3 June 2008

God Rocks

I was asleep by half 8 last night, cosied up in my tent, and woke at about 1am to the sound of heavy rain again! By the morning it had stopped long enough to put the tent away and get on the road in order to finish off the 3 peaks with a quick ascent of Dixie Peak. It really helped not having the sun overhead, and we were at the summit in no time without any stops on the way up.

There was a 7 mile downhill from there, with a short break at a lookout point over Strawberry Mountain which was great seeing the mountain top encased in morning mist. The town of Dixie City at the bottom of the hill was pretty quiet and its 2 restaurants were both closed which was most annoying since there were two hungry Englishmen outside and the rain had started up with some gusto.

There was nothing to do but get through the next 13 miles to the town of John Day and we aced this section in well under an hour, arriving dripping wet but eager for feeding. $7.99 bought a huge breakfast with pretty much everything on the plate from bacon and eggs to sausages, hash browns and pancakes and we tucked in heartily! From here we had to make a couple of stops around town for the post office so Dave could send some stuff home, and I had to go to an office supplies store where the lovely Vanessa let me use their computer to type a reference letter and then fax it back to London. One more stop at the post office to send the hard copy of that letter and a quick phone call home for both of us (Dave's call was answered by his daughter Amy and I think he had tears in his eyes afterwards) and we were hot on the trail of the final 30 miles to Dayville.

7 miles in and a garage beckoned us to eat their fresh cookies which we willingly did, and then we braved the rain again for the last 20 or so miles. All was well and we were averaging 15 mph despite the rotten weather, when we hit some unmanned roadworks where there was basically 3 miles of gravel on our side of the road. This dragged the pace down below 10mph and it was like riding through wet sand so I skipped into the left hand lane since there was no traffic as far as the eye could see. Eventually we got through this joke of a road and soon pulled into Dayville.

In Dayville is the local Presbyterian Church which is well known amongst cross country cyclists for putting riders up for the night. They have a washing machine and dryer, hot showers, dial up internet and a kitchen so you can make yourself at home here - as I am doing now. When we got here there were 3 people already encamped in the church hall and they are fellow cyclists (well one of them is at least).

Ted Schneck is a marketing executive from Oregon and he is riding across the country to raise money for dogs with cancer - www.DogCancerRide.com - which is a great cause by the sounds of it! Ted has two friends with him, Ian and Nikki, who are running a pretty hi-tech media operation with video, photos, blog and lots of other funky stuff and they are hoping to both raise a lot of money for Dog Cancer Treatment, and to raise awareness of the cause through local media across the country. Ian and Nikki are driving a car/jeep and carry Ted's equipment for him and they are just getting used to the day to day process of hotels/hostels/possibly future camping as they move along the route.

I have a load of washing in the machine whilst drying out my tent from last night, and am going to grab some food in town soon before hitting the hay pretty early tonight in advance of a beast of a hilly ride tomorrow.

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