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Grandpa Lost His Mind
A Journal - Crossing America by Bicycle

April 30, 2007      Miles 53      Total miles 258


I want to thank my friend, David Eskina, for offering to drive me to Oregon. It was 2,100 miles from Oklahoma City. Dave and I worked together for several years during our careers and we retired on the same day. Thank you, Dave, for the extremely generous offer. By the way, Dave knew what he was getting into as he has driven in this part of the country before.

Goodbye Sisters! What a great little town. On my map it shows the population to be 900 but as I was riding into town the sign says 1,800, so it is booming. It is very touristy and the people are friendly. The prices are not sky high. I stayed in the Best Western last night for some much needed rest after going over Santiam Pass.

The town of Sisters gets its name from these three peaks which are called the Three Sisters. This is all a part of the Cascade Mountain Range. This photo was taken from several miles east of Sisters.

Here are two more beautiful sisters. They were very intrigued with my bike so I let them sit on it. The thing they liked best was my rear view mirror. They thought I used it to preen myself. Ha! The little girl in pink reminds me of my grand niece, Zoey.

When I was climbing Santiam Pass, I stopped to rest at a turnout and met a very handsome 92 year old man who was with his daughters who are my age. He was very interested about my trip and had never seen a bike like mine. I told him to have a seat and it would change his opinion about bicycles. He said it was like riding in your easy chair. I told him about my web site and as I got a mile up the pass he and his daughters drove by and he leaned out the window and hollered, "Grandpa! You HAVEN'T lost your mind!!!" It gave me inspiration to plod along. One of the ladies has done some long distance bicycle touring and the other lady runs five miles every other day.

This is Louis. You would never guess it but Louis is 72 years old. When I came upon him he was pulling this horse drawn carriage down the road. I said, "So this is how they treat old folks around here?!" He said, "I'm just going a couple of blocks." He told me a lot about Oregon and says it is so wide open and vast in the southeast part of the state that busses pick kids up for school on Mondays and take them to boarding schools where they study all week and then take them home on Fridays. I put a picture up on an earlier page where Matt and I drove through that area. He says they call it the Oregon Outback. I told Louis the mountain air must have been good for him because he sure didn't look his age. He said, "Son, I've been ridden hard and put up wet all my life."

I decided to go to a bike shop in Sisters because my front wheel was not turning freely. It turned out that a month ago, I had tightened the front wheel bearing too tight and it was acting almost like a brake. The shop owner fixed the problem for $5 and Ol' Blue has ridden much easier since. I think that is part of the reason I nearly died on Santiam Pass. The owner of the store said he saw me on my cell phone at the top of the pass. Later in the day, as I was nearly fifty miles out of Sisters, I stopped at a rest area and met a young couple. We chatted for a while and I told them about the two young men, Alborz and Stephen, I met who are walking across America. The guy asked if one was carrying a stick and the other wearing a white bandana. I said, "Yep that was them." They had seen them walking a few days earlier. It sure is a small world, isn't it?
The scenery changes rapidly when going east out of Sisters.                              

I am not sure but I think this is a Marmot. It looks like it went out with a smile. When I was eating breakfast a lady told me the farmers have come up with a new twist to get rid of sage rats (we call them groundhogs in Oklahoma). At one time farmers would pay hunters a bounty to come on their land and hunt them. It became so popular that city slickers now pay the farmers to hunt them. Ain't life strange? It is pretty obvious in some areas that the sage rats are a huge problem and cattle and horses sometimes break their legs when they step in their deep burrows. In some areas the mounds were everywhere.

There are bike routes everywhere                                   This is Kelly. We chatted while she held up traffic for 15 minutes

Wouldn't it be fascinating to know the history of this house? Was it a happy home? How many people lived here over the years? There are a lot of old houses like this which have been abandoned and they could all tell interesting stories.

This is the courthouse in Prineville, a town of about 8,000 population. It is very pretty and still has the posts to tie up horses.

When I left Sisters I went back to the Sno Cap Drive In and bought two more of their very good hamburgers and nibbled on them over the next several hours. I didn't think too much about conserving food because my map shows there are two eating places at my destination which is Ochoco Lake. I arrived there an hour before dark and found neither place was open. I went to a camp ground nearby and stayed for $5. They had a shower and running water but no electricity. It was very nice and overlooked the lake. I met a man, named Wally, and he told me the nearest eating place was forty miles away. I had a few food reserves for just such an occassion. I put on dry clothes and went to bed early. Here is a picture taken from the camp site.

It rained during the night so I slept in late until it quit raining.