Day 4 started off swimmingly. My tent neighbors in Coburg decided to roll in at midnight and let’s just say they were not exactly the “silent types”. Anyway, why start this post off on a bad note, I eventually fell asleep.
Today’s journey took me along the McKenzie river. It was a scenic route with some rolling hills. It kind of reminded me of back home in the Poconos. I took a picture of an old wooden bridge and a short video of a wide open valley with the river running through it. I wanted to bike over McKenzie Pass today but by the time I got to the foot of the mountain it was already 3:30 and I thought trying a 4000 ft climb after 61 miles was
being a bit too macho, lol. Quiting time.
Since I was calling it a day I searched for a campground near McKenzie Bridge. I found a National Forest campground and got the impression you could just sent camp in any open spot. This is not true. First of all it is $22 for a single spot, no showers. That is most I have spent for a night thus far. The site manager said i could take any spot even a reserved one as long as the reserved spot did not have tonight’s date. I found a nice spot #22 right on the river and the reservation was not till the 5th. I set up camp and was looking forward to walking down to the river when the campers arrived. Apparently by chance they reserved the site online that day for one night. Unlucky me. I broke camp and move to lucky #19! I was able to stay the night. I also took advantage of the bath, nature provided, and walked into the river. Holy ice cubes, my goose bumbs had goose bumbs. My bath was not drawn to the appropriate tempurature of my liking. I exited quickly. What was great though was falling asleep to the flowing river, I slept well.
Day 5. I was up and ready to tackle McKenzie Pass. The elevation is 5,325 ft and was going to be my first real test. I started at around 1800 ft so it would be a 3,525 ft climb. I was aware that the road would be closed to traffic so I would have it to myself, and any other cyclist, hiker, etc. When I got to the start there was a sign that the pass was closed at gate 7 for snow. Well that sucks. I could either take the alternate route Santium Pass 4, 817 ft or really step up on the adventure scale and say screw it and do it. My concern wasn’t the closed road, I could get around that, but if there is snow on the road I am in deep yogurt. This is supposed to be an adventure right? Do it! On my way up the pass I met my second set of fellow TransAmer’s Gale and Annie, from Medford , OR. They were riding a tandum up, impressive. We got to talking and found out both them, and Audrey and I, have the same hobbies. RVing and motorcycle riding. It was great meeting them and talking about the hobbies and the challenge ahead of us. I continued up the pass and was pleasantly suprised in my climbing capability, those Pocono hills trained me well. A bit more up the way I met Martha who was doing a short tour
1, 500 miles. Her husband was touring on his motorcycle and they would occationally meet up, pretty cool. Anyway I got to the top of the pass and it was surreal. A massive volcanic explosion left a huge lava field. Near the the top of the pass was a very, very old observatory and out of each window you could see a different mountain. On the top of the observatory there was a sundial like chart pointing to each mountain as well. The views were breathtaking, but windy and cold. The picture of the mountain is Mt Washinhton. What goes up must come down and that is what I did extremely fast. Add another member country to my United Nations. Jake from Tel Aviv Israel is my tent neighbor. That makes France, Germany & Israel. Tonight I am in Prineville, OR. See the videos on my Facebook page https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1198996923446303&id=100000080201650
Day 4 – 61 miles
Day 5 – 86.3 miles