I left Richland, OR this morning with the hopes of making it to Cambridge, ID a 70 mile day. There was a 1500 foot climb right out of Richland that woke me up. Like 5 espressos for breakfast. The route took me to Oxbow on the Oregon/Idaho border and the Snake River. On the map, it looked like I need to take a right turn after I passed through Oxbow and go south along the river. So I did and crossed the Snake River. I was putting along expecting to see a place for lunch, I had seen on the map. No lunch spot to be found, actually nothing to be found. I had not even seen a car for miles. I stopped to reference my map and compass and realized I was going north along the river, not south. Huge error on my part. A 10 mile error! Ahhhh! Stupid! I make and read maps for a living. So 10 miles away from my route means 10 miles back to where I made a wrong turn. I made the second right and passed the first, the one I wanted. It was hot and I was pissed for the mistake I made. I thought, well, suck it up, turn around and ride back.
It was starting to get hot again. I made it back to my correct right turn and thought OK I can still make Cambridge, ID. This was not the case. I crossed the Snake River, again, and had to make the climb out of the river basin, again. At this point it is 100 degrees and I am climbing a steep grade with 100 lbs of gear and bicycle. My ride’s weight equals the tempurature, not good. I finally found the restaurant I wanted to stop for lunch at. I was starving.
So I am eating my lunch, figuring that once refueled will I be able to climb 2000 feet, in 5-6 miles, in this heat. As my better judgement was beginning to take over and I was considering staying, in walks the first racer I have seen. If you don’t know what I mean by racer check out the blog post for day 6. Lee Fancourt, from Gloucester UK. I talked with Lee as he downed a burger and fries and ordered a medium pizza to go, lol. I asked if he knew what place he was in and to his knowledge he was in third. There is no cell coverage so he was not sure. He is working on 4 hours of sleep since Saturday, today is Monday. He is doing 250-300 miles/day. He told me he ran out of water and was without for something like 50 miles. Insane! Dude was in fantastic shape. Like the cheeseball I am, I had to ask if I could take a picture. Lee was more than happy to oblige. The heat was crushing him as well. Next thing you know in walks another racer. The guy grabs some food from the shelves, pays and takes off. Lee looks at me, rolls his eyes, and starts shoving down the burger. He asked the waitress for a smaller pizza to go box, the check, he said goodbye and took off after the guy who is now in third. Incredible. I was sitting there in awe, lol. Below are pics of Lee and his bike. He is doing the same route I am and look at the difference in bikes and gear! Ha! What an experience being able to talk to one of the TAT racers.
Oh! by the way, one state down. Goodbye Oregon, hello Idaho! I am staying the night between Oxbow and Cambridge. There is one video on my Facebook page
Day 9 – 50 miles (I am not counting the 20 mile mistake)