Day 8: Prineville, Oregon

After leaving Bend, I rode to Prineville, OR, some 43.8 miles (70 km). Even though it wasn’t a particularly challenging route, the heat was oppressive and the terrain is becoming much more desert-like. I was glad to see the day end.

I stayed with another host, Kim and Dennis. I didn’t meet Dennis, he came in later, but Kim set me up with a place to sleep in their yoga studio. They teach yoga and the large room is a biker hotel at night.

After a hot shower, I roamed into town, had some chow and lots of liquids and then returned. In my absence, a few other riders had arrived. One was a fellow doing a coast-to-coast ride from Virginia to Astoria, OR, and the other, a French-Canadian woman doing a six-month journey around the country. What made her interesting was that she was pulling a trailer with a dog, a black lab, in the trailer.

I didn’t actually meet her, but could see her down in the courtyard with her dog and bike. I understand that her longest day so far was 18 miles (30 km). Amazing.

The coast-to-coast rider wasn’t terribly sociable so we didn’t talk much. It is a shame, I had some questions about the road east, but I guess I’ll just have to find out for myself.

In the morning, Mr. Unsociable had his alarm set for about 05:15, headed out about 05:30 into the darkness with no lights on his bike and left the garage door open. As I watched him leave from the second story window I wondered how he doesn’t get killed riding on those roads in the dark.

I got dressed, brought my gear down and loaded the bike. When Mr. Unsociable left, he didn’t turn off the garage lights or close the door. My bike, as well as all the other bikes in the garage, were totally unsecured. It was an open invitation for someone to roll away with a new bike. Lesson learned, lock up my bike, even indoors.

As dawn broke, I rode back into Prineville village to dig up breakfast. Not much was open, not even McDonalds, but I did manage to find a Tastee-Freeze that served breakfast and it was actually very good.

Summits to climb today, Ochoco Pass, at 4720 feet (1439 m), I’m starting to feel my age, especially with this heat.

Operating ham radio from Ochoco Pass, Oregon

Author: Dennis Blanchard

Dennis Blanchard was born in Bristol, Connecticut. He and his wife Jane moved to New Hampshire in 1980 where he has climbed thirty 4000-foot mountains, biked the trails and enjoyed the wilderness. Never living very far from the Appalachian Trail, Dennis was always aware of the seductive siren’s call to hike it. Dennis is an electronics engineer who has freelanced for amateur radio, technical and motorcycle adventure magazines. He now lives in Sarasota, Florida.

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