Boston Mills again - Northwest passages: riding out the storm - CycleBlaze

June 25, 2020

Boston Mills again

We’re running down the days on our Corvallis stay.  We leave for Bellingham next Wednesday, so we’re down to six riding days left before then.  The weather is breaking in our favor and it looks like we’ll likely get out for a ride on each of them.  

None of the rides remaining on our candidate list feel just right for today, so Rocky requests that the Planning Team come up with a new option.  She presents it with this challenging set of criteria:

  1. It’s going to turn hot again today, so we should plan on starting out and returning early in the day.  This probably precludes options requiring a drive of any distance.
  2. It’s going to turn hot again today, so the ride probably should include only a minimum amount of climbing.
  3. It should be at least 42 miles long, because.
  4. It should include a more attractive spot to stop for a snack break than just some dingy, dusty patch by the side of the road.
  5. Finally, and most importantly, it should include well-spaced facilities.  Rocky is getting tired of furtively squatting behind the only tree or shrub for miles, hoping a car doesn’t drive by at just the wrong moment.

A tall order!  The Planning Team is undaunted though and quickly sets to work.  Time is of the essence, because we’ll need to leave in about two hours, and I still want time to dash down to New Morning Bakery for breakfast and coffee before then.  The team immediately goes into committee, closes the door to discourage interruption, and soon re-emerges with this inspired option: 

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Rocky reviews the work product and thankfully agrees that it meets all mandatory criteria: it starts and ends at home; is 45 miles long; is virtually flat; includes pit stops at mile 10 (Peoria Park) and mile 27 (Boston Mills); and features a very attractive spot for a snack break at Boston Mills, where we can watch their colorful chickens and ducks mill around while we sit at a picnic bench.  Perfect.

The planning team quickly disbands and I immediately grab my mask and head off for a quick breakfast.  90 minutes later we’re off, heading for Peoria Road.  Even though we’ve cover this road quite a few times now, These first ten miles  are a delight as we enjoy a mild tailwind and light traffic on our way south to pit stop #1.

I’ve been a bit dismissive about Peoria Road because it carries more traffic than the deserted roads nearby, but it’s really a very pleasant ride.
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A prominent profile we all quickly recognize by now.
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We bike pretty steadily, but I do have to stop at least once or twice.  I’m not concerned though, since I know I’ll catch up with Rachael at Peoria Park.  Sure enough, just as soon as I bike up she’s walking back to her  patiently waiting Straggler.

As soon as I catch up though, I quickly lose her again.  The little community of Peoria is a block off of Peoria Road, and we haven’t actually biked through it yet.  Now that we’re here, I really do need to stop for a quick glance at its heritage church; and as soon as I do, she’s off into the distance.  

The next fifteen miles to Boston Mills are a harder pull than the first leg was.  We’re biking against the wind now, and it seems to be gaining strength as we go along.  We ride separately for nearly the whole way, with her nearly always in sight a quarter mile ahead- I never gain much, but she never really pulls further ahead either.

Finally, just before Boston Mills I catch up to her, standing in the road looking up at a gorgeous catalpa tree in full bloom.   She’s had her look by the time I arrive, so she takes off again while I take my turn.  

Leaving Peoria, or what little is left of it. Founded in 1851 as a river town with a cross-river ferry, it gradually died with the coming of the rails and a stop at Shedd a few miles to the east.
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Little is known now about the First Christian Church in Peoria. It’s believed to have been built before 1900, but apparently no records were passed down.
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Rachael’s in the clover.
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Jen GrumbyGreat shot!
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1 week ago
Don’t look back.
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Yellow ribbon.
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We biked past this catalpa tree about two weeks ago without noticing it. It must not have been in bloom yet.
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Catalpa trees are spectacular bloomers - they’re like giant bouquets of a million orchid blossoms.
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Five minutes later, I pull in at the park at Boston Mills and hear her calling me from the picnic table she’s camped out at.  As I roll up, I’m presented with the delightful picture of her peering underneath the table with her camera, checking out the clutch of chickens sheltered in its shade.  They appear not at all fazed by the arrival of company.

We hang around for about twenty minutes, eating our lunch, entertaining and being entertained by the brazen chickens, and waiting out a mild SVT episode.  The first I’ve had in over a month, it inexplicably began the minute I stopped biking into the headwind to check out the catalpa tree.  So odd, but so typical - very much like the times when I’ll be fine on a climb and have an episode as soon as I start to descend.

It’s mild, but I humor it on the ride back home to hopefully keep it from acting up again.  Rachael rides with me for several miles as I poke along at 10-12 mph, until I convince her that I’m fine and she feels comfortable biking on ahead.  No big deal.  It’s not like I’ve got coronavirus or anything like that.  No need to break out the bleach or hydroxy just yet.

Boston Mill (renamed as Thompson’s) is the last working water powered flour mill in Oregon. But I repeat myself, and you knew that already. Its grounds are a beautiful spot to stop, and well worth our third trip here this month.
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Image not found :(
The millkeeper’s house, the carriage house, and a few Cayuga ducks.
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Rachael has already picked out a spot when I pull in. Any of the benches will do, but she likes the one with the chickens.
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And they like her! They’re flattered that we’ve chosen their table today and quickly hop up to join us.
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I don’t know why she’s checking out my spectacles instead of the mixed nuts. Maybe she sees her reflection?
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Steve Miller/GrampiesYou do know that chickens are not the brightest of birds, right?
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1 week ago
Scott AndersonTo Steve Miller/GrampiesYup. Real birdbrains.
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1 week ago
Jen GrumbyQ. Why did the rubber chicken cross the road?
A. She wanted to stretch her legs.

Q. Why did the Roman chicken cross the road?
A. She was afraid someone would Caesar!

Q. Why did the chicken cross the playground ?
A. To get to the other slide.

From kidspot.com.au
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1 week ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyGoodness, Ms Grumby! Author, poet, multilinguist, humorist, master of minutia. A real renaissance woman!
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1 week ago
Beautiful but a bit menacing.
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Jen GrumbyThe chicken has large talons!

(I don't suppose you ever saw Napoleon Dynamite?)
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1 week ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyNever saw, and never heard of. And if these scary talons typify the film, I don’t think I will now either.
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1 week ago
Birds of a different feather sometimes do flock together.
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Scott AndersonTo Ron SuchanekParmesan, granted. Cheese, what a stupid pun!
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6 days ago
Probably not the best idea, lying down on a picnic bench favored by the chickens.
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Ride stats today: 46 miles, 300’

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