Wed.† June 20 †††††††Prineville OR
†† I went out on our deck out of our motel bedroom at 5:30 AM and watched the sun shine out over the vast canyon.† What a spiritual moment to be there in that place for morning prayers.† The beauty of Central Oregon will be long remembered.† I could have sat there for hours, but with the temperature forecast for the 90ís, I had to get on my way.† Breakfast was yummy and served in the main restaurant.† I loaded up on French toast, rice krispies, juice and milk.† I started out to my bike thinking it would be cold like yesterday for at least an hour.† I had on my windbreaker jacket, vest, tights over shorts, arm warmers and ear band.† Whooa!† Way too much.† I immediately stripped all of that.† I didnít get cold because it was a 4 mile up hill switch back climb of 1000í out of the canyon.† This Indian Reservation territory has rock cliffs and high plateaus all over.† The soil is red.† This is definitely rattle snake country.† I rounded a bend in the up hill and a cyclist ahead of me shouted out to check the rattler on the edge of the pavement.† It was a baby one all coiled up and lookín evil eyed as I stayed a good way away from it.† A way down the road itís parent was dead on the road.† Now that one was BIG!† After we passed through Warm Springs, it was desert all the way for 55 miles.† We passed through a National grasslands area.† Sage brush and grasses for miles.† The sun was baking us real good.† I applied sun screen about every hour and a half.† Lots of big lumber logging trucks roared by us too.† Mike from D.C. got hit by a piece of pine bark flying off one of those trucks.† Sure was a welcome sight to see the ABB van at the top of the last hill,† my water was nearly gone.
†† The town we are in is Prineville, OR not too far from Redmond. All the land around here is irrigated and I saw a lot of fresh mowed hay.† This is cowboy country.† Lots of horse and cattle farms.† There is a rodeo coming up here this weekend.† Some of the cyclists went down the street to see the cattle stampede through the streets.† Cowboys on horses got the cattle through the town.† Jim K. went to see a memorial that was built a few years ago remembering 14 fire fighters who lost their lives fighting a fire here.† He took a picture and I think it will be on his web site.
†† The food for breakfasts and dinners has been A+, Rooms A++.
†† Road kill count for today: 1 rattle snake, 1 jack rabbit, 1 deer, 1 squirrel, 1 Indian moccasin and 2 bungee cords.
†† I am so amazed how I am doing on the bike.† Iíve done all the miles, all the climbs and very, very little soreness. Sure glad I had that rear cassette changed before leaving Ohio to a 12-34.† It has been a leg saver on these hills.†
†† Everybody is quite independent and ready to roll out of the SAG stops as soon as they finish, rarely waiting for anyone.† Small groups will form and ride together for a spell and sometimes re-group at the SAG stops.† We are basically spread out from each other anywhere from 1/8 of a mile to a mile or two.† We greet each other as we pull up along side or while passing.† A few have small cassette tape players and listen to talk tapes or music as they pedal along the wide open spaces.
†† When I finish this ride, I will come back to these dates and add more about the places I am staying.† Lots of history.
†† Bed very early tonight.† A big long day tomorrow.† 116 miles and it will be in the Cascade Mountains with long climbs.† Breakfast †at 5:30 AM.