A few days have gone by again and many more miles. The day I left from the Ochocho Reservoir was a great day. The night did not get very cold and the stars were out shining bright all night. My camp overlooked the water and I left the tent door open and gazed at the sky most of the night. When I got up I had a small firs going with some twigs to take the early morning chill off, made my gear ready and got riding by 8:30 am.
After making a stop in Prineville to use the library computer I was aiming for Redmond and a stop for lunch. Id adjusted the breaks toe in to get rid of the squeal and made an adjustment to the rear derailleur too. The bike was running good and I was in good spirits. The route took me on to the O Neil Hy. This road is less traffic than the main hy and was recently resurfaced it was smooth and the miles were just adding up quickly. Id been through here 4 years ago and could see the increase in buildings and a little moiré traffic.
\after about 4 miles or so the truck traffic picked up there were gravel trucks hauling to a rock crushing plant up the road. \most of the drivers were very courteous and gave me extra room as they went past. There was a few long climbs but nothing really aggressive.
Then I met a mean ugly driver, he was driving a long bellie dump and pulling a pup trailer behind it . He got close enough to me to force me off the road and into the loose gravel on the side of the road. The wheels caught and I went down as this jerk sped off. I got a good look at the rig so as to remember him when he was making the return trip I figured to get his attention and do something just wasn’t sure what yet.
Like I said most drivers were courteous and soon I had let this episode go away and started to enjoy the ride again but more cautious now. Things went well until I got to Redmond. I was riding on a one way street with two lanes I was in the right as far as practical the other lane was open. All of a sudden I was pinned in against the parked cars like and inch or 2 from them and this long red belly dump was close enough to me if I raised my elbow it would hit the trailer. GEE WIZ it was the same jerk again. I had no place to go one wrong move and I would be flat as a pancake. I was no use to try to stop as that would pull me in harms way I just looked straight ahead and concentrated on not wandering. I definatley could see under the trailer there were no cars in the other lane.
Luck would have it the light turned red and he had to stop. \when I got up along side I let him have it and he just laughed at that point I pretty much lost it. The jerk dang near killed me twice today and I shure wasn’t gonna let it happen a 3rd time . I was giving him a piece of my mind and he just blew the air horn. I am not one to go looking for trouble but this was different. I set the bike down and called him out of the truck and deal with me He must have seen fire coming out of my eyes because he turned yellow and locked his cab doors when the light changed he was gone….. so ther I was making a spectacle of myself in the middle of the intersection. A guy came by and asked what that was all about? When I explained he said if he had known that he would have pulled him out of the truck himself.
I rode on and took almost an hour to let it go. I know this guy was and maybe still thinking about it and me. So I decided to use this energy and pedal on to Sisters and camp for the night. By now I could see the mountain peaks of the cascades and there was snow on them I was hoping they were not on my route. At Sisters I got a place to camp in the city park 5 dollars but no showers, its ok I learned how to wash up with just a couple water bottle’s of water by now, the camp hoists would look over my gear while I was in town.
You can always tell when you are in a tourist trap town, everyone will sell you coffee and water but no one wants to let you use the rest rooms… So I did the laundry thing and stopped by the grocery when I cam out a fellow was looking at my bike so we got talking. Something about him was familiar. He told me of his cross country bike rides. He asked if I ever got to San Louis Obispo? Then it started to come back this guy used to run the hostile there he had met the owner Elaine a while back and were sort of hooked up but now she must have given him the boot since he was living in sisters doing odd jobs.. he used to come in the mornings and make the sour dough batter for pancakes at the hostile small world.
Slept good in the park and got up early to get started ion climbing Mc Kinzie pass. I wasn’t able to make coffee in camp since my lighter decided to quit and couldn’t light my stove. I stopped by the gas station to buy a new lighter and extra water for the climb since there isn’t any service for about 60 miles. A fellow in the station was talking about the space ship that was due to reenter the atmosphere this morning at 8:52 am and would be visible as a ball of fire in the north west sky right over central Oregon.
The only place to eat in town not over priced was a little dinner so I went in and got coffee and pancakes mentioned to the waitress about the space ship and wanted to be finished in time to see it. When I went out side there were 3 or 4 others all looking up so I joined them. Pretty soon ther was a crown some did not even know what they were looking for but wanted to be part of what ever was going on sort of like the old look up at the ceiling joke wouldn’t you think?
We looked and looked and after about ½ hour past time it should have come through we decided to quit looking and I was wanting to start the climb. The first 3 miles were easy going the air was fresh and the smell of pine was in the air. The sun was bright I saw deer and other wild life and a few cyclists on a morning rode going the other way. Worked my way up the climb win a steady rhythm parts of the climb were steep but most was manageable and comfortable climb. Near the top was windy point and it was true to its name the wind was really vicious. But the view was spectacular. This was a lave flow area and a path of lava rock cut through the tree line. When I stopped a chipmunk came by looking for a hand out I gave him a couple raisins then all the rest of the clan showed up must have been 20 chipmunks scouring around begging for raisins
Time to continue the climb uit got steep at the end but at the top was another view and a big rock fortress built by most likely the CCC in the 30’s you could climb up to it and see for ever Then I t was time to start down the other side. Now I ve climbed this pass from both directions and the climb I made today was eaiser than the other direction. It started gentle then picked up and miles of switch backs the speed limit was 25 but I was cruising at about 30 and just flowing through the switch backs occasionally I got going too fast and had to brake to slow a bit. A car tried to get past me and when the road widened out a bit I let him through but soon I was passing him since I could better handle the curves then he could n the car. The down hill went on a long time and as I descended I started to remember the last time I came through here going the other way and climbing this side and the struggle this made me glad to be headed west.
It kept getting warmer the lower I got at the bottom I stopped and spent some time catching a fish for dinner I had an onion and some garlic left so I had fish and onions for lunch. Then made it another 15 miles to visit an old friend. She runs a little motel for the last 30 years and is not thinking about selling and doing something else as she approaches being 65. I stayed with her that night and left in the morning.
I rode 50 some miles into Eugene then got up the next day and rode to the ocean and back not shure why I just did it.
Someone wrote and said it must be great to get lost in the riding every day.. Yes it is but it is more than that its also what happens during the ride the sights and att he end of the day there is another world of finding a suitable place to spend the night setting up camp cooking dinner cleaning up sometimes making a fire sometimes not reflecting on the day thinking about what ever comes to mind Ya know I heard that pink floyd song last night in a pub I think it is called Breathe, listen to the words some time I only can remember some of them
There is a train, leaves here tomorrow afternoon headed east; I might be on it…. I think I got done now