Ride report: John Day, OR
I had hoped to make it to Prairie City today, but the hotel there was full, so I stopped a little early.
Stopped in Prineville to visit the bike shop, in order to replace a missing bar plug. Seems like a minor problem, but their absence has caused some vicious injuries.
Today has its ups and downs, literally. There were two passes, closely spaced, flanking the town of Mitchell. The first climb was long and gradual. The descent was seven miles long and a screamer —it was nerve-racking, mostly due to the buffeting winds. At one point, the wake from a semi going the other way almost blew me off the road. I was slightly light-headed by the times I reached the bottom.
Mitchell is home to the Spoke’n Hostel, one of the most popular stops on the Trans Am. The folks there pretty much put themselves at the rider’s disposal. The feed me, we chatted, it was really nice. Glad I could be a part of that tradition. I left there feeling much more like a human. I was heartened to see that the two race leaders stopped in to sign the guest book.
The climb out of Mitchell was long, steady, and straight. It led to a descent that must have run at least 20 miles. Like nothing I’ve ever experienced.
These two passes seem like the dividing line between pine forests and high desert. The plant life and geology seem different on the two sides.
My ass is still a lava field, and my Achilles’ tendons are more swollen. If anything knocks me out prematurely, it’ll probably be that. My body’s ability to regulate its temperature seems to be all messed up. But today was the first day where I could enjoy the ride some.