Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Day 71 to 73 - onto the final map section

Day 71 Mitchell to Sisters. I woke up at 7 so that I could get into the grocery store shortly after it opened, buy supplies to get me over Ocohoco Pass and then on the road before the heat hits. $20 later and having eaten cold tinned beef stew in flour tortillas (gross) I was fueled up. The pass was long, sweaty and hot but good to do in the first 20 miles of the day. Summited at 10am followed by a long and relatively flat stretch to Prineville. I stopped at Starbucks on the edge of town where Tim and Norah were also resting, ended up staying here 2 hours as the temperature climbed above 100F. Finally decided to get going, onto a busy highway to Redmond and then decided to keep going to the town of Sisters to set up for tomorrows high pass. Along the way a few snow capped mountains (the Sisters) could be seen from the road. Headwinds bothered me on the way but I finally entered the city park campground at 8.30. 

Day 72 Sisters to Eugene. I wanted a nice breakfast so headed for a cafe at 7. On the road at 8.15. Sisters looks to be a cool tourist town but I didn't have much time to investigate too much. McKenzie Pass was today's big challenge with the reward being a rest day in Eugene, a big college town. The temperature stayed cool and the grade was challenging but not exhausting. Interesting views of deep green forest, ancient lava flows and panoramics of jagged mountains as I cleared the top and ascended the lookout station on foot. The downhill was full of hairpins and was fast - lasting over 11 miles, a lot of fun. The rest of the day rode along the main highway to Eugene, the last section with Norah, the first time we had actually ridden alongside each other for a good few weeks. We camped at Armitage Park on the outskirts and met a young family, Shane and Jen, who gave us a lift to the gas station to get beers. Norah planned to go to Florence tomorrow so we celebrated going our separate ways after 2.5 months on the bikes. 

Day 73 Eugene rest day. It's a 6 mile ride into Eugene from the park. I got into the centre in the early morning and went to the visitors centre for some accommodation advice. I plumped for a motel on Broadway (which apparently is also always 9th St in the west). I had to wait a while for the room to be ready so I headed into Starbucks to sort out admin. After getting my room I spent the day eating (Cozmic and Marche), doing laundry (chore) and going to the movies (Pacific Rim). Whilst I was in the cinema though some scallywag took my fuel belt bag from my bike. Eugene is super biker friendly and now bike related theft is one of their bigger issues. No serious lasting problems but it does mean I will have to keep my camera and phone somewhere else whilst on the bike. Even so, my rest day was enjoyable and definitely needed, I hadn't had one since Pueblo! This also means that I finished map section two, only 1 to go now.