Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ochoco Challenge Day3: Strawberry Mountains

Ochoco12 - Day 3

Today is the big day. The scary day. The "I think I've bitten off more than I can chew" day. We are on the rode at first light. It's cool and beautiful really, to be out so early. Pleasant light. Gentle touch of cool air. About 10 miles south of John Day we turn off the highway onto Canyon Creek Road, a quiet forest road with no traffic. The scenery is gorgeous. The climbing, tough but doable. We will conquer this day!
Ochoco12 - Day 3
Ron
Ochoco12 - Day 3
Dennis
Ochoco12 - Day 3
Kari

Lunch is at Logan Prairie at around 5,000 ft. This is an amazing place.
You climb up through the forest to find this prairie that goes forever. Stunning views.
Ochoco12 - Day 3
Logan Prairie

Ochoco12 - Day 3
Logan Prairie
Ochoco12 - Day 3
Snipe...at least according to the iphone field guide app :)
We had some more climbing after lunch to our highest point of the day, 5898 ft elevation, then an amazing 20 mile downhill that is only dampened by the headwind that tries to push us back.
Ochoco12 - Day 3
More climbing...dammit!
Ochoco12 - Day 3
Pretty roadside flowers
Ochoco12 - Day 3
Descent! Oh yeah!!
We stopped at Trout Farm wayside and campground to put off descending into the heat at lower elevations.
Ochoco12 - Day 3
Trout Farm Trail around the lake
Ochoco12 - Day 3
Waiting out the heat, Shirley and John.
Finally we pull into the Depot Museum in Prairie City, our camp for the night.
Ochoco12 - Day 3
Depot Museum, home for the night

64 miles
140 total miles
3625' gain

Monday, July 30, 2012

Ochoco Challenge Day2: Dayville to John Day

Ochoco12 - Day 2
Presbyterian Church in Dayville has been hosting bicycling tourist since 1976 
This was supposed to be an easy day. A short route. No big climbs. Easy-peasy. Twas not to be, at least for a few of us. I was slow and unenergetic. This should be easy! What's the deal??
Ochoco12 - Day 2
Morning skies outside of Dayville
Ochoco12 - Day 2
Beautiful Eastern Oregon

We stopped at Clyde Holliday SP for lunch. This is a lovely park, and I wouldn't mind camping here sometime.
Ochoco12 - Day 2
Clyde Holliday State Park
Once in John Day everyone was able to get a room at the Dreamer's Lodge. It must have seemed like some dicey bunch of cyclist taking over the place with clothes lines of drying bike clothes hanging from lines and balconies. Do you know how ugly bike shorts are inside-out, drying in the breeze? We were thrilled to have AC in our rooms.
Ochoco12 - Day 2
More road porn
 We had dinner that evening at The Outpost, a local restaurant where we chowed down on dinner and pow-wowed over tommorrows ride. Many of us were demoralized from the last two days, and tomorrow was to be one of our toughest days, if not the toughest. 60 miles and lots of climbing. Some of us were looking longingly at the short route (hwy 26) straight to Prairie City. In the end we agreed to try the long route with a super early start to beat the heat and promises to use the SAG vehicle when needed. All righty then...
Ochoco12 - Day 2
Roger and May

32 miles
76 miles total
906' gain

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Ochoco Challenge 2012: A bicycle Tour of Eastern Oregon

This is a brief write up of our tour, the Ochoco Challenge. Seven days, July 8- 14 2012, in Eastern Oregon riding some of the most beautiful, rugged and remote areas in Oregon. The club last rode this tour in 2007. At that time I was really wanted to ride it, but afraid I wasn't strong enough to attempt it. It was a big regret that I never did this ride, and I wasn't going to pass on the opportunity again.
Ochoco2012 - Day 1
Ron climbing Keyes Pass
Ochoco12 - Day 1
Adrienne and Julie into Picture Gorge
 Most of the players assembled in Scio for the journey to Mitchell where we would begin our ride in the afternoon...in the heat...up the big climb out of Mitchell. Barbi and Julie rode over with Ron and I. I loved being in Eastern Oregon once again.
Ochoco2012 - Day 1
Ochoco2012 - Day 1
Rugged Scenery and Dramatic Skies
 Three or four of us (me included) would be nauseous and heat exhausted before the end of the climb. Coming from mild 65F plus temps to over 100 F temps to ride a bicycle up a big hill is not the best plan, but it's the way it had to be. I rode about 4 and a half miles of the 6 mile climb over Keyes pass, then caught a ride with the SAG. From the top of Keyes I was able to finish the ride. The rest of the day was overcast with thunderstorms. Ron and I had a few refreshing sprinkles of rain, some of the other riders were pelted with hail. Beautiful country and dramatic skies. Gotta love it!

44 miles
44 miles total
1909' gain