Mitchell - A Missing Link - CycleBlaze

June 25, 2021 to June 28, 2021

Mitchell

....so I was having dinner with a local cycling group who did a week-ish long tour of the area on gravel roads.  They were a mix of members of GEARS (Greater Eugene Area Riders) and the Mid-Valley Bicycle Club and we were discussing our trips when the subject of weather came up, and more specifically the heat.

"It's supposes to be 110 in Eugene on Sunday," Eileen said.

And it wasn't any better where I was going.  In fact it would be worse because I have been warned about some of the places in Idaho (such as hell's canyon) being ovens even in normal weather.

"It's going to be over 100 in Missoula as well," someone else said and that.

I know that those temperatures are not fun to ride in and may even be dangerous in the remote places I would be going.  They were riding back to Prineville the next day and offered to drive me to Eugene the next day if I wanted to get out of the heat and cut the ride short.

After a long discussion they said if I am interested meet them at the hotel at 6:30am.  I said okay but it was clear to everyone that the odds of that were almost zero, and that it was nice meeting them and safe travels.

But I went back to the hostel and thought about it, and contacted friends and my brother for opinions.  Of course they all wanted me to be safe.

To make a long story short my thought process was this:

I certainly could have kept going.  And if this was a cross-country trip I would have because it is a longer time frame where you can ride short days for a couple of weeks (to beat the heat) and make up the time down the line.  But this is a relatively short trip for the distances I need to cover.

But more importantly I have ridden in temperatures over 100.  It just wasn't fun.  The last week of "I'm You Huckleberry" were spent riding from sun-up to noon before finding a hotel and sitting in the Air Conditioning to survive.  It was the same in parts of Utah on a different summer.  And that's not what this trip is about.

I wanted to be able to ride all day and spend time in cool-ish landscapes enjoying the scenery, not to mention camping in nice weather.  I wanted to be able to ride from sunup to sundown if I felt like it.

What's more, I can do this trip another time.  It is more or less local.

So, I got myself out of bed and, to everyone's surprise, I was outside the hotel at 6:30am.

From there I rode back with them to Prineville and Jack dropped me off at Sister where I stayed with Haley, who is the daughter of my friend Donna.

I thought about staying in the general area to ride, perhaps around crater lake, but by day's end on Friday I had had enough.  It was time to regroup mentally and head home to make plans to fight another day.

So Haley kindly gave me a head start up McKenzie pass in her car and I made my way to Eugene.  Feeling the heat on the down hill, and inferno that was Eugene, I felt pretty okay with my decision; not great because it's disappointing.

It's one of those things that I will never know.  Stopping a trip 2 days in feels drastic, but as Leo said, "It's not a commando assault course; it's a bike ride. You're doing it for fun."

When all is said and done it feels like the right choice.

I got home Sunday via Amtrak, the train was 6 hours late, but that is another story.

In the mean time I have come up with some local 2-6 day rides that I am excited about and journal planning has begun in my head.  This will all start next week on a new journal.

In the mean time you may have noticed that I changed the title to this one.  Instead of "The Missing Link" it is temporarily titled "A Missing Link".  After all I did ride 2 days of a section of the Trans American trail I had not done before.  That has to be worth one link don't you think?

Spoke and Hostel
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Donna WMGreat photo of a very cool place to stop over…
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3 months ago
My room at the Spoke and Hostel. Why does it always look like my bags exploded?
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Donna WMHow cozy is that!
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3 months ago
My rescue crew. Thank you!
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The top of McKenzie Pass on Saturday
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Donna WMI’ve been up there to the observatory—it’s an interesting place inside.
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3 months ago
More near the pass
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It was beautiful...
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...I will be back...
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...yes, I will be back.
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Today's ride: 45 miles (72 km)
Total: 126 miles (203 km)

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Comment on this entry Comment 4
Kathleen JonesGlad you made that decision. I was wondering if you would be able to get ahead of it. Apparently not. So now you’ll live to ride and write another day.
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3 months ago
Karen CookThanks Kathleen. I think so. That's life, eh?

In fact I heard the heat is moving east to Idaho and Montana now.

Actually I have been thinking of a trip where I ride to all the California Missions for years so I am going to a modified version where I chunk them into groups and do mini trips. Will start with the Bay area ones next week and work my way down. Should be fun enough alternative ;-)
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3 months ago
Scott AndersonGlad to hear this. I’d been worried for you but hadn’t spoken up about it.
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3 months ago
Karen CookTo Scott AndersonThanks, Scott. That's life, eh?
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3 months ago