Saturday, June 23†††††† Baker City to Ontario, Oregon††† -†† 83 miles†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Hot!†† 94 degrees.
††††††††† The Best Western in Baker City had the best food yet.† The breakfast bar was super.† First time we had hot oatmeal, fresh pineapple, watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, biscuits and gravy.† They also had a choice of juices along with bacon and scrambled eggs.† The servers were hustling to keep up with the 6:15 AM starved bikers.†
We went from Pacific time to Mountain time and lost an hour.
††††††††† Today the terrain was more of the same.† Low mountains and very few trees, desert like,† lots of sagebrush and grasses.† Leaving Baker City this morning it was a fun ride because it was mostly down hill after mile 5.† All the way to mile 30 and the first SAG stop.† We were all hammering the pedals, having a blast.† We followed old Rte 30 paralleling Interstate 84.† Down below us were the railroad tracks and we raced along the Pacific Railway Train for mile and mile.† After the hot day yesterday,† this morning was a welcome relief.† At the SAG rest stop we were all talking like we would get into Ontario by 1:30 or 2 PM.††† HA!†† After that we got on Interstate 84 ( Itís legal here in Oregon to bike on the berm of the Interstate for a few miles ).† Downhill until we exited at Weiser.† Then the Snake River started and the wind started and the heat went up to 94 degrees.† This was one of those character building days or so we were told.† You wouldnít like the character it changed me into!† Shade was miles and miles apart.† When I saw shade, it was like an oases in the desert.
††††††††† I enjoy the tiny towns we go through.† The locals are so friendly and they like talking to cyclists.† I get a little local history visiting with them.† But when it is hot and miles to go, I canít dally very long.
††††††††† Road kill today - saw 6 rattlesnakes.† Some bikers saw live ones crossing the road!† I had to do an emergency pit stop and walked into the grass & sagebrush and made it a quickie when I saw a big 4 foot rattlesnake skin at my feet.
††††††††† I had my second flat today.† But lucky me, the mechanic wagon happened by and I used his floor pump to top off the air in my tire. The bike hand pump is so much slower and in the hot sun I was glad to fix it fast and be on my way.†
††††††††† Several were going to Mass here in town today but by the time I got in at 5:30 PM, I was to late to go with them for the 6 PM Mass.
††††††††† We are all looking forward to our first rest day that starts when we get to Boise, ID tomorrow.
We have in this first week climbed 28,000 feet and cycled 53 miles.