Day Sixty Eight Thane’s Blog: “hey thane” stop whining

Sunday July 7, 2013, 71 miles (114 km) – Total so far: 3,817 miles (6,143 km)

Since I have been brutally honest with this blogging thing so far I feel I must keep up that tradition. For me, today’s 71 mile ride from Halfway to Baker City was one of my least favorite days of this entire journey.Many factors went into this conclusion. The past two nights of camping have only allowed my body about 6 hours of sleep. Two nights ago we camped next to a city park and across from it a group of folks decided to throw a huge party until 3 am. Last night the nighttime temps hovered around 80 outside the tent. Inside the temps verged on the “damn, I just woke up sweating like a pig after an hours sleep”. After that I was wide awake for most of the night.

In my pint sized brain I kind of assumed that when we might be done with the heat and the miles and miles of climbing. It is quite true, I have grown to appreciate and embrace climbing since this trip first began but I had visions of “coasting to the coast” here in this state. Stupid me!

We cycled the vast majority of the day uphill at grades of 2-6 %. Not brutal. We cycled in 100 degree heat again. Once again, not brutal. We cycled through high desert canyons with very little to look at but sage brush and the road pointing north.

According to a friend who has ridded this transam route, the next three days of cycling will be filled with more of the same as today. A 31 mile climb for breakfast. A serious mountain pass for brunch and another two mountain passes in the afternoon. Heat will be rising to the century mark again.

My hope is that a good night’s sleep here in this motel room tonight will not only revive my body but remind me of the fact that I truly love this crazy ass sport of cycling.

Day Sixty Eight Bobby’s Blog

Sunday July 7, 2013, 71 miles (114 km) – Total so far: 3,817 miles (6,143 km)

Well I certainly am glad that we decided to put in the extra 14 miles to Oxbow instead of laying over at Brownlee Res. Today was one tough day all around. Talk about a barren waste land. We rode through some of the most desolate country I’ve ever seen.Went off route for breakfast in Halfway then began about a 40 mile uphill on the Hell’s Canyon Scenic byway. They got the first part right it was one hell of a canyon. Nothing scenic at all. Temps were over 100 and no water till we got to Baker City. What water we had was Hot in our bottles.

Whenever I grind uphill for hours like that I try to put something happy in my mind so I started thinking of my wife and my home and my bed. Maybe that wasn’t such a good idea cause I got really homesick. Then I started wondering if I would know how to live in a house again.

Would I wake up in the morning and start stuffing the comforter into my pillow case. Or stagger around outside looking for a place to go to the bathroom. Ok time to start thinking about something else like cold gatorade and ice cream cones.

We rolled into Baker City and booked a room as planned and was excited to see a coin laundry right across the street. Any touring cyclist would know the value of that. Showered quick and headed over to get some clean clothes and the place was closed on Sunday. Who the heck closes a laundry on the weekend.

Went back and checked with the desk clerk and she said to check the truck stop which I did and scored. Life is good again.