Cross Country Recumbent

Thursday July 17, 2003. Mitchell OR to Prairie City OR


Start time
6:03 am
End time
3:17 pm
Time pedaling
Average speed

I got a good and early start today hoping to beat the Eastern Oregon heat.  The previous night was just a little restless, listening to all the animals around Mitchell.  In the middle of the night a scream woke me up as some poor creature became some other creature's prey.  Part of the reason for the early start was so that it would be cool when I left Mitchell because the first leg was to cross Keyes Creek Pass.  Just before this shot was taken my camera batteries died.  Although I was never a boy scout, the "be prepared" motto sure makes sense.  I had extra batteries.  This shot is actually looking back West with the sun at my back.  Notice the long shadows.

The Keyes Creek Pass is not really that bad, but it is absolutely relentless; there are no breaks.  Someone had been kind enough to paint little encouragements on the road.  This is the best of them, just before the summit.

Not that bad.  Really.

Sorry, I'm going to have to apologize to all those with a slow connection.  This stretch goes through the John Day Fossil beds national monument, and it was surely majestic.  Not much to say other than I wish the camera could really capture what I got to see.

These next three are actually a panorama going from right to left.  Jon, do you want to try to stitch them together?

This shot is actually a "Bill's eye view" as I'm rolling (this is harder than you might think).  Notice how the pavement is smeared out near the bottom of the picture.

Just before reaching Dayville I ran into a couple going the other way, Kess and Chris.  They had started in Yorktown on May 1 (What was I doing on May 1?); and gave me the lowdown on various tucked away places to stay.  They have a friend in Hood River whom they are planning to visit when they finish.  Interestingly they had heard of my friends Julie and Telford, who rode the route last summer (with their kids no less!).

Forty odd miles into it I reached Dayville.  My breakfast back in Mitchell had been a little thin (mostly 'cause I'm lazy), and I had been telling myself all along that I would get a heaping pile of pancakes with a big glass of OJ when I got to Dayville.  Sigh... The only cafe in town was closed and I had to settle for what I could find at the local town store.  These folks know all about adventure cyclists though.  The little sign in the lower right actually says "Bike Parts"; although the selection was limited.  I did get my OJ.

Rolling between Dayville and John Day I just had to stop and get a picture of this tractor.  Yes Virginia, that is a steam fired tractor with all metal wheels.  I wonder which machine is faster :).  Notice the big drum on the left side which is, I think, a power take off (PTO) for a belt, something common in turn of the century machinery.

I stopped in John Day for a good two hours to recuperate and decide if I should keep going.  Big butterscotch milkshake and a salad for lunch here in the park.

Just before Prairie City.  Any wonder where it gets its name?