Still hoofing it - Northwest passages: riding out the storm - CycleBlaze

April 2, 2020 to April 3, 2020

Still hoofing it

Still no cycling happening here.  I’m starting to feel the urge, but I’m waiting until I go back for my follow-up and stitch removal.  I thought I should check in here though so people don’t start wondering if I’ve gotten gangrene or something.  

No biking then but we are getting out for a daily walk.   I’m still being cautious so I don’t pull out any more stitches, gradually stretching out distance day by day.  Yesterday (Thursday) we took a six mile round trip hike to Canyon City and back.  Canyon City is a surprising little place.  We think John Day (pop. 1,750) is very small, but Canyon City is well less than half as large.  Surprising then that it is the county seat.  It was established during the great gold rush of 1862-4 that began in Canyon City and almost overnight populated the valley.

The look this morning. By noon it will all melt off and warm up enough for pleasant walking conditions.
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The obligatory bike shot of the day. We’ll start seeing our own bikes back in action before long, but for now this is the best we can come up with.
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Jen GrumbyCool! Is that a tumbleweed in the carriage?
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyOh, could be! When we pass that way again I’ll take a look.
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1 month ago
Highway 395, the route to Canyon City, continues on to Burns, 70 miles to the south. Once the weather warms up a bit we’ll bike off in this direction.
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Things are really grim when they cancel LEGO Night and the pie auction.
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Canyon Creek is raging, and the banks are sand-bagged in spots. They must be preparing for the spring melt in the Strawberry Mountains.
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Crossing the foot bridge into the town of Canyon Creek.
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Canyon Creek (pop. 700), the bustling county seat of Grant County.
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Ron SuchanekHow in the heck did we miss Canyon Creek? Looks like a nice town.
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Ron SuchanekWell, it is a few miles off-route. If you checked out every small town along the way, you’d never get anywhere. Which would be OK too.
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1 month ago
Canyon Creek was founded in 1862 when gold was discovered in nearby Whisky Creek. The population exploded over the next three years, topping out at about 10,000 before the mines played out.
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Meaning no disrespect, but the Grant County Courthouse must be one of the least inspiring county courthouses I’ve seen anywhere. It was built in 1952, to replace the one that burned down in 1949 in a great fire that destroyed most of the town.
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This is the previous courthouse, which was destroyed in 1959. It was built to replace the still older one that was destroyed in the great fire of 1937, which destroyed most of Canyon City. Or maybe this is that older one? I couldn’t tell for sure. In any case, it’s an elegant (good) wooden (bad) building, and much more interesting than the current antiseptic box.
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Downtown Canyon City, after the 1959 fire.
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The Guernsey building, constructed of tuff stone, is one of the few old buildings in town that survived the fires of 1937 and 1959. This one is a replacement too though, replacing its wooden predecessor that was destroyed in the fire of 1898.
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The brewery is one of the few long-standing buildings in the town. The brewery has been closed for awhile though, so don’t go researching for their best brew. It closed down in the Prohibition Era and never reopened. It did however somehow manage to survive all of the fires over the last 150 years. Tuff enough!
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The chimney, Canyon City Brewery.
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One of the more interesting domestic buildings in Canyon City.
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Jen GrumbyAnd a nice colourful old truck to go with it!
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1 month ago
The abominable snowman of Canyon City.
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Walking back from Canyon City, we climbed a few hundred feet above town to a balcony road that follows the west wall of the canyon. I think the snowy land formation is Rebel Hill, one of the foothills in the Strawberry Range.
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Walking back toward John Day.
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Today, we set out to take a more ambitious walk, following an unpaved road up Davis creek and the ridge forming the north side of the valley.  We didn’t get far out of town though before running against a locked gate and no trespassing sign.  This doesn’t seem like the right sort of country to ignore the sign and defend ourselves if stopped with the fact that Google Maps said we could walk here, so we turned back.

Instead, we picked another unpaved backroad we had marked out: Blue Heron Road, crossing the ridge and dropping to Beech Creek on the other side.  No luck here either though, as we soon came to another locked gate and prohibition.

Very frustrating.  Tomorrow we’ll try again, striking out on the south side of the river and climbing up toward the airport.  I’m hopeful that if there’s an airport up there we can probably walk there, but we’ll see.  For today though, we just put in a few more miles on the roads close to town and called it a day.

Steel-wheeled chariot race.
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A western bluebird, one of about a half dozen we saw today. The spring breeders have just begun to arrive.
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A hairy woodpecker, I think. They’re very similar to the downy woodpecker - about a third again as large, but the key indicator is their proportionally longer bill length.
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A Say’s Phoebe, in a brief still moment. A member of the flycatcher family, this species rests atop posts frequently flicking its tail, before taking flight, snatching a snack on the fly, and finding another outpost.
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Descending toward the river.
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The Strawberry Mountains, from the outskirts of John Day. This must be about the best view of the range from this direction.
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A wasp or hornet nest?
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Bill ShaneyfeltWasps and hornets chew up wood (usually old deadwood) and make paper for their nests. I have a few old hornet nests that I probably got in the winter 15 years or so ago. Getting tattered now. No idea what makes that kind of nest.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paper_wasp
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Bill ShaneyfeltI don’t know my nests either. If I’m back that way later in the spring I’ll shinny up the tree for a closer look.
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1 month ago
Jen GrumbyI don't know about that 😬.

What if there are some grumpy occupants inside?
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyOr Grumby occupants!
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1 month ago
Jacquie GaudetI'd guess some kind of bird since I can't see insects moving dead leaves into position.
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Jacquie GaudetOh, well that’s a good point. I didn’t look at it that closely and was thinking it was a paper wasp nest. It must be a bird of some kind.
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1 month ago
At the outskirts of John Day.
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Suzanne GibsonNot the worst place to be stranded in. And when the weather changes and there is a bit more green on the trees it will be even better. Must be frustrating to wait for that wound to heal over, but I'm sure your caution will pay off.
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Suzanne GibsonYou’re right. Dog bite or no, things could be much worse for Team Anderson right now.
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1 month ago
Jen GrumbyLooks beautiful out there!

And great that you can still get out for exercise while you heal.
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1 month ago
Ron SuchanekI wonder if either of those No Trespassing roads are logging roads that ban auto traffic but allow for or bicycle traffic.
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Ron SuchanekProbably not logging, since there’s nothing timber-like on that ridge. I wondered too whether it would be fine to just step around, but not today. Maybe I’ll ask around, if I can get close enough to anyone to ask.
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1 month ago
Ron SuchanekTo Scott AndersonOh that's right- no logs! There are some roads that are "owned" by timber companies between Portland and the coast that are posted by allow bicycles.
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Ron SuchanekYup. And others that are owned by gun-toting misanthropes. Maybe it was the recent dog attack but we weren’t inclined to test our luck.
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1 month ago