Monthly Archives: June 2014

Riding in the Shadow of Giants

Yesterday started with, what else, rain. After breakfast we climbed for the first 13 miles, which means for about an hour and 45 minutes we climbed, from 1,250 feet to 4,000 feet, and at the top, it was 42 degrees, but it was GREAT. Naturally, what goes up, must come down, so we had a 5 mile downhill, at the bottom of which, the sun came out and there was Mount Hood. Two things, First, riding in the East, there are NO SUCH THINGS at 13 mile climbs, Second, Mount Hood, and the rest of the Cascades, are unlike any East Coast Mountains that I have seen, they are visible for hundreds of miles, as today’s photos show.

Later in the day, as we were riding through pine forests, we made a turn, and almost instantly moved into the high desert. It is filled with Sage Brush, Scrub Pine, and not much else. We also were riding through a Native American Reservation, and wild horses were running everywhere-see yesterday’s photos. Between the horses and the landscape it was like we were on the set of an old western movie.

Today’s ride was more of the high desert with the Cascades looming in the distance, simply magnificent!

Tomorrow is the toughest day so far, 117 miles with 5,000 feet of climbing, early start.

alan

Panorama of the high desert

Panorama of the high desert

one more view of Mount Jefferson

one more view of Mount Jefferson

the road ahead

the road ahead, and up

our traveling companions, Mount Hood in the background

our traveling companions, Mount Hood in the background

a ravine, into which we are about to descend

a ravine, into which we are about to descend

Mount Jefferson with Sagebrush in the foreground

Mount Jefferson with Sagebrush in the foreground

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Mount Hood/High Desert

Wasn’t going to blog tonight, I will let the photos do the talking, SPECTACULAR DAY, will talk about today’s ride tomorrow.

alan

Welches, Oregon, morning fog

Welches, Oregon, morning fog

View from an Overlook

View from an Overlook

Zig Zag River, Oregon

Zig Zag River, Oregon

Mount Hood-FINALLY in the Sunshine

Mount Hood-FINALLY in the Sunshine

The high desert of Oregon

The high desert of Oregon

Wild Horses on the Indian Reservation

Wild Horses on the Indian Reservation

Abandoned buildings on the high desert

Abandoned buildings on the high desert

Mount Jefferson

Mount Jefferson

High desert of Oregon

High desert of Oregon

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June in Oregon

So, let me explain, for the last 2 days we have ridden in RAIN, and that’s okay, BUT, today the temperature reached a HIGH of 53 degrees, yes Fahrenheit! WE passed a family in the town of Sandy that was wearing WINTER COATS! But, enough about the weather.

Yesterday we left the Pacific rather early, and despite the rain, had a GREAT ride to St Helens, lots of climbing and descending. We stayed in the Columbia River Valley the entire day. To clarify, I am being sarcastic labeling the photo of the Log Truck as “Bikers’ Friend”. They seem to get “Bonus Points” for getting as close to us as they can, and in the rain, it is truly special!

Today we rode to the very small town of Welches, which lies just West of Mount Hood, the highest peak in Oregon. But, due to the weather, we have not seen it yet, hope for a break in the rain tomorrow, which should be spectacular.

alan

Sunrise in Astoria over the Columbia River

Sunrise in Astoria over the Columbia River

sssss

Fishing village off the
Columbia River

The Bikers' Friend-Log Trucks

The Bikers’ Friend-Log Trucks

Farewell to the Columbia River

Farewell to the Columbia River

Mountains in the Rain and Fog

Mountains in the Rain and Fog

 

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Toes in the Pacific

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Jim Re-Assembling my Bike in Astoria

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Me in the Pacific near Seaside, Oregon

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The Pacific Coast

Happy Father’s Day!
Well, the day started with Breakfast, then re-assembling our bikes. We then rode to the Pacific for the ceremonial start of EVERY Cross Country Bicycle Journey, dipping the Bike, and My Feet, in the Pacific. The bottom photo is looking South along the coast, but because of the grey-ness of the day, it is hard to see the mountains. Tomorrow we start riding East, about 70 miles, 3,000 vertical feet of climbing, a very manageable day, though it will probably spread us out quite a bit.
I understand the scenery should be pretty incredible, can’t wait, hoping for a sunny day, though I doubt it!
alan

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Anticipation

Well, it is hard to imagine that this ride is about to begin. After many hours of travel, by car, then plane, then train, then bus, I am finally in Astoria, Oregon. We will begin riding tomorrow with a short ride to dip our toes and our bikes in the Pacific.
A few words of thanks to Richard Brooke, my co-worker at Unimac and friend from Tana. When I approached Richard to pick his brain about building a web-site, without any hesitation, he signed up to build it. All the comments about how great, and how “professional” it looks are all because of Richard’s involvement, so, THANK YOU Richard.
About the fund raising, without telling how much money we have raised, here is an example of what that money will do.
As you may know, I’ve called the Bass Foundation aspect of this journey the “Ride for Literacy”. On Friday of this week, approximately 50 young people from the Louveture School in East Orange will have a field trip. They will all go to “Words” bookstore in Maplewood to pickup out books for their summer reading. The money we have raised is paying for that. So if you’ve donated, thanks, if you are thinking about it, please do, as there is no better way to change a young person’s life than getting them hooked on reading.
alan

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