Bicycling the TransAmerica Trail

Cycling Across the US, Coast to Coast

Bicycling Adventure #3

54 days, 3,783 miles, Jul-Aug 2010

Ray Jardine

2010/07/19Oregon page 5 of 54

Day 5, Oregon

From Sisters to Mitchell

I left the motel in Sisters at 5:30 am, after another lengthy session of trying to get my gear lashed onto the bike just right. The morning was frigid, so I had to tough it out until the air started warming.

En route to Redmond, looking back at my last view of the Three Sisters mountains.

I reached Redmond early and stopped for coffee and doughnuts, then on to Powell Butte and more snacks.

The highway was rough and the traffic intense, but I enjoyed the morning's ride anyway. Along the way I saw my first long-distance cyclers, but at a place where neither of us could stop. All we could do was give each other hearty waves. They were a swarthy, sun-baked couple who had obviously traveled many a long mile.

Downtown Prineville

Next came Ochoco Lake and its park with drinking water, where I stopped for a bicycler's rest, laying on a picnic table.

Ochoco Lake

Skirting Ochoco Lake

I came to a road junction where Highway 26, the Ochoco Highway, started climbing in earnest. This was a long and tiring ascent in hot weather. By taking many short rests I finally reached the top.

Taking a break in the shade, on the way up to the pass.

Ochoco Pass, elevation 4,720'

The descent was high speed and thrilling. Then the road climbed a ways to the ramshackle town of Mitchell.

Mitchell

There were several old buildings but only two were still in business, at least that I could see: a small gas station and a small café. But the town also had a nice city park, so I went there hoping to find camping. And that's where I met a fellow bicyclist. He was from Scotland and worked as a "cruise ship driver." He was reading Bill Bryson's "A Walk in the Woods." He was heading east, and said I was the first east-bounder he had met. We both suspected that there must have been loads of eastbound cyclists ahead of us, but with our late start, we were the tail end stragglers. He had been delayed by his job; and I, my hike.

The cruise ship driver, heading east the same as me.

We went to dinner and met three west-bound cyclists, then we all camped in the park.

The city park ion Mitchell

My camp

Miles pedaled today: 86.6

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