Friday, July 16, 2010

Day 65. side-of-the-road, WA to side-of-the-road, OR. 100+ miles.

So, now I'm basically riding as far as I can everyday in order to wrap this thing up, hence sleeping on the side of the road. Not to mention, it's free!

I was up bright and early, which happens when sleeping near the road. I knew I wanted to get to John Day, OR in two days, nearly 200 miles off so I pedaled and pedaled. But within 5 miles I had to get some coffee and eat. Gotta energize, you know. After the quick, undeserved rest, I was off and pedaling into the wind. After a couple of hours I hit the town of Walla Walla, WA. What a name. shortly thereafter I entered Oregon in 100 degree heat as I pushed toward the city of Pendleton where I could eat again and cool down. I took refuge in a fast-food joint, places I will now stop frequenting due to being grossed out, but the AC was nice as was the ice-cream and burgers and water.

I left Pendleton nearing 5pm with at least another 50 miles in my mind. What I didn't know is that the next 30 would be straight into the wind and uphill. This kicked my ass. As I climbed and climbed, I knew there were two passes that I would be approaching and as I hit the first one and found it to be 9pm, I stopped for the night. I thought that crossing in the morning and in the daylight would be a much better option.

Near where I posted up there was a family eating supper in a camper, no doubt enjoying the sunset. As I was just about set-up, a man was crossing a field from the camper and heading in my direction. I immediately thought him to be the land owner and was coming over to kick me out. My mind started coming up with excuses and ways to charm the man as to let me stay. Turned out I was just putting myself through a bit of mental anguish as I met him halfway. We shard a wave and a brief hello before he asked me if I was setting up for the night. I said yes. He then asked if I had everything I needed; water, food, ice-cream. The man and his family were from British Columbia and were on there way down to Disney Land for holiday. He was a fellow traveler, more of a backpacker, but had concern for any traveler. We shared stories of traveling before he went back to his camper and returned with ice cream for me. Nothing like an ice cream sandwich and a drumstick before retiring for the night. I know it's been happening the whole trip, but I still dig, and always will dig, the kindness of strangers.


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