6/11/12: Rest day in Baker City.
I had one of the best nights of sleep since being on the trip. It is as if my mind finally slowed down a bit instead of a a constant adrenaline rush. Had breakfast at The Oregon Trail and spent some time being quiet and journaling. Around 9:00 am I got on the bike and rode around town and explored. Went by Safeway to get some more Emergen-C and snacks for the next leg out of Oregon and into Idaho. It looks pretty remote and I think camping is in my immediate future.
At around 10:00 am I ran into Patrice waiting outside the bike shop. She told me that McKinley had another flat on bike plus the other tire was low. Also sounds like they were both still tired. The family they stayed with was nice, but had a number of animals, and they were hairy animals. After we all took care of what we needed at the bike shop, we agreed we were hungry – again. We decided to go back to the little restaurant on Main St where we had lunch on Sunday. It was just as good the second time around. I had a garden something sandwich with those sweet potato fries. Delicious. McKinley and I were still hungry and agreed that dessert was somewhere in our near future. However, she and Patrice wanted to get checked in to “my” motel first.
After check in, we walked to the conveniently located Oregon Trail restaurant where McKinley and I had warm homemade blueberry pie with ice cream and Patrice had a chocolate milkshake. I went back to my room and took a little nap while the others got organized. Then we went on a little exploration/ shopping mission. The Powder River runs just behind the motel, and there is a walkway along the river towards town. We rode that, then headed to the Dollar Store for various items. I also purchased a warm long sleeve shirt to replace the one I have been wearing daily that has pretty much worn out, plus something to cover my ears in lieu of the bandana, plus some more bike socks. Topped off the afternoon with a cappachino from Starbucks – I figure it may be a while before I see another Starbucks. On my way back to the motel, I think I saw Frank and a couple of other bikers eating outside at a restaurant on Main St. Hadn’t seen Frank since I rode with him last Sunday.
Went back to the motel and had a long chat with my sister. Then Patrice came by and told me that McKinley had run into Leslie – we last saw Leslie in Mitchell 3-4 days ago. So, looks like everyone has sort of caught up with each other in Baker City. Leslie still hasn’t been able to ride since Mitchell because of a sore knee. She essentially catches a ride or bus to a couple of cities or towns ahead to meet up with her boyfriend who has continued riding. She still hopes to be able to resume biking soon. When we met Leslie for dinner, another guy on a loaded bike rode up and asked if one of us was Kim from Texas. I said yes, and asked who he was, since I had not seen him before. He told me that his name was Roger, and was the guy I had spoken to in the other tent last Monday when I went to find Frank before riding McKenzie Pass. I stood in the pouring rain and talked to the tents. Never saw the guys.
One of the funniest things about this trip is how you meet people and they keep popping up at various points along the way. Looks like everyone will be heading out tomorrow, so there will be a pretty good contingent of bikers camping together the next few days. I like that idea. Plus, the forecast is for warm, sunny weather the next 3-4 days. So, the hope is for our mileage to increase.
Dinner was back at that same restaurant we liked on Main St. Except now there were 4 of us with the addition of Leslie. Funny how the solo woman group keeps growing. Leslie is catching a ride to Boise tomorrow to meet up with her boyfriend. She is a 20 year old from Oakland with the ultimate destination of D.C. where she will doing some sort of internship. A very interesting young woman. She talked about how kind people had been during her journey so far, especially in light of the fact that she has spent a lot of time just hanging out in some of these little towns trying to rest her knee. People have offered to have her stay at their homes, and paid her to play her violin, and fed her. She said that the trip has helped restore her faith in people. She also had some good stories to tell about the towns we have traveled through – since she has spent so much time just hanging out she gets all the good gossip and stories.
After dinner, we parted with Leslie, but feel fairly certain she will pop up again either in Yellowstone or somewhere in the Midwest. Just a feeling.
The plan is to get on the road and actually pedaling no later than 9:00 am in order to make 60+ miles tomorrow. We have 2 goals: work off some of those rest day desserts and put ourselves in position to finally get out of Oregon and into Idaho. I have loved every bit of Oregon, but am feeling a little antsy to get to another state.
Since Internet/phone service is likely to be iffy the next week or so, journal entries may lag a little. We’ ll just have to see.