Thursday, June 30, 2022

Day 21-The Postman Cometh…The Postman Not Bringeth

Yes, we are still in Baker (we’ve been here so long we are now using the local name…dropping the “City”). We shuttled the bags over to the bike shop by 10:00. 


The Postman cometh…the Postman not bringeth my tire. Walked to the post office to inquire as to why it wasn’t delivered. The clerk said it would be here tomorrow. Good thing is that I can pick it up early in the morning at the post office, and have it ready as soon as the bike shop opens at 10:00. Hopefully, we’ll be on the road before noon. Also, get a refund on the shipping. Apparently, Express shipping through USPS is merely insurance, not a guarantee. I think it’s a ploy to get more money. To get the refund, my husband has to go back to the post office to request it. I bet most people pay for the Express service, then when it doesn’t get there when scheduled, people just say, “Oh well…”, and don’t get the refund. 

So, what to do with another day in Baker when we already did all of our town chores yesterday…

After shuttling the bags back to the Bridge Street Inn where, when I walked in the door, the gal said, “Hi Colleen, so your tire didn’t come in?”, we got the same room (they had just finished making the beds). By then it was lunchtime, so we tried another restaurant. I had fish and chips (in the form of sweet potato waffle fries). Then we walked further down the street for ice cream at Charlie’s Deli. 

I asked how many requests they get for the Pine Cone. 

For excitement, we walked back on the other side of the street!!! Stopped in at a few shops. Had a nice conversation with the owner of the outdoor store (only been there a year). Out front there were a couple of baboons. 

No pink butt though. 

After all that effort, we returned to the room and took an afternoon siesta. 

Doug truly was asleep. I was shortly after. 

After our food coma sleeps, we walked over to the Thursday Farmer’s Market in Central Park. We took the Leo Adler Parkway Path to get there. It goes along the Powder River which runs right through town. 

It ends/starts right across the street from our hotel. 

Powder River

Central Park

The Farmer’s Market. We were good, and walked through the whole thing (okay, it wasn’t very big), but then came back to the cookie place (second on the left).

Got some cookies from the woman and her daughters. They are delicious!

Did the Baker Labyrinth on the way back. 

Made it to the center!

Now we’re thinking maybe salads for dinner as it seems like all we’ve done today is eat!

All in all, an extra day off is not a big deal in a tour this long, but I certainly hope we are back to riding tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Day 20-Well, That Didn’t Last Long!

I was really looking forward to the ride into Baker City this morning from Phillips Lake. 

Phillis Lake through the trees. 

Sadly, I made it 1.5 miles before the rear tire flatted. I made a quick decision to hitch into town. Within 2 minutes, I flagged down a pickup, and a gentleman named Doug brought me into Baker City to the bike shop. 

Of course, it was early, so I loaded the bags on Tilmann, locked him up to the bike rack out front, then went in search of a bakery (after all, I am in Baker City).

Notice the “Oly” sign in the window?

Found one just a couple of blocks down the sidewalk. There I had a maple twist, and a hot cocoa. 

While I was waiting for the bike shop to open, Doug rolled up. Indeed, it had been a nice ride into town. The shop opened up a few minutes later. They didn’t have any 26” tires in stock, so it’s good that I have one of my Schwalbe Almotion tires coming. I told Bob, the shop guy, what I wanted to do. I asked if they knew how to get a Rohloff wheel with a belt drive off and on. He said no, so I took the wheel off myself, and once the Almotion is mounted, I’ll put the wheel back on. The tire should be here tomorrow around noonish. If they can get it mounted, then we’ll leave here tomorrow. It’s 40ish miles, mostly downhill, to the next town and camping. I also got more sealant, and another tube. I’m going to patch my Tubolito tube (what happened is the tube looks like it got pinched right by the valve stem).

We are staying at a motel not far from the bike shop. Since I didn’t have Tilmann to transport my bags, Doug brought his stuff to the motel, then, because we have the same racks, went back to the shop and ferried my bags over. Initially, we weren’t going to be able to get into the room until 3:00, but the gal at the desk (Angie) said the room had just been finished. 

Once in the room, and showered (no showers last night), we went to get some lunch. There was a nice Mexican restaurant near the bike shop. 

Grace and Matt are also here in town, and Matt is also continuing to have wheel/tire problems. Now he has two broken spokes. They are also hoping to get out of town tomorrow, and are staying with a Warmshowers host. Matty is here as well. He’ll roll out tomorrow for sure. We are going to meet him for dinner tonight. Funny thing, I let him borrow my spare Voile straps so he could put some weight up front on his bike. This morning, at the campground, I told him he would probably not find the straps in town, and that I’d sell mine to him for $10. He was thrilled. Then, wouldn’t ya know, the bike shop had them! But, I didn’t really need mine back. 

After lunch we walked to the laundromat (laundry is being remodeled here). While doing laundry, we planned our next days for resupplying food. 

Here in Baker, there are numerous animal sculptures. 

This is outside the bike shop. What are they implying? We don’t move that slow!

Unique place for an alligator. 

Big kitty…

…has to tow this trash can everywhere!

Roof rhino. 

The giraffe family. 

Now we’ll head to Safeway. Fingers crossed the tire arrives tomorrow in time to get back on the road, and put my tire woes behind me!

(Temporary Backup) Day 19-The Tire Saga Continues…

Last night a guy showed up at the park who had met Matt and Grace (or his wife had met them???). Matt had been having multiple flats. The guy offered him the use of his “foot pump”. Turns out it was a floor pump. When he brought it over, I asked if I could use it. The guy decided to be “helpful”, and unscrew my Presta valve. Only, I don’t have Presta valves, I have Fillmore valves. Of course, he proceeded to let all the air out of my tire. Good thing he had the “foot pump”. I aired up the tire (but not too much as that seems to be the problem…it will hold air, but not too much).

This morning, it hadn’t lost any air…yay! I moved as much to the front panniers as possible to take weight off the rear wheel. We headed out at 6:30 with fingers crossed that the tire would hold. 

Today was a 3-Pass day. First up was Dixie Pass. It was the longest and highest of the three. 

A nice day for a bike ride. 

Stopped at this view point. Back is Matt, Grace, and Matty. 

PaƱo of the view. 

Pass #1. 

The descent was also long. Because the rear tire wouldn’t hold air up to the right pressure, at moderate speeds, there was quite the wobble. At very low speeds (like when climbing), there wasn’t really a wobble. Then at high speeds, the wobble also disappeared. So, at least I got to go fast down the Pass. 

At the bottom of Dixie, we finally got off Hwy 26. We’ve been on it since coming into Prineville. Now we were on Hwy 7. 

Matty making the turn onto 7. 

Shortly after the turn, we started up Pass #2, Tipton Pass. This one wasn’t as high (but just barely). It was also almost as long. 

Pretty flowers along the way, though. 

Number 2 done!

At the bottom of Tipton, I saw some shade in a driveway for the road works. We decided it was a good spot for some lunch. 

Doug and I even pulled out our chairs. Sadly, Matty doesn’t have a chair. 

As we pulled out of our lunch spot, I noticed the tire was now really soft. I stopped and added air, but it just became soft again. So, I put a plug in where it was leaking. Then it held air. This was at the base of climb number 3, Sumpter Pass. 

There was no summit sign for Sumpter. 

Again, I sailed down the Pass. We passed the turn to go to Sumpter, and continued on to Union Creek Campground. The tent sites are just $15, and they don’t take Doug’s Golden Pass. That’s okay though because it was still just $7.50 each. Doug and I are on one site, and Mattyis on another site. If we’d known Matt and Grace weren’t going to come here, we would have squeezed Matty into our site. 

As we arrived at the tent sites, my rear tire decided it was done, and went completely flat. I tried putting a larger plug in the main puncture, but it still wouldn’t hold air. So…I finally broke down and put a tube in. Anyone who knows me and tubeless, knows that I will only put a tube in as a last resort. Unfortunately, it came to that. Fortunately, it wasn’t terribly difficult. There was also no longer any sealant in the tire. No wonder it wouldn’t hold air! Got the bead to seat with the tube in it. It’s one of those Tubolito tubes. They are supposed to be fairly durable. Indisputable a tire patch in the big puncture. Now, it just has to get me to Baker City tomorrow which is about 17 miles from here. 

Monday, June 27, 2022

Day 18-What Do You Do When You Have to Take a 15 Minute Shower?

We got on the road this morning at the same time as yesterday. Doug and I were the last to leave. Grace and Matt took off first (but they didn’t eat breakfast). Matty left just before us. It was a pleasant 56 degrees. 

Today’s ride was a gradual trending up 45 miles. While it was scenic, it wasn’t as scenic as we’ve had. Consequently, I didn’t take many photos. 

This was last night’s sunset. 

It’s nice to look at, but pretty much the same all day. 

We passed Grace and Matt not too long into the day. They later passed us when we stopped in some shade for a snack. 

One thing that was different today was that we went through a couple towns. The first was Mount Vernon. I stopped at the post office and mailed some postcards, and also sent my hoody and my waterproof socks home. I only wore the socks to keep the mosquitoes from biting my feet, and I still have my puffy jacket. 

We also went through John Day. We stopped at the city park, and found Matty. We decided it was lunch time. 

John Day City Park. We wanted to go check out the swimming pool, but we couldn’t find it (the sign lied). Just as well, we might never have gotten out of the water!

13 miles more, and we were rolling, hot and sweaty, into Prairie City. 

Seeing some snow over there. 

Supposedly, at the coffee shop, there was a bike shop. Nope, it’s gone. However, I did have a thirst quenching lavender lemonade! The search for more sealant will have to wait until Baker City (day after tomorrow). While I’m on the subject…I have to say, I’m not thrilled with the Rene Herse Naches Pass tires (the front has been fine…knock on this wooden picnic table I’m sitting at). The rear has not been very durable (even with the endurance casing). I may try to get a new tire in Baker City, but it’s unlikely they would have a better option. If I really want a new tire, I’ll probably have to order one and have it shipped to someplace where I can get it set up tubeless. 

Anyway, we got to the Depot RV Park, a County Park that also has a H/B area ($8). Matty arrived with us. Grace and Matt rolled in a couple hours later. They did a tour of the Kum Wha Chung house in John Day. 

Depot Museum in the background. 

They have showers here, but the only option is $1.75 for a 15 minute shower. What does one do with all that shower time?

Laundry! I used every minute of that shower!

Tomorrow is supposed to be a little cooler. Not complaining about the heat, it’s still better than rain, but a little cooler will be nice. 

Day 17-Real Dead Fossils

Both Doug and I slept really well last night! We ended up having the entire bunk room to ourselves. There was air conditioning, and it was just pleasant. We each gave the $25 suggested donation, and it was totally worth it. 

Spoke n Hostel entrance. 

They speak…me! (For those who followed my Appalachian Trail Hike, you’ll get this)

We left the hostel at 6:45. I think that’s our earliest start yet. Helps when we don’t have to take down tents. As we rode out of town, we saw this sign. You know a town is bike friendly when there is a bike sculpture next to their town sign!

Ride out of the gate, we started the 6 mile climb up Keyes Creek Summit (about a 1300 foot climb to 4300 feet). This is why we wanted to get going early…so we could get this climb done in the nice cool temps. It was cool, and very quiet for most of the climb. I looked in my rear view mirror and saw a fellow Da Brim wearer pedaling up behind me rather quickly. Turns out he was on an ebike. 

It was far easier for him. 

At the summit, he was talking to Doug. His name is Robert, and he is from Pennsylvania. He is doing the whole Trans Am. He carries two batteries for the bike. His voice sounded exactly like the guy who is from Canada, and has the podcast called the Vinyl Cafe (I think the Christmas Dinner one is the most well known). Seriously…exactly like him!
Obligatory summit photo (with Robert’s ebike too)

The rest of the ride was mostly descending. There was the occasional rise, but then more down. 

We descended to the John Day River. When we got to the river, we had the option of going to the John Day Fossil Beds Sheep Rock Unit Visitor Center. It was just two miles off route. We opted to go. 

John Day River. 

Doug making the turn. 

Sheep Rock. It looked more like a sheep from here than at the Visitor Center. 

Pretty views today!

Layered rock (apparently, the green rock is not due to copper). 

We arrived at the Visitor Center about 11:30ish. We toured the exhibits, and saw a whole bunch of “real dead fossils”(is there such a thing as fake dead fossils??? Aren’t all fossils dead???). We then fixed ourselves some lunch at a picnic table outside. 

A real dead fossil???

From the Visitor Center we had just 9 miles to our destination of Dayville. I noticed my tire was losing air. Three miles out of Dayville, we pulled over in someone’s driveway that had shade. I had decided I needed more sealant. I put another 2 ozs in, aired up the tire, and we took off. Just as we got to Dayville, there was a puncture, and sealant leaking out. We saw Matt at the turn to go to the church that allows cyclists to stay. We wheeled up to the church. By then, the tire seemed to seal. 

We couldn’t get ahold of anyone at the numbers listed on the church door, but I discovered the door was unlocked. Inside, there were signs to say to make ourselves at home. There are showers (including towels), full kitchen, tables…all the good stuff. We could stay inside, but we are camping outside with Grace, Matt, and Matty. We seem to have become this little group. 

Presbyterian Church that doubles as a hostel. 

Again, they speak me here!

Once everything was done, I decided I should have a closer look at the rear tire. I flipped Tilmann over. The puncture was still slightly bubbling sealant. I put a plug in. Hopefully that does the trick. 

Now it’s about time to go cook dinner in the kitchen!