1 June 2008

Nine down, one to go.

That was a good day. I didn't get to bed last night until after 11 as I was taking apart and cleaning my bike which was filthier than Mark Oaten. With that done it ran a lot smoother today which a much cleaner transmission and effective brakes.

I had my lie in til half seven then hit the road to the nearby town of Cambridge where 22 miles later I met a 50 strong cycling club who were organised for a local ride. I chatted to a few folk there including a chap called Butch Schwarz before heading over to the local cafe where I hooked up with Dave from yesterday. He had camped on the far side of Council last night, hence my inability to find him but we discussed destinations and settled on a 65 mile day to Oxbow, Oregon.

Dave and I had some good chat today and I heard about his 9 year old daughter Amy (10 in 18 days!) his work back home as a welder, and his multiple hiking trips including the epic Appalachian Trail. Dave is a self confessed 'worzel' with a heavy Somerset accent that leads one to expect an offer of an ignition device for some farming equipment. It is good to have some English company for a few days and to hear 50 years worth of stories.

We left Cambridge and stopped at the edge of town to speak to a young guy from Canada called Zach who was a couple of weeks into the West-East route. He is carrying a lot of excess stuff (stove, multiple pots and pans, jeans, hiking boots and a spice rack) so I urged him to hit a post office but we will see....

Next up were a team of 4, Bill from Oregon, Mickey from Holland, Natalie from Wisconsin and Sue from North Carolina. They were riding staggered and I think Bill might split from the gang as he looked and sounded quite hardcore whereas the others were more leisured. Mickey lwas one of the original cyclists on the Bi-Centennial ride so was back for seconds which was good going!

We left those guys and continued on our 15 mile climb before a six mile leisurely descent to lunch with a $2 two hotdog combo each at a shop/cafe type place. The last few miles were gentle with some cool views over Hells Canyon, the deepest river canyon in the whole US which was a big boy and we took our time, stopping to chat to the sheriff and to take in the sights.

Our destination of Oxbow had a recommended campground so we pitched our tents up in a great park within earshot of the river with towering hills all around. I showered and then started wrestling with a couple of labradors by an RV and got chatting to their owners who kindly invited Dave and I to join them for dinner of steak and salad!

Brandon and Tammra, their daughters Katie and Andrea and their energetic foster son TJ made us feel at home and while we ate well, we got a great insight into hunting and fishing and the multitude of laws and permits involved in shooting various animals with various guns and bows!

We also bumped in to a Geordie from Washington just south of Newcastle, who us doing some touring around the Pacific North West by car. His name was George Thompson and by the sounds of it he has some pretty cool things lined up to see round here.

I also received a nice email from Tony who runs the cafe in New Meadows where I had my tasty club sandwich yesterday and where I sent the other cyclists to feed after I saw them. . Tony tells me that Council, where I stayed yesterday, is so named because Indian used to convene there for their big summits and discuss things 600 people strong. When we met, Tony told me about his time in England and his inability to understand northerners and how because of this he turned down a trip to Scotland, fearing the scale of the communication barrier!

We have quite a big day of climbing ahead on Sunday and now I am in Oregon I can almost smell the sea!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey there Andy. It was good to meet a couple of nice guys that are on the same route as I am. I guess it was just the 1st of more to come. It was cool. I like your site. It looks like you rocked this ride. Good Job!

Slade Bradbury