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Grandpa Lost His Mind
A Journal - Crossing America by Bicycle

May 5, 2007      Miles 65      Total miles 439


I am a creature of habit. I worked the night shift for about a quarter century and during that time I would usually sleep in late in the mornings. I still do and especially after a long days ride it is hard to get out of bed. I keep finding excuses for not getting up early. My excuse now is it is too cold to be riding. The morning temps in this area have been below freezing but it seems to warm quickly. Everything on the east side of Sisters seems much more western style. There are tons of Jeeps sold in this state. I crossed three mountain passes today which were over 5,000'. They didn't seem as hard to climb as Santiam Pass was but I think that has something to do with the problem I had with my wheel bearing. Going up the passes, I just take it slow and grind, grind away but going down is just exhilarating.

I just love the farm scenes in Oregon. Most farms in the areas I have passed are huge.

This is a big time ranch operation. They were tagging ears, branding, disinfecting, and castrating in an assembly line fashion.

This poor little guy is now a madam. He didn't bellow or jump but he sure did when they put the branding iron on him.

I don't know if the shack on the left was an outhouse or a smokehouse. It doesn't have a chimney, so I'm thinking it is an outhouse.

There are a lot of sawmills in this part of the state and it smells good to ride by them.

The trees are starting to disappear and so are the people, cars, and houses.

I pulled into a small town called Prairie City. As I did this man, named Bob, asked me where I was going. I told him and he told me I better eat in this town because it would be a long time before I come upon another place to eat.

This is Prairie City and this is inside the, "Little Diner." I had a great hamburger here plus there were four of us in there who were veterans and we swapped tales of times long ago. The man sitting on the bar stool in the corner is Chuck, the owner.

This is a piece of Bob's creation. He has many works of art on his web site at Juniper Sculptures where he explains how he got into this business and also about how he does his work. Before I left his studio, he gave me some energy bars to take with me.

The riding became tough after Prairie City. I crossed over Dixie Pass (5,277') Tipton Pass (5,124') and Sumpter Pass (5,082).

It isn't all work and no play. After each long climb there is a very fast ride to the bottom before starting another climb. I felt like a kid on a rollercoaster going down. I would hang on tight and laugh all the way.

As soon as this herd of Elk saw me they bolted. There were about 15 all together. By the time I got my camera out they were off in the distance. This is zoomed way in and isn't too clear.

The end of the day is near and it is time to start looking for a camp site.