After an awesome night in the Spoken 4 Hostel, I was a little slow in the morning. I made a bowl of oatmeal and a bowl of cereal before finally heading out; I was the last to leave.
From the beginning it was slow going. The ride started with an uphill and I could not get into a rhythm. I tried stopping for water, snacks and pictures, but nothing was able to motivate me to go faster so I slowly spun my way up to the top.
It was only after making it to the top that I realized that a) this was the second to last big climb of the trip and b) I had left my phone charger at the hostel. I spent some time at the top thinking about my first realization and once again found myself stunned that I was really standing where I was standing. Even though I always believed I would make it across the country, it is a pretty incredible feeling being this close to the coast. I stared off into the distance but instead of seeing the water, I saw the Cascades and the final mountains I will need to cross — but not until the day after tomorrow. I didn’t spend any time thinking about my second realization because there was no way I was going back down that hill to get it!
On entering Prineville, I stopped at a bike shop to finally fill my tires properly. It’s been a long time since I last used a floor pump and they had been a little deflated for over a week. I flipped through their TransAm sign in book and noticed that I was still one day behind the people I had been chasing for a few days. It looks like they all had the same idea as me of slowing down as they got to the coast — not wanting to force their ride to end any earlier than necessary.
I shared my campsite with a brother and a sister who were currently biking from her house in Eugene, OR to his in upstate, NY. They were only a few days into the tour but seemed to be having a lot of fun. They were still in the process of getting into shape (or she was at least – grandmother duties had apparently gotten in the way) but didn’t let that dampen their spirits at all. They spent the night grilling chicken breasts with 22 oz beers. We chatted for much of the evening and shared pointers about what we each had to look forward to for the next few days.
The weather has finally cooled off a bit so hopefully sleep will come easier tonight.
Elevation gain: 2,500 ft
Mountain passes remaining: 1