Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Day 3: July 7-->Baker City, OR

Oh what a glorious day, a hard one though, at least the first 30 miles: 2,900' of climbing in 10 miles. Can't train for that in Chicago or even Wisconsin! Put a recumbent on that switch back and it is truly a slow-go, but all the better to view the incredible scenery.

I so wish my pix could begin to do the beauty justice.

From atop the climb
From atop the first switchback.

Waving Wheat
Waving wheat leaving Pendleton

The Blue Mountains fill the horizon with a quilt of wheat and green. I guess I had never seen plains before. Thought the plains were what we see in the mid-west. I was so wrong. The only sound for miles was the waving wheat which sometimes whistled. I think only 1 car passed me other than the PAC vehicles for the entire ascent and equally long descent. I might add that the OR roads are in perfect condition. Why can't Illinois even come close?

Mountain Top Snow near Baker City
If you click to zoom in you'll see snow atop the mountains

Outside Haines, OR
The permanent Haines, OR greeters 10 miles out of Baker City

I had been wondering for several days how I could buy a stamp to mail a letter. Stamps are not on the complementary replenishment list at Super 8's. The American flag flying up ahead gave me a clue that maybe there was a post office in Meacham, OR and I could buy my stamp there. Although Meacham has only 115 residents whose median age is 50, the general store, that dubs as the p.o., had stamps. Heidi, my letter is in the mail. :)

After the first 50 miles of glorious beauty, we were back on I-84 for a good stretch. Much nicer road surface than yesterday. Don't think we had any flats today.

Yesterday the 18-wheelers were hauling felled trees and potatoes. Today it was onions in open bed trucks speeding along at a minimum of 65 on I-84. Couldn't help but wonder what kept those onions from lifting off. Just hoped I didn't get clobbered my a flying onion. Couple miles down the road what did I see? Yep, road kill onion style.

Fallen Onion

99% of the time we navigate our route from a detailed route card PAC provides for each day. But there are those occasional tricky places along the way that could cause for confusion. One of the crew will spray "P" arrows on the road to minimize the risk of one of use going astray. ("P" is for PAC)

P Arrow

Have had a couple of mishaps in the last two days. Yesterday Larry's exquisite TI frame cracked clear through at the weld of the head and cross tubes. He's riding a PAC Team bike until his Litespeed is shipped in. And today Lisa crashed on a descent after hitting a pothole and broke her pelvis. Tragic.


Katie Ruse said...

Poor Lisa :( Tragic for sure. What a bummer!
Bet that was the first time, and possibly the last time, you'll be able to say, "thank you God, that I was not clobbered by an onion today."
Love it!

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan, I rode the 2006 Southern Transcontinental with you. I've enjoyed your blog. Best of luck with the rest of the trip and if you have the chance please pass along my best wishes to Larry Nelson.
Brian Emrich

Susan said...

Hey Brian, thanks for following us. Larry and I have ridden more on this tour together than we did in 2006. We had just been talking about you and reminiscing our riding together. I sent him your greeting. He'll be leaving us in Amarillo.