Before I ramble on today I have to thank everyone who has offered support and well wishes to my blog and Facebook since the beginning of my trip. It means a lot to know I have that support especially on really tough days. Ohhhhhh like, maybe today? I started off in Prineville with the “Breakfast of Champions” a to-go container, the big one, filled with biscuits and sausage gravy, for like a buck fifty. Ochoco Pass was the first big challenge of the morning, an approximately 1,800 ft climb. Although gradual it was probably 22 miles of climbing. I took a pic at the summit sign striking a lightening bolt pose. I little pride never hurt anyone. There are some pics of scenery on my way down the pass and on my way into Mitchell.
As I pulled into Mitchell I was happy to see two fellow TATer’s talking with a local. Jamie and Genevieve are from New Mexico and after recent grad school completion and in between jobs found it a good time to trek across the USA. They were on their way up Keys Creek Summit an approximately 1400 ft climb and steeper than Ochoco Pass. I just got into town to have lunch before I tackled this beast. I had a great ham and cheese melt with a side of tater tots. The only reason I mentioned this is that its rare when tater tots are an option, so you can’t pass them up. After lunch I jumped on my steel horse and began the Keys Creek Summit climb. I don’t know what happened between stopping for lunch and getting on my bike but someone left the heat on and closed the door. It got really hot and what better way to start a 1400 ft climb then with a heat lamp baring down on you, and dry, so dry. My eyeballs where sweating.
On the way down I ran into Jamie and Genevieve again and we coasted and talked on the way down. It was great to share the ride with them. I took off to get to the campground asap, I was melting. Jamie and Genevieve were staying at the same campground I was that night, so I was expecting to see them later. At the campground I met Troy from San Diego. Get this folks Troy just recently started ride a bike again, the last being when he was a teenager. He’s in his 50’s an got a bike and decided to ride it across the USA. Way to find something you just want to do and going for it! The picture at the campgound is of (starting from the left) Troy, Jamie, Genevieve and Me. I had a great time talking with all of them and sharing our experiences and stories from the trip. Thanks guys.
One last thing. Tomorrow starts the TAT race. Yes, there are fools crazier than us that race the route we are riding. The winner last year was Jesse Carlsson who did it in 18 days 23 hours. Insane! No worries, no plans for that in my future. I am looking forward to seeing some of them fly by in a couple days. I am staying in Dayville, OR. As usual I posted the videos to my Facebook page
Day 6 – 86 miles