Friday, June 29, 2007

Day 5 (6/25): Sisters, OR --> Mitchell, OR (91 miles)

Days Mileage: 91 miles (for other daily mileage just read the headin of each day...)

Well...I figured I'd wake up feeling anything but excited to get rolling again seein the previous days struggles were still looming within my mind. I did my usual morning "routine", swung by a bakery that had the best bagels I've ever had, was disapointed to see the local fly-fishing shop was closed, and rolled on out of Sisters.

I reviewed the maps earlier that morning and was in for a day of high-desert landscapes with temperatures that would end up being in the mid 80's for most of the day. I wasn't sure what there was to look forward too except that perhaps the day would be over sooner than later...I started to pedal.

The more pavement I put between me and the town of Sisters, the more of an amazing view I had of the Three Sisters Mountain range....def one of my most fav mtn, I trudged on along at the usual 13 mph, got lost tryin to navigate through the town of Redmund, and then ran into some inspiration...

As I was slowly descending down into the desert land I saw another cyclist who was going opposite direction of me. We stopped, greeted one another, and shared our tales, trials, and tribulations. Ends up that this man was from Tennessee and had started doing this "biking XC" in sections....back in 2002 is when he started. So, he was near the end of his long, hard journey. What really made his journey inspiring was the fact that he was diagnosed with a type of cancer in 2005 (I think). It was in remission now and he was doing what he loved doing....biking. Anyways, we chatted for a good while, I signed his journal for him and then we were off in our different directions. As I coasted past sand covered buttes I was able to appreciate the surroundings a bit more and not just see the place as a barren desert....

The toughest part of the day was the end...go figure, right?


I had to get through Ochoco Pass and reach the town of Mitchell before it got to being too late in the day. Luckily, the pass was not too step the direction of was just a looooooong and gradual incline. Furthermore, the winds of the world happened to be blowing against my favor.

The view at the top was quite amazing though....a view of the entire desert area and a brief glimpse of the world that was to pass beneath my feet the following day. I coasted on down Ochoco Pass for 16 miles until I rolled on into the town of Mitchell...

Mitchell is a town with maybe...maybe 200 homosapiens residing in it...and around it. When first rolling into "it" every building is run down, closed, and prob would fall over if one were to even think about leaning against it to rest. I found the center of the town (the entire town being about 1/4 mile) and bought some food from the general store.

There was a free place to pitch a tent, which I did, and then I started talkin wtih some other bikers who were doing the same as I ....just for different reasons.

Long story short....there was a guy named Steven from Berkly who was also biking to the East. We were doing about the same type of mileage/pace and decided we'd try and ride together the following day....

In the meantime I passed the time by playin some old time folk/country tunes with a local yodel. He played banjo and I used their old guitar. It was soooo fun...and a great way to pass and the local guy played tunes until 10pm and the sun was no longer shedding light upon the fretboards. I sauntered back to my tent, crawled inside, wrote some in my journal, and feel asleep in two seconds flat.

Oh...also...there was a town pet bear named Henry. He

lived in a cage in the center of the town. It was pretty cool to see him..though a shame he is even there in the first place....

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