Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Day 7--Snakes, and a Little Jaunt in Oregon

I got a comment on yesterday's blog post from Derik about the sprinklers. Yes, I too was awakened by a splattering of water upon my tent in the middle of the night. Of course, with the wind, the tent was bone dry in the morning.

I stopped at the mini-mart again this morning to get a few snacks for today. These last couple of days there has not been any good places to pull off and fix lunch. So, I just eat snacks. 
Most of the day looked like this-–sometimes not so close to the river.

I had the awesome tailwind again, only this time, not so many hills. I was able to spend quite a bit of time in the double digits (like 12 and 13 mph!!!). 

After talking with the host at Roosevelt yesterday, I was hyper alert for goatheads (nasty thorny things that will puncture MC's tires), and snakes. Fortunately, I didn't seem to encounter any goatheads, but I did come across several snakes. They were all over the side of the road. Sometimes just the head with the body lying close by. I saw two varieties, the most common being the black ones. I even stopped to take a couple of photos.
The more common variety of the Black Bungy snake. Notice head and tail are still intact--uncommon.
The more rare Non-Black Bungy snake. Head gone, or is the tail gone? Hard to tell. This one appeared to be trying to blend in with the white line.

About 20 miles in I came to this sign.
If you can't tell, it says "Loose Gravel Ahead". Finally I would get to do some gravel riding! Unfortunately, they didn't do the shoulder, but I did get to experience lots of trucks going by and kicking up the gravel in the lane. That was fun...not. It said it would be for 7 miles, but I caught up to where they were working, and they hadn't made it 7 miles yet. Because there was a pilot car taking vehicles through, once I passed the construction, I had long periods of time with no traffic. Then I came to another section of construction. This time, it was new pavement. There was supposed to be a flagger, but I think it was lunch time, so I sailed through. 

I finally turned off the highway to come into Plymouth. I had planned to stay at the campground, but decided to continue across the river to Umatilla.
I rode under the highway, and came around up to the bridge on a bike path. The Umatilla RV Park (with tent sites) is on the river in Oregon (no, duh, since Umatilla is in Oregon). It's a nice place. Costs $17, and I can settle up in the morning. There are free showers and wifi. 

There is now another touring cyclist here from France. His name is Jean-Paul and he rode from Biggs today! That's about 88 miles. He is doing Lewis and Clark to Montana, then going over Logan Pass in Glacier, and up to Canada. He has 6 weeks. He's funny. He keeps saying everything he does is because he is French! We are both headed to Walla Walla tomorrow (just a brief jaunt into Oregon, then back to Washington). There is no camping in, or relatively near, Walla Walla. I'm attempting to set up a CouchSurf, but so far no luck. Might have to do a motel stay. Jean-Paul is already planning that tomorrow. 

Total miles today: 50.6 (let's face it, I'm no Jean-Paul)
Average speed: 10.7 (I think that's my highest!)

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