Monday, June 22, 2015

Day 6--Flying is Relative

Because of the wind, I was not able to cook myself a dinner last night. I tried to get creative and use the park BBQ thingy with the stove sitting inside, but the grill was too high (and too low in the next position down). Oh well, not to fear, I did not starve. I just had a pita with avocado, salami, and cheese. Quite tasty, actually! The wind died down for a bit of the night, but picked up again by early morning. Bound and determined to have my oatmeal and hot cocoa, I took my stove over to the restroom building (buildings generally do a pretty good job of blocking wind), and heated up water. There was a picnic table near the building, so I ate there. Perfect!

I was on the road at 8:00, and was really looking forward to flying east with the great tailwind. First, I had to climb back up to the hwy. Once I was headed east again, I popped open the sail and took off, with no need for pedaling. Okay, not exactly. There wasn't a sail, and I did have to pedal. The taking off was more like a herd of speeding turtles. I guess Mama Cass is just not the flying type. You'd think if a jumbo jet can get off the ground, a fat girl could too. However, there was some benefit. Instead of going 2.4 mph up the steeper hills, I was going 4.0 mph! Woo Hoo! On the flats, I was into double digits, like...11 mph! I guess MC was flying...relatively speaking.

As I was progressing out of the gorge, it was getting drier and drier. Here's some photos of the lovely scenery.
Horsethief Lake with Mt. Hood off in the distance.
Rocky stuff...I bet there are snakes up there!
The town of Wishram down below.
Vineyards and the Mighty Columbia

I eventually came to Maryhill Museum. It opens at 10:00, and it wasn't quite 10:00 yet, so I didn't go. Actually, it was very close to 10:00, but the reason I didn't go was because the last time I was there, I thought it was the most boring museum. I was a kid though, so perhaps my interests could have least I took a photo.
It looks kind of boring, right?

Oh yeah, I almost forgot! Before I got to Maryhill, a cyclist rode up behind me. His name was Rod. He was out on his cross bike doing some riding on the trails in Columbia Hills State Park. He actually lives in Tacoma, but has a place in Wishram Heights. We were talking about racing, and he asked me what team I race for. I told him OOA and he said he had met a few of our guys. In fact, Kirk had helped him fix his chain at a race! So Kirk, if you are reading this, Rod was ever so greatful!

After Maryhill, was Stonehenge. I've actually never been there, so I made the commitment to ride down to it (and have to come back up).
It was built by Samual Hill (also built Maryhill) as a memorial for local soldiers killed in WWI. Ol' Sam is also buried on the other side. 
Here's a pano of the inside.

I walked around for awhile, then went over to a small building that had a picnic table with a small amount in the shade (it was pretty hot out) to have a snack of trail mix. After I finished, I really had to pee. Sam didn't seem to make any provision for a potty shack. I waited until everyone had left, then went to the side of the little building and did the job. I wasn't exactly hidden (not wanting to stomp into the bushes in rattlesnake country). In mid-pee, a car (that I hadn't seen) comes pulling out of the parking lot. Well...that's just great! Even better, the car pulls up and asks me if I need water (by this time I had hastily pulled up my shorts, but hadn't zipped up and snapped the baggy overshorts)! The thing is, I could have used some water, as I had just emptied one bottle, and the place I was headed to supposedly didn't have water (I had filled all my bottles and my two 1 liter platypus containers). I said, as I was standing there with my shorts unzipped, "Uh, I think I'm good, thanks." For the record, not a single other person or vehicle stopped to ask me if I needed water the rest of the day, when I didn't even have to pee because it was so hot and I was so thirsty!

I was now on the regular Lewis and Clark Route (it having crossed the river to the Washington side). The map says limited services for 83 miles. I was only going part of that today, so I was calculating how much water I could drink, and still have enough for tomorrow. I came to a half empty gallon jug of water on the side of the road. I stopped and checked it out. It was water. I figured I could boil it to be on the safe side and use it to cook my dinner. I just filled one of my empty bottles. 

I continued riding with the tailwind (notice I say riding, not flying because, know...). I wasn't sure if I needed to go 44 miles total, or a bit more because yesterday was not quite as long as I had calculated. I stopped a couple of times to consult the map. I was making progress toward Roosevelt. Before too much longer, I could see civilization. And, best of all, a sign for a mini-mart! When I pulled into the mini-mart, there were two other touring cyclists there. I bought a bottle of Gatorade, and a couple of homemade chocolate chip cookies. I asked the guys where they were going. They were heading on to Crow Butte. They said they had heard there was road construction ahead and gravel. I said I didn't know, but I have a fat bike, so it doesn't matter. 

The mini-mart was on the road to Roosevelt Park. As I came down, and turned back west, I really realized how great of a tailwind I'd had all day. I arrived at the park. Not only is there water, but there are hot showers too! And there isn't even any fee!!! So, I could have been drinking a whole lot more! The park host has given me the low down on what's ahead. Plymouth, where I'm going tomorrow is a fee park. He also warned me about the sprinklers and told me how to block them so I don't get wet.
I had to put these things on three sprinkler heads.

He warned me about the rattlers too...said they will get in the bathrooms. YIKES!!!

1 comment:

Derik said...

I camped at Roosevelt Park last summer! I though I did my due diligence and redirected the sprinklers but I missed a couple. Man what a rude awakening in the middle of the night!