain my neck bad. We put a bag of ice on it for awhile, Patty is rubbing it with liniment, and I am taking ibuprofen. It already was hurting from the riding, but now in a different place. Maybe they will cancel each other out. Hopefully after a good nights sleep tomorrow will be great.
We only have 5 ride days left and we will be home. It will be great to be home, but it is always a bit sad when these events are over. There is something uniquely special about peddling a bicycle all day, pushing hard most of the time with your heart rate around 100 to 120 most of the time, seeing the scenery much more in detail than being in a car. One of the things I realize at the end of every one of the 4 major trips I have done on a bicycle is that I feel great physically and my Parkinson’s is way less of an issue in my life.
Our next trip next year is going to be from Jefferson to the Atlantic Ocean at Yorktown, Virginia. M already getting excited about it.