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Grandpa Lost His Mind
A Journal - Crossing America by Bicycle

May 2, 2007      Miles 58      Total miles 341


I went to bed very early last night so I woke around 6:00 and broke camp since it had stopped raining. It makes you feel almost powerful to sleep among trees which tower 100 feet and more over your head. It is such a neat feeling. Odd thing about these trees is they don't have huge trunks but grow very, very tall. Water was dripping off them constantly onto me and I had on the last of my dry clothes. Everything else was soaked. Jared told me the patch he put on my tube might not hold so I was worried a little about that. I packed my tent wet and headed down the mountainside at a furious pace. I kept braking because I was worried about taking a spill on the wet road. Even at that, I was going over 35 MPH. Guess what? It started sprinkling, then raining. I don't know what the temperature was but my fingers were becoming numb. I stopped and put a pair of socks over my gloves but they became soaked and I left them on thinking they might keep some of the wind off. As I got to lower elevations the temperature rose somewhat and I wasn't shivering anymore - just soaked.

Once again, the terrain changed pretty dramatically as I came off the mountain. Isn't this remarkable? I was going downhill at this point almost all the way to Mitchell.

The first store I came to in Mitchell (population 140) was a tire repair store. I pulled straight into the store and the owner was leaving to got to a doctors appointment. I asked him if he had some tire patch glue I could buy and he sold some to me so I feel much better now. That was another stroke of luck for me.

By now I was cold, wet, and starving for a hot meal. It was around nine o'clock and I pulled into the Bridge Creek Cafe and had my favorite breakfast of eggs, bacon, hash browns, biscuit, and coffee and also a great homemade bran muffin. Jewell is the owner, operator, cook, and waitress. She makes the muffins herself and I bought another to take on the road. We talked for an hour and I had to hit the road.

Don't blink! This is Mitchell.

I didn't want to get in the same situation as the day before and have no food, so I stopped in at the local grocery store and stocked up on some food. I don't like being hungry and it sure isn't fun when you aren't sure where the next store might be.

"Hey Dude! Man you shouldn't aslept up on that Ochoco Pass last night. There's cougars all over the place up there and they keep killing the calves around here. Done kilt a man here back."

That's great advice Bill. If someone had told me that last night I wouldn't have stayed there!

"I know Runion (Bill) done told you 'bout dem cougars up thar on th pass! Man, you lucky you didn't git et but you crazy too!"

I've been told that many times before, Paul.

People around here must be bigger than in Oklahoma.

This land wasn't settled easily.

A good revisionist historian would replace this sign and say it was really some bad white guys who robbed the stagecoach and blamed it on the indians.
You could take pictures all day long and never do justice to the real beauty of Oregon. There is sagebrush all over the lowland areas and as I rode through the plains areas in the rain, the entire area was fragrant with the beautiful smell of sage. Here are just a few of the places I rode through today.

I was wet most of the day from drizzle to downpours of rain. At one point, I kept thinking the raindrops were sure stinging my face. It turned out it wasn't raindrops. It was sleet.

When I reached the small town of Dayville (population 140) I stopped at the local mercantile and asked a lady, who was getting out of her car, if there was a place to set up a tent for the night. Her name was JoAnn and how fortunate I was to meet her! She told me several options but suggested I go to the Dayville Presbyterian Church. She told me they have made a hostel for bikers for the past twenty years. I came to the church and they even built a ramp to bring bikes out of the rain. Inside, it is warm and there is a shower, full service kitchen, and a washer/dryer combination. They even have a computer to use. It is hooked to a land line so I won't use it to upload my journal. They have a lot of reading material and are just extremely accommdating.