July 15, 2001

7/15/01 Evered Farm

76.9 / 4693 miles

I can't remember being this cold on a ride this whole trip. I had a lot of downhill miles from Ochoco Pass (4720'). The headwind actually was a good thing because it slowed me down. But my fingers quickly became numb despite having gloves.

Eventually, it warmed up. Partly because of the lower elevation and partly because I finally had to pedal. Outside the Ochoco Reservoir, I was able to strip off a few layers like my fleece gloves and windpants. But I ended up wearing my windbreaker till long after lunch.

I happened to be in Prineville just as a wagon train pulled through. It was headed to Sisters, OR, to celebrate that cities centennial this year. A local photographer offered to take my picture with the wagons as a backdrop.

Not something you see everyday

Now that the downhill was over, I really was feeling the headwinds through the valley towards Redmond. Even after having a late breakfast, I decided to get something to eat at Abby's Pizza. By the time I walked out the door, the temperature had risen a little but the wind had picked up a bunch.

I had wanted to do a few things today like check my email at the library and visit the bike shop, but couldn't because it was Sunday. When you're on a bike every day, days of the week have no meaning.

Since meeting the Adventure Cycling group headed east in Dillon, MT, I had been looking forward to staying with the Evereds outside of Sisters, OR. They said this was a touring cyclists dream. They also gave me money to replace the beer that they drank while staying there. Found the right address and followed the road to a beautiful home with a great view of the mountains. The only problem was nobody was home. Emily and I just layed in the plush grass relaxing. I might have even fallen asleep.

The Three Sisters

After a couple of hours, we decided to head into town. And yes, we were a little disappointed. It was another three miles to town and the city park. The big difference is that this city park charges for camping. I left Emily in camp while I went to the store for dinner.

As I was heading into the store, a man approached. "I'm Jim and maybe you've heard of me." he smiled. It was Jim Evered and his wife waved from the car. In not time, he had picked up Emily and I, plus all our gear back at the city park and taken us back out to their place.

Jim and Patty have been taking in TransAmerica Bicycle Trail cyclists and Pacific Crest Trail hikers for years. It's all been by word of mouth, but they also keep a close lookout like they did today at the store. They've converted one of the garages into a rec-room, complete with pool table, cots, TV, VCR and refrigerator. The backdoor to the house is unlocked so we can use the bathroom.

After showers and laundry, I cooked some dinner in their kitchen. But Patty ended up making me some more (garden burgers and pieces of cantelope). So with a full stomach and a beer in my hand, the four of us had some great conversation. Both Patty and Jim have led interesting lives, always learning and doing. And it shows in their daughters, one of which just completed a year in Brazil as an exchange student. I just wish my travels brought me back here again.

Today I've been on the road exactly three months. If I think about the three and a half still to come, I feel a kind of dread. Best not to think about it, just look at one day at a time. I've had a great time and have every expectation of more to come. Measurements of time and distance don't mean much anyway on an adventure like this. Soon, I'll be meeting some distant relatives here in Oregon. And now that I'm boat-crazy, I'll be riding up the sea coast with thousands of boats to drool over.

Bubba, Iain and Margaret must have taken a short day yesterday because they never made it to the campground. I wish them well on their final few days to Florence, OR. And tomorrow I say good-bye to Emily too. She takes a different route, heading towards Corvalis, her home. It has been refreshing just being around her. I pledge to keep a few of my pre-trip promises like stretching every day and to attempt to eat sensibly. Emily has inspired me because of her vegetarianism, her yoga and her daily chi-gung practice. But I'll also will miss our discussions too.

Some have asked about my health and I'm here to report all is well. I think I've lost about forty pounds (down to 165 lbs). No more problems with the lump near my gallbladder or the frequent coughing I had in the beginning. I think endurance and strength-wise, I've probably plateaued. My butt has calluses but thankfully no blisters. And sitting for prolonged times on the saddle hasn't affected any other anatomical parts down there.

Up and over McKenzie Pass (5324') and the Cascades tomorrow. After that, it's all downhill to the ocean.