Thursday, August 5, 2010

Day 68. Ochoco Pass, OR to Bend, OR. 60ish miles.

When I stepped out of my sleeping bag into the cool morning air, I felt like absolute shit. The food baby I had created the day before was still there, solid as ever. For some reason, my body didn't seem to digest any of the jalapeno laden dinner. I packed up quickly, put on all of my warm clothes, my warm breath filling the air in front of me and headed down to the road to a rest stop.

The morning was one of the coldest I had experienced the entire trip. The one mile ride down to the rest area caused my toes and fingers to go numb. I stood in the warm sunshine and waited for the sun to get a bit higher in the sky before moving on. After a couple hours of riding and beginning a new audio book I found myself in Prineville, OR where I immediately disregarded the promise I had made to myself the night before. The promise to eat fruit and vegetables went right out the door as I ate pancakes - at least it wasn't full of B+G. As I sat, I started to feel worse and worse until after nearly two hours I decided I had to keep going. Plus the town of Prineville wasn't so awesome.

Nausea start to set in as I started the 30 miles to Bend, Oregon. My stomach churned as the ocean. My legs slowed, my head started to hang low and suddenly a car passed me within inches as it came right toward me passing another car. Holy shit, I thought. If I had weaved or the wind picked up, the last thing that would have gone through my mind would have been my ass. At one point I stopped on the side of the road and rested my head on my arms atop my handlebars. Vomiting was certain. But I kept on, and as I rolled into Bend I stopped to sit in some grass like a bum. After a brief rest I went to the library to update this blog, which has definitely been fun but at the same time has been a bit of a hassle. As I typed it was as if someone pushed a button in my insides and I ran for the bathroom. Sorry, fellow shitter patrons.

Welp, that did me in. I made my way to a fabulous motel. The room was cheap, smelled of cigarette smoke and didn't provide shampoo. That's how you know a motel is nice, the lack of shampoo. There I caught up on the latest 'The Hills' episodes. You know, that show where people are famous just for being alive but not actually doing anything except for being pretty. That sounds good to me, empty, but good.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


i know it's long overdue but day 67 is up on the blog.

Day 67. Mt. Vernon, OR to Ochoco Pass, OR - 75 miles

I know it has been a couple weeks since I have made a legitimate post, and I feel a bit pathetic for it, so hopefully y'all are still into reading the remainder of the trip.

The North Carolina dudes I had met the night before in the 'Bike Inn' were up early and moving about before I could open my eyes. They generously shared some Fig Newtons and coffee with me before we parted ways, they to the east and I to the west. (Is that proper grammer? somebody please help me.) There was a bit of a headwind as I headed off but for some reason before long I was feeling a bit weak and tired. I imagine it was due to the mountain passes from the day before. I pulled over to the side of the road, sat upon a guard rail and enjoyed half of a jar of peanut butter before rolling on.

Shortly after I pulled into the town of Dayville - the last stop before 40 miles of nothingness containing a 25 mile, 2000 vertical foot climb. Two cyclists from Oregon, freshly out on the road, were sitting in the cool shade of a local market, where I stopped to fuel up. I probably ate the most calories in that one meal - made up of three cans of food, a hot pocket, candy and soda - and I chilled with the two guys. We went through the usual conversation and they hit me up with question after question of life on the road and I responded proudly. After being fully satisfied I set out into the heat of the day and a gusty wind.

'Abraham Lincoln. Vampire Hunter' played in my headphones and kept me company as I climbed the long, long pass. I seemed to climb over false-summit after false-summit and being as tired as I was, I just became irritated with the roadway. Climb, fall, climb, fall, climb, fall....hours. really just a few but seemed like forever. After the last false-summit I saw another cyclist in the distance and caught up to him immediately. His name was Jim and he puttered along ever so slowly. He had recently had knee surgery and a trip from Phoenix to Bend, Oregon was his way to heal/train his knee back to normal. We rode side by side for a mile or two as cars whizzed by and the occasional middle finger was thrown in my direction. Yeah, it was completely my fault and the gesture was deserved but I didn't care. There was plenty of roadway, and driver should slow down anyhow. Just sayin...

When I finally reached the top I had to layer up for the ride down into Mitchell, Oregon. The breeze and the air was cool despite the hot sun. It was amazing that it took a few hours to ride up 2000 feet and then only minutes to descend into the small mountain town. I noticed a small cafe, and even though I wasn't really hungry, I stopped in for a meal as I had another 2000 foot, 15 mile climb to finish up before dark.

The owners of the cafe were sitting on the porch and no one was inside. Looked like they were taking a smoke break from a pool game going on inside. And they seemed almost annoyed by my presence and eagerness to spend money at their cafe, which I imagine didn't have too many visitors. The woman cooking was actually playing a game of pool while cooking a jalapeno bacon cheeseburger with fries. While I ate two other gentleman came in and ordered the exact same thing I was eating. And I tell you, it was great, but then I bit into a partially cooked fry (these were of the homemade variety, not the frozen one) and thought it to be a bit gross but with enough salt anything can be saved, right? After chowing through the hearty meal and conceiving a very large food baby, I had the hankerin' for some ice cream. surprising, right?

The market across was run by a guy who looked like he had been lost in the woods for weeks and/or under the hood of his automobile all day. He sat in the corner near the register and picked at a guitar as I wandered the store. "You must be one of those biking guys?" he asked. It must have been the jersey and shorts that gave it away. We chatted for a bit and I filled him in and then told him that I had moved from Colorado to NYC just over a year ago. "Well, I guess you went two ways" he replied. It's amazing the amount of people I met that weren't fans of the city or any populated area for that matter Why is it that crowds bother/stress people out? I don't get it. I bought some ice cream, stuffed my belly even more-so and started the last stretch of the day.

I climbed for another couple hours, over one false-summit, before finding myself at a campground. I pulled in, rolled out my footprint and sleeping bag and passed out under a setting sky. For some reason, I wasn't feeling real well and I thought it was because of all the garbage-food I shoved into my face during the day and realized that my diet really had to change. Fruits and vegetables were in order. I vowed that the next day I would have oatmeal and fruit for breakfast.



i apologize for the lack of writing. but please be sure to check back tomorrow. it's the beginning of the end....