Friday, July 16, 2010

Day 66. Side-of-the-road, OR to Mt. Vernon, OR. 100+ miles.

The day started before the sun broke the horizon. High winds kept me up most of the night and allowed for an early start. I started climbing a pass as soon as I started pedaling but as I pedaled higher and higher I entered national forest and the wind died and I was loving it. Much to my chagrin, I exited the forest just as quickly as I had entered and the wind picked back up. A small town boasted a cafe via a highway sign and made the 1 mile dash straight for it.

While eating I met a dude from Santa Barbara who was on his way north hauling bicycles to Washington for a triathlon. We chatted for over an hour and he hooked me up with some books-on-tape for my iPod and even offered a place to stay in Santa Barbara if I happened to make it down that way. I started up one of those books as I departed; 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter' it was titled. I recommend it.

The day consisted of 4 climbs and the book on tape probably got me through them. I just focused on what was being said and pedaled onward and upward almost entering a meditative state as I climbed and climbed.

I rolled into Mt. Vernon with plenty of daylight to spare but I had heard about a specific church that allowed cyclists to stay - almost a co-op sorta place. The co-op was in John Day, or at least I thought, 8 miles east - obviously the wrong direction. I rode down there but found nothing. I asked around, called the police but nobody knew what I was talking about. After searching the internet, I discovered that the co-op was in Dayville - 23 miles west of Mt. Vernon. 31 miles was too far to cover with the remaining daylight so I just headed back to Mt. Vernon where I discovered the 'Bike Inn.' The Inn is a donation based guest house where cyclists can hang, eat, sleep and shower. I ended up sharing the house with three other cyclists from Seattle that night. They were making their way to North Carolina and eventually riding back. I was a bit envious of these guys as this trip was not just a temporary thing. They hadn't any deadlines or time-lines. This was just a stage of life, one I imagine, they will remember forever.


  1. Hey, Andrew. It was great talking to you, and I'm glad you are enjoying the book! Hope to see you in SB! By the way, you really have me thinking about a bike trip of my own. I described it to my good friend, Bill, and he immediately saw the value of expending 6k calories a day (think of what you could eat). I told him about the virtues of Chef Boy-Ar-Dee, and that didn't discourage him a bit He did, however, suggest biking the other way, you know, with the wind at your back? SB to New York?

    HIs wife, however, suggested we try an overnight, first.

    Much admiration and good things to you!



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