Day 9: Mitchell, Oregon

First of all, I am posting this from the library at Baker City, which is day 12-14 of the journey. I have gotten behind for various reasons, mostly just due to being old, hot and tired.

More importantly, my bicycle managed to fall over a few days ago onto a strategically placed rock. The impact to my imperfectly packed Chromebook laptop destroyed the screen:


That pretty “flower” pattern is the result and, of course, there is no data display. I was lucky to find someone to repair it. Thankfully, the inexpensive, new screen will be delivered tomorrow (27 July), I’ll soon be on my way on Thursday morning, and into a new state (Idaho), a new timezone, and new mountains to climb.

Anyway, I’ll save all that for the future postings, once I catch up. Now, about Mitchell, OR.

I left Prineville (rhymes with “wineville”) early in the morning, just after sunrise. The climb out of town was the usual ascent into the sky. By midday, I was feeling quite tuckered. Fortunately, I did carry a good stock of Gatorade and water and, in spite of the heat, was doing a bit better than previous climbs. I reached Ochoco Pass (4720 feet, 1438 m) and took a good rest period; I think I even fell asleep for a bit in the shade of a tree.

The one saving grace of these big climbs is the following descent, and this one was no exception. Even in the hot desert air, it felt somewhat refreshing, although it was still a refreshing blast furnace of heat.

Coming into Mitchell, I observed a tire shop and espresso shop, all in the same building. I just couldn’t bring myself to stop. I had this vision of a fellow in greasy work coveralls, running an espresso machine and passed it up. Later on, just down the road, I took the main street into town and hit the first cafe on the right.

The young lady (they all seem younger than I am now) working the counter offered me several drinks, Pepsi, lemonade and water and I had several of each. Even though I wasn’t that hungry, I ordered a BLT. She cooked up some fresh bacon and as she made the sandwich, we chatted. She was pleasant and has a college degree, I think in one of the sciences, but there isn’t much call for that around there, so she is making do. She was originally from Tennessee, as I gathered from her accent. Funny how some things we just never shake.

While chatting, another woman, Jalet, came in and realizing immediately that I was a bicyclist, filled me in on her biker hostel, the Spoke’n Hostel, just down the road. I must have been tired and hot, I completely missed it on the way to food and drink. It is a converted church and a super place to spend an evening.

More to come later, I just had a notice on the screen the library is timing me out for today. I’ll be so glad to get my Chromebook back!

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.

3 thoughts on “Day 9: Mitchell, Oregon”

  1. hi dennis-
    sorry to hear about your computer screen breaking
    glad that you’re getting a new one, we (my senior hiking group)
    went hiking around clear lake today(7-26) and it was a good hike mostly in
    the shade eventhough the temperature hit 90 F. and out of the 9 of us i was the only one stung by a wasp, i think. i put some afterbite on it and the swelling has gone down. also i had a wonderful 2 hours mtn. biking on the trails in sisters on the peterson ridge trails on sunday, july 24. boy i sure hope the weather cools for you soon.
    happy trails to you***philip

  2. Hmm is anyone else having problems with the pictures on this blog loading?
    I’m trying to find out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog.
    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

    1. There was one broken image on the Lowell to Powell post that I just fixed. Somehow, the photo of the Lewis and Clark image wasn’t posting properly. Other than that, the other photos appear to be okay.


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