Bicycling the TransAmerica Trail

Cycling Across the US, Coast to Coast

Bicycling Adventure #3

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

Ray Jardine

2010/07/20Oregon page 6 of 54

Day 6, Oregon

From Mitchell to the evening camp (Three miles beyond Austin Junction)

The morning started out with a 5.8 mile, relentlessly steep ascent up Keyes Creek Pass.

Encouraging message.

Someone had painted encouraging messages on the road's paved shoulder. The first one read: "Piece of Cake." The second mile message said: "OMG!" (Located with a nice view of the steep hill ahead). Then came: "Keep Pedalin'." The next mile message was in two parts: "You can see the top." And a few hundred feet further a qualifier: "Almost." I finally reached the summit and there was the final message: "You're Awesome!"

Keyes Creek Pass

The high-speed descent was brutally cold. My hands were freezing, so I had to slow down, and even stop a few times to warm up.

The cruise ship captain, taking a break in Dayville. We didn't pedal together, but seemed to run into each other throughout the morning.

Later in the afternoon, after the day had become really hot. I took a long rest in a small wayside town called Prairie City, laying in the shade on a picnic table.

My picnic table bed in Prairie City

Then I set off again for another pass - this time, Dixie Pass. The late afternoon was still quite hot, and the road steep, so I had to take several rests.

While grinding up to Dixie Pass, I came to this. Someone had build a clever tourist display. Late in the day, I thought of camping in it, but the interior was screened off.

Dixie Pass

Finally I made the summit and started down, and suddenly in the shade the air was cold, especially going 30 mph.

I reached a one-building town called Austin Junction, and turned onto Highway 7. In a few miles I came to a beautiful spring flowing from a pipe, so I filled my bottle while talking with a friendly local who had also stopped to get water.

Pipe spring. Note my dinner sandwich tied to the handlebars.

The day was very late, so in another mile I found a turnoff that led down to a gate, and there I found a nice place to Camp.

It had been a long day, 15 hours, but I had covered 101 miles and had seen a lot of really pretty country and lots of wildlife. I fell to sleep listening to the coyotes nearby.

Miles pedaled today: 101

The story has 54 pages. This is page 6.
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