With 24 miles of climbing out of the 73 total and most of that over the last 20 miles, this was supposed to be the hardest riding day. However, I still think the hardest day for me was the first as I acclimated to the elevation over the first 20 miles of slow climbing. Much more interesting than yesterday after the first flat 18 miles to Buchanan and the first 4 mile climb on Hiway 20. Buchanan seems to be little more than a museum/Indian arts store. Next time I am in the area with Linda we will definitely stop there. Several of the ladies purchased some of the beautiful and reasonably priced jewelry.
After a stop for lunch at Pine Creek Ranch and its one-room school in the rolling farm valley lands, we headed up into a pine forest on a long climb of about 20 miles. Students from Pine Creek are among those who attend high school at Crane. As expected the ride up the mountain was beautiful among the pines with magnificent vistas. At the top we were greeted by a couple of entrepreneurs selling Gatorade, bottled water and beer. Gatorade seemed to be the most popular drink. At least I did not see anyone purchasing any beer.
As we flew down the other side, we passed a trio playing music under a canopy. Unfortunately, most of us were moving too fast to even catch a hint of the music, let alone stop. They should have been up at the top with the liquid sellers.
|Gravel can be a bit scary|
Today’s route also included 1.6 miles of gravel road. For most of us, gravel is not a lot of fun although it isn’t hard as long as you are careful. This was a bit harder because it included several ups and downs over the route. For the mountain bikers on the route, this may have been their favorite segment.
Our camp on the Seneca golf course was pleasant enough although it would be the coldest night of the ride. Seneca has the ‘honor’ of having the coldest recorded temperature ever in Oregon. It reached 54 degrees below zero in 1933.