Quote of the Day: "We are going to pay for this".
The ride from Prineville to Post and ultimately Paulina was probably the easiest ride we are going to encounter - we feel we are going to pay for this at some point. Other than a 1900 foot ascent (this ascent was not indicated on the Oregon cycling map as all the others were) fairly early in our ride, which is difficult when the muscles haven't warmed up yet, the ride was a piece of cake and with some absolutely beautiful scenery through cattle country. The wind which grows in the afternoon was almost exclusively at our backs and we felt like we were blown into Paulina. The only negative to this route were the stretches of the highway that had expansion joints every 25 feet that would jar the bike. At some points I would stand to give some added suspension through the use of my legs.
I don't know what we missed by not going the normal Adventure Cycling route but I wouldn't have missed this for anything. I think I speak for Sandrine in this as well.
In various turns of the road we could see the smoke from the fires that we were detouring around:
This is a renndezvous point for the firefighters. Copter getting refueled and firefighters pouring over a map on the hood of the truck. I should have asked if any of them were Kim and Dennis' son as they had mentioned he was working out of the Paulina area but I didn't think of it at the time.
Cattle, cattle, cattle and nothing grows here without this:
It was a tad heavy with smoke as we pulled into Paulina.
We met Kurt the new owner of the store in Paulina and Kayla - very warm and kind and fed us well. We had heard in post that the store and Polina was unreliably open and not very well-stocked. This was not true at all. The store was well provisioned and stayed open till 8 PM. That included the bar and the restaurant. We can't guarantee it will stay open this late always however. It just happened to be a busy night.
Kurt and chef Kayla:
Kurt opened up the gym at the local school and provided us a shower at his home. The vaulting cushions make great beds.
Church in Paulina:
Cute boy peering out of the front door of the Paulina General Store - just learning to talk:
Note on the heat we encounter:
For the past several days it has gotten quite hot however we have no real idea how hot as we haven't exactly been cruising past the bank signs that can provide this information. There are however several indications of just how hot it is. One is the bubble wrap snapping sound of the small tar bubbles that pop up in the road as we ride over them. In some stretches it can get quite excessive even with the small tires we are running on. Another indicator is how our iPhones go into overtemp mode and shut down if we leave them on top of the bikes. In the afternoon they have to go into the panniers to keep them running. Sometimes we use them for GPS and it is funny to have "Miss Garmen" talking to us from inside the pannier.
Another indicator is the sweat and salt in the eyes - when we get to next town I will be purchasing some sweat bands. Having said all of this and as I have said before, our muscles surely do like the heat and the only issue is keeping ourselves hydrated. We are going into a stretch tomorrow that will be very remote - only 5 ranches over about a 70 mile ride so we will be carrying extra water over the 5 bottles we each already carry. Our total ride will be 80 plus miles into John Day from Paulina. I'm reminded of the story Supote told us of the German woman riding north to south across the center of desert Australia. She said the needed to be mindful of the correct ratio of water to weight that would get her to the next water without exerting too much effort and dehydrating even more. Got to wonder about a person who would want to make a trip like that much less do it solo. Well I have to go wake up my riding partner now - it is Monday morning and we have a long way to go.
NOTE: The internet connection is so poor I couldn't get the spellcheck function to work so sorry if there are spelling errors. I used my phone to look up "rendezvous" :):):)
And finally please remember the cause - soldiersbestfriend.org I will go into this in more detail and perhaps some level of haranguing later on, but for now here is the link .... and an additional link for donation SoldiersBestFriend - Donate Please :):) As you donate please enter my name in the appropriernetate spot so the folks at SBF can tally the results to encourage me and let me know WE are getting something done TOGETHER. Oh and I would be a lot more comfortable if you use the "honorarium" option vs the "memoriam" option - you'll understand when you click on the link:):). I will be inserting this call-to-action in all of my blogs so I hope you don't mind