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June 19

 

6/19 Tues.Kah-Nee-Ta Resort at Warm Springs, OR†† ††††66.65 miles5,280 ft. of climb†† 6 hrs 36 minutes

 

†† How Great Thou Art!Unbelievable, just awesome beauty.What a day. From where we started out and where we ended up it was like a 360 degree turn in scenery.The first mountains behind us we descended 10 miles into a canyon and we are staying on Indian land at a resort in the desert hills.I thought the desert of Tucson was incredible but this beauty here is big competition.It just doesnít seem possible that in the morning we were riding in a forest of mammoth tall pine trees and rushing water streams high in around Mount Hood. In the afternoon we entered the eastern slopes that are barren with open cattle ranges ( a coyote ran across in front of one of the cyclists ), sagebrush and horse farms.The soil turned deep red.†† We saw rock formations that take your breath away.

†† Loaded my luggage on the truck at 5:45 AM and had a great breakfast bar in one of the lovely dining rooms of this mountain resort.I was off on the way east on Rte 26 by 6:30AM. Immediately we climbed for 11 miles at 6% grade for 2,500 feet.Not once did the road dip down.After that long climb we had a break for power food at the SAG wagon (Support and Gear).It was very cold starting out after 11 miles of climbing.We were all sweating!The scenery was out of this world.We were climbing a ledge and if you donít like heights this wasnít the place to be on your bike.Every blink of the eye was a ďKodak MomentĒ,I didnít bring my digital camera with me today, I brought a point and shoot panorama camera.Only because it weighed less.With all the climbing we had before us, I was determined to make my bike as light as possible.For the first time I took off my back rear rack bike bag.I wore my hydration on my back ( Camelback 70 oz water bag ) and 1 water bottle with Gatorade.After we made it up that 11 mile climb, we had a thrilling descent of 4 miles. Only after that, it was a 1000 ft climb for 3 miles.Another reward for the steady climb, we plunged down for the next 10 miles.It only took minutes to go down 10 miles but 1 3/4 hours to go up 11 miles. In the rear view mirror the snow capped mountain of Mt Hood, Mt. Jefferson and other snow-capped mountains began to disappear.

†† When we turned off route 26 onto the road to Kah-Nee-Ta a short way up the road was the SAG wagon. Water and goodies.It was very hot, near 90 I think.The next 20 miles were another feast for the eyes.The cliffs and rock cuts and climbs were more challenging than any other of the day.We were way down in a box canyon and the winds were strong.The final switch back descent was hard to do.Iíve never descended so far and so fast Ė miles and miles.I was going near 30 mph.

†† We are staying at a very very luxurious resort.All the employees are American Indian.Dinner was pasta, cold and hot and mixed green salad.You ought to see the plates of food these bikers consume!

†† Thank you all, who are praying for me.Iím making it just fine. I can hardly believe it!!The day after tomorrow will be 3 mountain passes and 112 miles.We are advised to take it slow and easy tomorrow.Major climbing right away in the morning getting back out of this Canyon.I wish you could see the view from our patio windows.

†† I am impressed with the adventures a lot of these cyclists have had.So many are experienced riders having many years of cycling.Some have a spouse who is on bicycling adventure elsewhere right now or will be at times through out the summer.

 

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