Are You Gonna Pull Those Pistols or Whistle Dixie? - Undaunted Porridge - CycleBlaze

July 29, 2018

Are You Gonna Pull Those Pistols or Whistle Dixie?

We'll Head 'Em Off At The Passes

Jen looking out over the valley towards the Strawberry Mountains
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Dee ForteJen in a very "explorer" type pose!
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1 year ago
I did this section of the route in 2015 and this is my buddy Gent standing in the same place. I had Jen recreate the pose today, above
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For some reason, Clint Eastwood has been a recurring theme in my posts. The movie poster in Cambridge and the motel in Baker City are recent examples. But now there is another one. We climbed Dixie Pass today, and fans of The Outlaw Josey Wales (and, really, who is NOT a fan??) will recall this scene:

All of these coincidences make me wonder why the Clint references?  Yes, I've probably seen every Clint Eastwood ever made, many of them dozens of times (except for Bridges of Something or another, which sounds dreadful),  but there must be a reason this keeps happening. Is it because I choose to retain movie lines and references in my brain at the expense of important information, like remembering where I put my clean underbritches? Maybe it's the physical resemblance now that I sporting a manly beard. 

Uncanny
Heart 4 Comment 3
Andrea BrownHave you seen Gran Torino?
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1 year ago
Ron SuchanekTo Andrea BrownGet off my lawn!
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1 year ago
Judy & Sharon Thieme-RahnYa gotta lose the shades so we can see your really scary squinty eyes - then yes, definitely uncanny
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1 year ago

Whatever the reason, it's clear that I look like Clint Eastwood. But enough about me and on to the story, which it so happens, is about me. And Mrs. Grumby. The past 3 days have been among the best riding of the trip in terms of scenery and points of interest. Today we climbed 3 passes for a total of 38,001 feet*, and it was tough, especially with the temps rising early in the day. But each climb was followed by a long, fast descent.

*Or 4540 feet. 

Climbing out of Sumpter to Sumpter Pass
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The first climb, which started just as we left Sumpter was about 870 feet on just over 4 miles, followed by a 6 mile, 1000 foot drop. Near bottom of the west side of Sumpter Pass, I saw a bunch of buildings and a sign, so I went to explore. It was a ghost town called Whitney, which was a lumber town for a few years. The buildings were well-preserved, and it appeared that some of the ones further down the road were occupied. By humans I think, not ghosts. 

Whitney sprang up as a lumber town when the Sumpter Valley railroad reached here in 1901
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My ghost town radar went up when I saw this.
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Dee Fortelove this!
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1 year ago
The ghosts (or people) miss Sweet Leonard
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Nobody here but us ghosts
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We escaped the ghosts and got back to climbing, this time up Tipton Pass. It was long, pretty well-graded, but tiring with the heat. We stopped here to sit and eat some delicious crackers, granola bars and trail mix. 

The last stretch to Tipton Pass
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At Tipton Summit. It was 9:20 and already 88
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Tipton was followed by another great down hill. We passed Austin Junction at Oregon Hiway 20. It's here that the Old West Scenic Bikeway turns form US26 and heads northwest.  We considered taking that route over 26, but the heat combined with limited services and water kept us on the Trans Am. I did the route with a few friends 3 years ago and it's excellent, so Jen and I will try to catch it some other time. 

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There is a cafe and store about a mile past Austin Junction and we stopped for a cold drink. It was only $9.99 for two bottles of iced tea and a bag of pretzels. The lady was nice enough, and when I asked if we could sit in the restaurant  and enjoy our overpriced drinks, she reluctantly said ok. 

Dixie Summit at noon. It was about 312 degrees I think. But all downhil to Prairie City from here!
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We left that ridiculous place and began the 3rd and final climb of the day, Dixie Pass, which is where the title of today's nonsensical rambling came from. It was about 1150 feet in 8 miles or so, and an exhilarating drop into Prairie City. We saw a day cyclist on the west side of Dixie Pass who was the first of a group of 30 people from Corvallis who were doing the Old West with sag support. As we descended we saw the others climbing and were thankful it wasn't us. 

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We had to stop at the giant covered wagon on the west side of Dixie Pass.
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Scott AndersonA classic pose! I’m hoping we’ll bike back up here before we leave. If we do, we’ll try to remember to recreate this photo.
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2 months ago
Ron SuchanekTo Scott AndersonYes! Recreate and post!!!
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2 months ago
Cruising down into the valley. Strawberry Mountains in the background
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Scott AndersonUm. That’d be foreground, no? And where’s all the snow?
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2 months ago
Ron SuchanekTo Scott AndersonHaha! Good catch. Foreground.
Yeah, the snow was long gone by the time we rolled through here.
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2 months ago
Oooh, pretty flowers!!
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We stopped at Chucks Little Diner and Jen ordered a veggie sandwich that she liked a lot and I ordered a delicious cheeseburger that was pretty good. They put mayo on it, because for some misguided reason that's what they do in Oregon even though it's clearly the wrong thing to do. But I forgot to tell them no mayo, so I ate it topless. It was good. If you order a burger in Oregon always tell them no mayo. Also, wherever you are, avoid eating mustard for any reason on account of it's horrible and disgusting and probably causes festering boils and explosive diarrhea. But back to the point, Chuck's was great, and the server was excellent. 

I forgot we were back in Oregon and, for some reason they ALWAYS put mayo on burgers in Oregon. I dont know why, but is incorrect.
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Dee ForteMmmmmm - mayo and mustard!!!
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1 year ago
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Dee ForteWow - giant pieces of bread!
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1 year ago
Judy & Sharon Thieme-RahnGreat picture of Mrs. Grumby! Her sandwich looks delicious - mmm mmm
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1 year ago
Downtown Prairie City
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We set up at the Depot Park Campground and went to the Washing Well Laundromat to cleanse our filthy duds. We met a nice lady named at the laundromat. She transplant from Central CA 12 years ago and has been on the city council for 10 years. So we are rubbing elbows with the power brokers here. 

When we got to the campground we met another cyclist, Rebecca, a digital nomad from Bishop, CA. She is a web developer and rides on weekends and works during week wherever she is. Obviously she plans it so she is camping at at a place with WiFi so she can work, but it sound like a great setup.  She previously traveled for 7 years with truck and A-frame trailer. Now her mode of travel is a bicycle with rear panniers and a trailer.

We decided to get an AirBnb here in Prairie City for tomorrow because we have time and want to relax from the pressures of being retired. Oh, and to avoid the heat forecast for tomorrow. 

Red's bad, mkay?
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The campground was on the site of the old Prairie City train Depot, which is now a museum. Unfortunately it was closed when we arrived and only opens Weds-Sun
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Rebecca's tent at the Depot Campground. We neglected to take a photo of ours but we set up under the picnic shelter.
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Today's ride: 47 miles (76 km)
Total: 1,909 miles (3,072 km)

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Comment on this entry Comment 4
Wendy WoodrichWelcome to Orygun! Whaddya mean, no mayo on the burgers?
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1 year ago
Ron SuchanekTo Wendy WoodrichIt's like putting lemon in a beer...only worse. Not as bad as mustard, obviously.
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1 year ago
Curtis ShawTo be in true character, your Austin Junction store attendant would have turned down your offer of payment.

"You can pay me when you return, Mr Wales"

"Yes Ma'am" you reply, with a hint of a head tilt nod.
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1 year ago
Ron SuchanekTo Curtis ShawAhh, you're a true fan of the great movie!
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2 months ago