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Grandpa Lost His Mind
A Journal - Crossing America by Bicycle

May 3, 2007      Miles 33      Total miles 374


I am now on the eastern end of Oregon. In the lower left corner of the map is Canyon City. Just above that is a black dot and that is John Day. I am staying the night in a motel here. John Day has about 1,800 people but there are a couple of nice restaurants and a bunch of fast food places, plus several motels. I will make my way to Bates and follow the state road to Baker. I hope to make it to Brownlee by the beginning of the week if the weather will permit.

I have followed rivers all across Oregon. Some are streams and some are fast moving like this one. The temperatures are generally quite a bit colder here than on the coast. The elevation here is over 3,000'. When I left Dayville this morning the sun was shining and I was looking for a 50 mile day. The weather changes very rapidly and the mountain passes seem to have a lot of rain. It was another day or rain, cold, and sleet for the ride which overall gained 1,000' in elevation. There is a cafe in Dayville but it only opens on weekends so I didn't eat breakfast until late in the day because there are no eating places between here and there. I did have some junk food however.

There is one thing I would like to mention which I have found very interesting. The mountains are very illusional. What I mean is this ... sometimes it looks like I am going downhill but I am having to pedal like crazy instead of coasting. I'm not talking about slight grades. Sometimes it looks like I should be flying down a hill and yet I am having to crank with all I have. I noticed this on Santiam Pass. I would stop to take a picture of something which I thought was downhill but my bike would be rolling backwards. It is very strange.

Here is another field of those cockleburrs. You women sure wouldn't want to walk through here in your fur coats.

Someone hold this old geezer down and give him a shave!

I might be a little rough looking but these girls sure had their eyes on me!
Was this a schoolhouse or church?                              That is a huge rack above the door.

Come on, Ol' Blue. Let's just keep going straight!

Just another beautiful mountain with a little snow still on it. I stopped to take a picture and a car pulled over in front of me. I thought they stopped in case I needed help.

It was Christine and Mary Fran from Idaho. They are just lovely ladies and they had been backpacking along the Rogue River here in Oregon. They had seen a couple of other touring cyclists about twenty miles back and they said if they saw anyone else they would stop and ask questions. I told them it was going to be embarrassing when those two cyclists pass me. Christine invited me to stay at her place as I pass through her town but alas, I will be going in a different direction. They sure were nice and it was a pleasure to visit with them. They also had run into problems finding stores which were open. They are cycling enthusiasts and have done some 100 mile rides.

This is a church which was built in 1870 in John Day. It is next to the restaurant where I ate tonight.

I expect it will be four or five days before I can update again.