We left Sisters OR about 11am for an easy ride to Prineville through Terrebonne which was a back way route recommended by Jim and Jill our hosts in Sisters. It was an excellent ride - low traffic, smooth, and wind at our back.
View of the Three Sisters:
Perhaps this will be the mode of transport next time:
Dennis, our next host in Prineville, explained this sign to us. In Oregon there is a list of weeds that you are required by law to remove. Fines are imposed if you don't comply within some time.
Alpaca - recently sheared
The terraine is starting change - notice the snowcaps in the distance now. Sorry about the finger across the lense.
Along the road half way between Sisters and Prineville we met a very young and cute Australian couple, David and Supote (Spanish for sweet and that was so fitting). It was also fitting that we met them at an organic farm as they were vegans. They were carrying all their food with them and the equipment to cook it and were very excited to have found organic beets and snap peas which they shared with us. We shared our cherries with them (non-organic I'm sure) and this just put them over the top with culinary extacy.
They had purchased their bikes second hand in Mexico and made both the front and rear panniers out of material they obtained in Mexico. The front on David's bike are 5 gallon buckets that contained honey at one point and are now used to transport their lentiles. Their original intent was to bike from south to north but scrapped that plan along the way and flew to San Fransisco and took the train to Portland from which they struck out for Colorado to meet u p with friends. They were carrying an iPhone but were traveling without phone service and merely used the phone to connect to the internet at any place they could along the way.
They had no place to stay that night and we told them about our hosts in Kim and Dennis in Prineville who where organic farmers, yoga instructors, and school administrators (I think I have that ordered correctly) who in their Warm Showers profile had indicated they could host groups in their yoga studio. We texted Kim to ask permission for them to stay as well and rode on ahead of them while we waited for an answer. About 10 miles later we received a positive response from Kim and were writing a note to leave in breakdown lane when they rode up on their cycles.
David was admiring our equipment so I asked him if he wanted to switch bikes for the last 3 miles into town. I couldn't believe that he was riding this bike as it shook as I went over 10 miles an hour and was almost out of control when I stood to pedal. I couldn't imagine how he had gotten up McKenzies Pass much less ridden down without crashing. We laughed so hard as we rode into town. David referred to my bike as a Rolls Royce.
Kim did help to explain the fragility of the eco system and illastrated with a story about a bridge that was being built on the west side of the Cascades across a river that the salmon had run for centuries. The construction team brought in volcanic rock from the east side of the Cascades which was from an earlier period of eruption to use as berm material around the base of the bridge. The next year when the salmon ran they got to the bridge they turned around and headed back to the ocean to pool and die without spawning. The theory was that the fish "smelled" or sensed somehow the wrong lava and thought they were in the wrong place. The state removed the eastern lava and the salmon ran fine the next year.
Kim and Dennis had a very comfortable place and we all took turns getting showers while the others visited in the backyard. They are very knowledgable regarding organic farming and in general the eco system so they got on famously with the Australians who thought they had died and arrived in heaven.
We had a delicious vegan dinner in the backyard that evening. I snuck out later for some protein - chicken wings:):)
Some of the bumber stickers on David's front panniers
Morning breakfast and coffee:
The following day we went up to Kim and Dennis' organic 7 acre farm on the outskirts of Prineville. From this plot they support 15 families with food in addition to themselves.
The wildfire thing is getting out-of-control seems like there's more and more of them popping up and causing problems with the Ochoco pass. So we are going to leave Prineville and go a different direction to try to get around it were going to go to a little town called Post and then to Paulina (pop 90) to spend the night and then on some really minor back roads through to the town of John Day (pop 3000) hoping that there are no wildfires that are unreported out that way that are going to block the road.
The Australian couple although they are leaving after us, are going to be going the same basic route so will be probably connecting up with them again. Should be fun. This is a very remote areas that we are going to be routed through so we are told there is food store and water available but we are going to be packing a lot of water. It is a more desert terrain.
We did go online to check air quality - another concern. The Kim and Dennis know the area very well and were able to give us some really good information. My big concern is that because this seems to be the only way around all this mess, the highway is going to be jampacked with cars. We rode on this route coming into Prineville yesterday and it was excellent - low traffic, wide lanes and smooth riding.
Tues Note: Sorry for the late blogging. Due to the remote areas we have had to go we have not had internet connectivity. Keeping blog text in a MS Word documant and will update asap.