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Catfish on a bike, part II Fallow along as Catfish takes us on another one of his great tours.

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Old 09-03-04, 10:10 PM   #1
have bike will tour
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15 Dayville Oregon

i am surprised i found access so soon. I will tell you howthat came about later but want to catch up the past couple days.

i left Baker city and thought i could make Prairie city abouit6o miles and 3 big climbs over Sumpter pass Tipton pass and Dixie pass but as luck would have it i just didnt have the energy that day. It started out cold and misty every mile was a great effort i kept looking at he odomiter qnd wanst making any progress so idecided to jsut concentrate on every pedal stroke and the mentakl side of cycling. it worked for a while. It was cold and windy I dug out the skull cap and long golves and had trhe legf warmers on. Thje sky looked like ti could drop rain ion me any time. When i got 25 miles out I stiopped at this steem locomotive display and made a phone call into the town of Sumpter. i was looking for a motel room since i didnt relish the thoughts of sloppeing outside tonight. The forcast was for 34 degrees and rain. There was a room for one night only at 61 dollars pernight. i must have been temporary crazy because i said ok im on my way. My mind was argueing with it self about paying 61 dollars for one night or freezing in a tent tonight.

When i got into town i could see they were setting up for a busy weekend of a hudge flea market event the whole town was one big sale lot. this sleepy old gold mioning town of a few hundred people would be bursting with tourists this labor day weekend. Ok so i am looking for thismotel and i see this place looks like an old fort with stockade fence and look out towers and sunch and a sign saying bedf and shower $15 bucks. Man i tell you that brought a smile to my face in a hurry.

I pulled in and a guy met me i sadi "s this your place"? he said "yea " so i decide4d to stay there and save some money and stay warm and dry tonight. The fel;low ande i got along fine he was a retired heavey equipment machanic and i ran most of the types of equipment he fixed he and i were also in the air force in some of trhe same places at different times his wife was pleasent too.

After getting settled in i walked through town and giot some lunch and looked through soem of the sales booths that were allready set up and open. I bought something nice and unique to send to Edith then went and toured an old gold dredge what a piece of equipment that was. from ther i got an ice cream cone i dont know why since it was really cold out like inthe 40's and walked back tot he fort and talked some wiht Howard and Rita the owners. i found out they built the place them selves fromscratch and took 4 years. its mostly log structures and the dorm room resembles and old military barraks.

Since i had a late lunch i didnt need dinner and read untill i fell asleep. i got up early with thoughts of getting breakfast aand onthe road early this was to be a day of 3 big climbs and many miles.

I got thoone of 2 restrants in town and the owner greeted me and asked if i wanted coffee i said yes and would like 2 pancakes. he said help your self this weekend because of "flea market" it is all buffet. i said i jsut want 2 pancakes he says help your self take4 as many as you want $7.50 + 1.50 for coffee i said $9.00 for 2 pancakse and coffee, i dont think so.

I walked down to the other end of town and the other restrante was not open yet it wopuld be 15 minutes till they opened. i waited and got 2 cakes adn coffee for $3.50. went back and packed up thebike abnd headed out

It was cold i had the skull cap on again and a long pentagonia under layer a jersye and my cycling jacket. THe first 5 miles i was trying to get warmthen the fiorst of 3 climbes started and i warmed quickly. Each of the 3 would summit at over 5,000 ft but they all started arround 2,000 ft or so. i worked my way up the first (Sumpter pass) and had to take off the glasses since they kept fogging up and opened the jacket for ventalition so not to sweat too much. the last 3 miles got a little steep but the rest wasnt too bad. The down hill lasted fror 5 miels and was COLD at the botom was a nice falt for a bit

I got into the second climb (Tipton pass) and i was thinking about my friend. i just talked to her the other day and remember4ed some stuff i forgot to tel her oh well thats how itr goes. i must have ben thinking about some stuiff we had dionme because befiore i knew it i was att he top of hill number 2 WOW how time flies.

Down the other side i went at the botom was Auston Junction and a general store and restrante. i stiopped for coffee and a the woman gabve me a cinamen roll for free I warmed up and got my jacket and jersey dried off.

The 3rd hill (Dixie pass) really got my attention. This one was longer and steeper but i geared down and turned the pedals and eventually i got to the top. near the bottom of this hill was the town of Prairie city. thats where i wanted to get to yesterday and remember thinking the way i felt yesterday id never had made it and been stuck out in the middel some place for the night. i thought about stopping her for the day but felt strong yet and decided to make John Day i think it was another 15 miles or so.

Teh raod was nice since the last time id been through her its ben repaved and widened with a ncie 3 1/2 ft shoulder to ride on the pavement was smoothe as glass. The altitude was still dropping and i was inthe big gear making good time even witgh qa head wind picking up I was cruising at 18-19 mph.

i got to John Day and checked a few prices for motels and diodnt liek the idea of paying 45 bucks when if i could make Day ville i could stay at this place for just a donation.. i kept going thinking the next town was Mt Vernon 8 or 9 miles down the road and i would take stock on how i felt since DFay ville was another 25 miles further from there

At Mt Vernion i stiopped at the dinenr and got a coffee and bowl of clam chouder and a mini loaf of bread. Teh waitress was fine and the people inteh restraunte were all friendaly and talkitive I strayed aboput 45 minutes then decided it was time to go to Day Ville.

Right off the bat i noticed the wind picking up and of course it was ahead wind. Altitude was still dropping but not nearley enough to compansate for the wind i was running about 10-12 mph and working to keep that going. I needed tomake 25 miles before itr got dark.

Ive been ghere before to dayville and Liked the set up It is a churcgh and Millie the care taker an older woman that lived here for years jsut loves the bikers you jsut need to go see her and she lets you in the church social hall where you can shower and cook and sleep. I would spend an hour at least talking to millie each time ive been here. When i got here today i see her hhouse i s boarded up and a sign on the church door, attention bikers go see Cloudia at a certin house to get in. i went to see her adn it turns out Millie broke her hip and is not recovered so is in a nursing home for good now in John Day but buikers are still welcome and claudia is taking care of things now. There have been some changes they now havwe a washer and dryer to use free and this internet access that is awesome.

The [plan now is the chuirch bought Millies property next door and as per her wishes is going to tear down the old house andbuild a new building as a combination drs office and hostel for bikers wow what a place to wind up.

I headed to the general store and the guy is a biker and we talked for a good hour then i came to the church showwered did launday and got on the computer. Its been a long tireing day and I am basking in the feeling of accomplishment. BUT i know tomorrow morning this will all be yesterday and tomorrow is two big really big climbes and another 80 mile day or i could hold up short and makle it a 50 mile day.

hope i didnt forget anything
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Old 09-03-04, 10:41 PM   #2
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Whoa, great story.

You got me thinking about taking another trip myself! But then again, the thought of sleeping in a tent vs. my nice soft bed with my soft pillows makes me also want to sleep. So maybe in a year or so...

Sounds like a great place you're at right now. I can hardly believe you've covered so much ground! Are you headed for Seattle? If so, I have a friend you can stop in (I'll need to notify him, but let me know).

Thanks for the stories, man... btw, you going to Interbike in Vegas, or will you be home by then?

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Old 09-05-04, 06:25 AM   #3
Susie Mackie
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Good Morning George wherever you are and Happy Labor Day Weekend. My God you aare something. Where do you get this motivation and courage and energy! I am exhausted just reading about 1 of your days. I trust when you get home (you are coming home right?) we'll all go out for a beer and hear about this ordeal first hand.

Life here status quo - work (this has to go), bike, swim, ride and The Pack is back. Went to the George Bush rally this week, invited him to come to the farm and ride with me but he was busy.

We miss you and hope you'be be back soon. In the meantime, you just keep pedaling and may you meet your goals each day. Stay safe and healthy please.

Take Care. Susie
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Old 09-05-04, 11:30 AM   #4
On your what?!?
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Thanks for the great read George! I can't wait to read the next installment!
Former 340# Type 2 Diabetic.
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Proud member of Colorado's Best Cycling Club - Club Hypoxia
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