Day 16 Biggs to Irrigon, Oregon: Dis-Gorged! - Grampies on the Go - CycleBlaze

May 16, 2011

Day 16 Biggs to Irrigon, Oregon: Dis-Gorged!

After a whole day off the road we had a touch of starting out butterflies as we stoked up at Linda's Restaurant and headed off down I-84. The sky was blue, the road smooth, wide and fairly empty, and best of all there was a stiff tail wind. By stiff, we mean STIFF! It seems the Gorge had finally decided to eject us, and we were all for it.

Wide, smooth, empty road, by the River
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It was smooth, effortless gliding and for long periods it was not even necessary to pedal. From a standing start the wind could push us at 9 kph on its own. At one point I almost fell asleep at the handlebars - the bike and the wind seemed to have everything under control, so why did they need me?

We also had time to look at the landscape float by. The hills were dressed with blue flowers and sage. We startled a hawk, and a black bird with red flashes then gave it chase, dipping and weaving, until the smaller bird declared victory and returned to its nest. Wind turbines along the ridge are a modern art form, one that we still can not understand the lack of in BC.

Modern art.
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In every way, it was glorious! By 11 a.m we reached Arlington, which had been our objective for the day. We did a picnic in the park in the centre of town, and pushed on.

Arlington city park
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Arlington city park II
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Arlington city park III. Still a little cool for swimming!
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Right now the Canadian dollar is valued higher than the US dollar, but one Canadian currency remains easier to come by: The "Century". With the tailwind, a metric Century was easy to achieve. It's 100 km, or just 60 miles, but hey, we will take it!

A (metric) Century! (By early afternoon)
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The flags show the tail wind straight from the back.
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The switch to a flat prairie landscape.
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More prairie like evidence
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We quickly came to Irrigon, which is past our next day's objective! The land here is wide open farming country - no more evidence of the Gorge, and it feels like a totally different world.

Farming country. The Gorge is long forgotten.
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Off in a field was the Green Acres RV park. We headed for it, and were passed by three screaming police cars, which turned in and started the pursuit of some sort of "incident". Our own survey revealed a scuzzy place, with run down, long term units and no apparent grass, tables, or much of anything for people in a tent. We pulled on out and headed down the road.

Green Acres RV near Irigon, off in a field. An island of scuzziness!
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Returning to the highway was not that easy, because in that direction the tail wind was a cross wind. It just about blew me over.

The next place, the Oasis, is closer to "downtown" Irrigon. $10 bought us a piece of grass, and access to showers, laundry, and Internet. No table or chairs, though.

Our tent struggles to hold its own. Oasis RV, Irrigon.
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Our tent struggled to stay up in the wind, but in the end managed to hold its own. We are now established in the laundry room - these rooms are great. They always have power, light, and a place to sit down (while your laundry spins, presumably). But our tent, of course, lacks these amenities. Dodie has just brought in sandwiches, carrots, and celery, transforming the laundry into a gourmet dining establishment for the evening!

Self portrait.
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Today's ride: 122 km (76 miles)
Total: 977 km (607 miles)

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