Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Other Redmond.

You, that one in Oregon, 15 miles north of Bend? I'm there. I pushed
over 60 miles today, the first few hours of it through rain. I'm beat!
I holed up at the first crappy over-priced motel I spotted,
conveniently located two blocks from pizza, of which I am about to go

Funny thing; on entering the dark hotel room, I had to open the door
and windows. After all this wide open space, I can't stand being
indoors anymore.

So, so very much more to say, and oh so little battery power. The
solar charger has turned out to be a dismal failure.

On the bright side, I've gone back to good old fashioned paper, and
this trip has given me the inspiration for a novel. I'll have to do a
full cross-country trip to research it, but plenty of time now to
start planning for next year.

Sunrise to sunset.

Got up with the sunrise on Saturday, and crossed the gorge. The view
from the bridge was glorious.

It was a mostly uneventful day, with lots of mild to moderate climbing
through broad, rolling hills of grass. I reached the top of the Oregon
plains, where the golden land seems to spread out infinitely in all

I passed through Biggs, Moro, Grass Valleu, Kent. In Grass Valley the
local market bore a sign reading "last groceries for 67 miles." And it
was boarded up. Oh, well.

I made my big mistake on Saturday evening. I reached Shaniko at 6pm,
and though I was unlikely to make the next town - or anything - by
night, I stubbornly went on, with the wind growing and the skies
gathering for a storm. For the next 3 miles I was filled with
conflict. Why am I doing this to myself, I asked. Do I really want to
spend the night in the rain by the roadside? In the end, sense won out
and I turned back for Shaniko.

I spent the night at the Shaniko Hotel, a classic old place with
stories of its own, with a shower and a warm bed. I also enjoyed
dinner with a lovely couple from Portland, Tony and Paris, who drove
out with their bikes to do a loop around the area. Tony lamented the
paucity of cycle travelers; I was the only other cyclist they'd seen