47 miles (76 km) – Total so far: 3,939 miles (6,339 km)
Today wasn’t so much a ride as it was a series of cafes, pubs, restaurants, and the like rudely interrupted by pedalling on a bike. After yesterday’s blazing time in the saddle Paul, Terry, and myself were all ready for a nice restful day. The plan was to start late, go slow, and taper off. The Easterly winds that had been feeding the fire behind us now pushed us on our way from Ochoco lake to Prineville. The town itself is much larger than a lot of the little spots we’ve seen over the last thousand miles, which gave us hope for a nice lingerable breafast spot. We weren’t disappointed when we found Good Thyme cafe.
We contemptably disregarded all of our hard earned lessons about dodging the heat by cycling in the morning. Instead, I’d call our strategy: Frak It! We didn’t leave the diner until noon. The road West was hot and heavily trafficked. We only made it about 12 miles before plopping down at a fruit stand for a not so well deserved lunch.
An hour later we reluctantly picked our fruit laden selves up from the patch of shade we’d found to pedal another 10 miles to Redmond. As soon as we entered the town I got seperated from the Brits. They were nowhere to be found. After about an hour of looking around I sent a text message that I’d see them in the next town. (OK, actually, I got an iced coffee and sort of just sat on a patch of grass hoping they’d show up, then sent the text). It turns out that they found a proper tea shop with scones and kettles and real porcelain mugs. This little spot of English paradise held on to them for several hours.
The next set of miles were very challenging. My map had me crossing something called deep canyon, which filled me with mild trepidation. Turns out my trepidation should have been extra spicy and that the canyon should have been called ‘Nottoodeepbutcrazyhotsoddingstupidheavytrafficpainintheass Canyon’
After I passed the canyon of misnomer I found myself finally seeing a landscape that started to resemble the Pacific Northwest that I’ve always expected out of Oregon. The ground sported a strange hybrid of arid scrub and lush conifers. This kind of melding of two types of vegetation is way out of the norm for the trip. Usually there are much more abrupt changes in vegetation than I’ve been seeing today.
Finally arriving in Sisters, OR I found the hop and bean. The siren call of this coffee and beer oasis was as alluring to me as the tea shop was to the Brits. I cooled off with some hoppy wonderfulness while I waited for the Brits to appear. Once they arrived, the bartender introduced Paul to Kombucha, which he thought was a wonderfully refreshing alternative to the devil of a canyon he had just climbed out of.
Over beers we discovered that we’ve only used a motel 3 of the last 18 days. So, we opted for the Best Western. They took pity on us and gave us a great rate, but put us to work hauling their wagons around.