Cross Country Recumbent

Saturday July 19, 2003. Baker City OR to Oxbow OR


Start time
8:20 am
End time
3:20 pm
Time pedaling
Average speed
Way too hot

The theme for today is HOT.  Real hot.

Breakfast at the B+B was splendid, and that's why I didn't get such an early start.  I stopped at the grocery on the way out and picked up a few essential items (batteries, toothpaste, oatmeal, honey).  On the way out of town I passed folks who were doing a 10K run as part of the Miner's Jubilee.  Hah!, finally people covering ground even slower than me!

Lest you forget, this is well and truly desert now.  I keep expecting Wile E. Coyote and the road runner to pop around the corner.

This is almost the last view of the Powder river.   I was sorry to see it go because it meant I would soon climb up into the entrance to Hells Canyon.

Just before the climb started I stopped in Richland and had a milkshake.  Although the milkshake was good in retrospect I should've had the lemonade.  I also got my water filled up.  By this time I'm down pretty low and the heat is becoming truly opressive.  I think the lady making me the milkshake thought I had a few screws loose to be out in this stuff.  The problem of course is that it is hot here every day.

This is the shot about a third the way up, looking back towards Richland.  I will spare you the summit shot, as it isn't that inspiring.  The whole grade was a bit too steep and I was barely moving in an effort to keep from overheating.  I consider myself pretty well informed with regards to heat-stroke, and I spent most of this climb going over the symptoms in my head to make sure I was still OK.  The humidity was gratifyingly low, although I do think that I personally contributed a measurable amount of moisture to the atmosphere on this day.

One ironic thing about the whole climb is that most of it is lined with those big free-standing metal fences designed to block snow drifts.  If only...

Of course coming down off the pass is fun, except it just gets hotter the further down you go.  There is a reason why they call this place Hell's canyon.  The first town is Halfway (halfway to what?).  If you will recall, gentle reader, there was a blurb in the news a few years back, during those heady dot-com days, about a small Oregon town that changed its name to  Officially.  Well, this is it.

I did not have the gumption to inquire about this to the locals, but oh to be a fly on the wall during that city council meeting!

I rested in and decided to move on.  Next stop was Oxbow, where this is a nice campsite right on the Snake river.  I jumped in the local swimming hole right where Pine creek empties into the Snake.  It was almost bathwater warm, so I moved instead to the Snake which was reasonably cold.  This shot is from just below Oxbow dam.

Tommorrow I'll ride through Hell's canyon and then climb out of it.  An early start is a must to make the climb before the heat becomes too much.