Day 107, to Prineville: The penultimate climb - Chris Cross America - CycleBlaze

August 7, 2022

Day 107, to Prineville: The penultimate climb

The rocks were not quite as epic as yesterday's, but we were still surrounded by some impressive mountains and pretty cool rock formations on today's ride, including this brown butte standing above a sandy-colored layer of rock, which is itself above a layer of pine trees. Not a great photo, but pretty cool to see. (To be honest, I'm still obsessed with the beardog fossils we saw yesterday. That had absolutely nothing to do with this photo, but I had to say it somewhere. Okay, I guess I should add a photo of a beardog fossil. Look below!)
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Above is a beige or gray fossilized piece of jawbone with sharp black teeth that apparently belonged to a beardog 20 million years ago. A sign below it shows an illustration of a face of a beardog, which looks kind of like a large, snarling red panda with gray fur instead of red, a long nose and beady yellow eyes. The sign reads: "This jaw is a new species of a large beardog, one of many found in the John Day beds. The earliest beardogs found here are only fox-sized, but they evolved over 20 million years to the bear-sized beasts of the Mascall."
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Sunday stats

Start: Spoke'n Hostel, Mitchell, Ore.

End: Crook County RV Park, Prineville, Ore.

The Daily Progress: 48.7 miles

New milestone! Today I crossed the 4,000-mile mark of loaded riding on this tour. There's still a few hundred miles to do, but reaching 4,000 feels pretty good.

Nicest image of the day (no picture, and actually, Dani saw it, but I did not — yet): A boy is riding around the RV park on his bicycle with a sign that says, "Have a nice day."

Cumulative climb: 2771 feet

Cumulative descent: 2598 feet

Elevation at endpoint: 2890

Ice cream flavors: We went for smoothies instead of ice cream today (don't worry, I am feeling okay ... we just wanted something cold and the options were soft serve ice cream or smoothies with fruit and yogurt, and yes, this ice cream fanatic does look down on soft serve). We got the "extreme berry" and "passion peach," and both were so good, especially in a tiny shaded seating area surrounded by pavement roasting in the sun.

Beer flavors: Pfrier, a Belgian-style blonde for me and the Lost Coast Tangerine for Dani, at Corral Tap Room

Lodging expenses: $20 at the Crook County RV Park

Food and drink expenses: $30 for dinner at an Asian-Latin fusion food truck outside the Corral Tap Room, $30 for beers, and $14 for smoothies earlier. 

Dani's daily digest

Chris was the first one in the hostel kitchen this morning, so per hostel rules, he made the coffee, which we enjoyed with real half-and-half. 

Our ride today was pretty easy. A few downhill miles to get us rolling, a climb to our second-to-last mountain pass, and then 32 downhill miles to our destination for the day: Prineville.

While climbing, we discussed our vision for What Comes Next. No decisions were reached, but it was good to have the conversation.

We also had the opportunity to pass on our bear spray to a pair of eastbound cyclists, since we are leaving bear country and they are heading towards it. 

Soon we'll be over the Cascades and in an entirely different climate. Today I savored the glories of the arid west: dry air, clear sunshine, blue skies, aromatic pines, and dramatic rocks. 

The town of Prineville (with a population of 11,000!) welcomed us with the trappings of suburban America, specifically a Starbucks and a Taco Bell. We patronized neither and instead biked on to Friends Espresso, where we got smoothies that were cold and delicious. 

We checked into the Crook County RV park, where we were directed to a lovely grassy, shaded site ... that abuts the RV dump station. In fact, the banner that says "Cyclists Welcome" hangs on the same fence as the sign that says "Dump Station." It doesn't smell or anything, but it's not the most appealing place we could be. We took showers (in the very clean bathrooms) and did our day's laundry in the sink. Then the campsite host putt-putted over to us in her golf cart and told us we had to take down our clothesline. We said "of course!" politely and then rolled out eyes liberally as we set up our clothesline -- er, our "interior decorative cord" -- inside our tent and hung our clothes there.

Here is our campsite, all set up, shortly before the campsite host came to ask us to take down our clothesline. In the foreground is our tent. In the background is the large banner that says "CYCLISTS WELCOME," right next to the sign that says "DUMP STATION." To the left, our bikes lean against a tree, and our wet, washed clothes hang on a rope we strung between the two trees. Nothing says "cyclists welcome" quite as well as "dump station." At least it was shady.
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marilyn swettLove it! Too bad the park couldn't be a little more understanding of cyclists'needs. But a grassy shady site is nice vs hot gravel!
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1 month ago

We tried to go to a place called Fresco and Fryed for dinner because the reviewers on Google were positively agog over the place, but it turned out to be a food truck and it was not currently in residence at the beer garden indicated on Google. We got food at one of the two present food trucks and a few beers, making for a hot but relaxing Sunday afternoon in the Oregon desert. 

Today's ride: 49 miles (79 km)
Total: 4,003 miles (6,442 km)

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Keith AdamsCongratulations on that 4,000th mile Chris- not to mention the 3,999 that preceded it!
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1 month ago