Bicycling the TransAmerica Trail

Cycling Across the US, Coast to Coast

Bicycling Adventure #3

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

Ray Jardine

2010/07/22Oregon page 8 of 54

Day 8, Oregon

From Baker City to Brownlee Reservoir

Seen at a breakfast stop.

I had to pick up a resupply box at the PO, but it didn't come yesterday, so I had to wait until 8:30 am this morning.

I am meeting such interesting people on this trip. Dick at the bike shop; I could write six more pages about my time with him. Then while waiting for the post office to open, I met a gal who had worked at the South Pole for 8 years. And while eating breakfast I met a gentlemen who knew a friend that I had known 15 years ago. I have met interesting and friendly people everywhere; they are everywhere if one takes the time.

Now here's a little secret from Plain ol' Ray. My trips are not about me. I'm just going along for the ride. That's why I find so much enjoyment in the day, such beauty in nature, such friendly people. I'm not interested in talking about me, my past trips or my gear to other people. That leaves me open for learning and enjoying things without having to demonstrate or prove myself.

Looking back to the mountains above Baker City, from whence I had come.

Stopped it the town of Richmond for snacks.

Well, there came a time, early afternoon, when a certain hill kicked my butt. Well, not really, but the day was so hot, the road surrounds lacked any shade, and like many hills before it, this one was steep and unrelenting. But oh, the joy of coasting down its backside at 35 mph!

Looking up at "Kick Butt hill." The road is visible as it switchbacks up the hillside.

Beautiful mountain backdrop above the town of Halfway

Late afternoon I stopped at a lone restaurant called Hell's Hole Café. Once inside I noticed more people sitting out back, so I asked if I could eat out there. Not to demean the other restaurant patrons seated inside, but the people outside were so much more fun. Some were sipping beers, and some were stringing up lights in preparation for a rock concert. They all seemed to know each other, and with my laid-back attitude I felt like I fit right in. And oh, the food was delicious.

Hell's Hole Café


Towards evening I pedaled 10 miles along the Snake River. It was such a beautiful ride, and along the way I picked blackberries. I crossed the brige into Idaho, then came to a hill that was so steep I had to walk my bike. Next I saw a group of Bighorn sheep; a couple of them wore tracking collars.

Along the Snake River

Bighorn sheep

Brownlee Reservoir.

Finally at 8:00 pm I stopped at a picnic area on the shore of Brownlee Reservoir, and made a stealth camp hidden from view. With the tarp and spitfire pitched, I went for a refreshing swim.

It's almost dark, but my camera is compensating for the low light.

Such a day it had been. Well worth the price of admission.

Miles pedaled today: 88

The story has 54 pages. This is page 8.
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