6/5/12 My first thought as I woke was to say a prayer for my friend Theresa. With the time change, it was at that moment that her wedding was starting. I prayed for blessings on her and her new husband Tom as they start their new life together. The prayers continued throughout the day.
First order of business was to get to the laundrymat and wash everything after the day in the rain on Mckenzie Hwy. While waiting for the laundrymat to open, I had breakfast at the Ski Inn. A real local joint with a great traditional breakfast. Then I headed over to the laundrymat. As I walked in, who did I see but McKinley, last seen in Corvallis. I said, “Great minds think alike.” It turned out that McKinley had also ridden over Mckenzie Pass on Monday in the rain. She was probably 45 min to an hour behind me. We compared notes and our day riding over the pass was almost identical. She nearly froze to death on the ride to Sisters. We both marveled at the same sights. The main difference was that once she got to Sisters in the rain, she proceeded to the camp site and camped out. I told her that I could not even possibly conceive of camping out in the rain after that ride. She agreed it was not fun. We determined that we were both headed to Prineville and decided to meet up later.
The 32 mile ride to Prineville was beautiful. Slow rolling hills and lovely landscape. No real hills or major inclines to speak of. Sort of a treat after Monday. We stopped for lunch in Redmond at Subway (thanks Sis) because we were both having veggie withdrawals. I had a spinach salad with chicken and veggies, and a cookie. Delicious.
Also stopped at a local bike shop to pick up a couple of items and have them check out my brakes, which got a good workout coming off McKenzie Pass. Everything adjusted and good to go. I had spent a good amount of time the night before cleaning my bike. All sorts of crud from the rain, black lava, etc.
In Prineville, we stopped at a grocery to pick up more snacks and food for the next few days in the wilderness. As we were leaving town, we actually came upon a Starbucks as if it were a mirage. We could not get off the bikes fast enough and decided those were the best Starbucks drinks we had ever tasted. It was getting a little cloudy and starting to spit rain as we head out of town to ride 7.5 miles to Ochoa County Park campground. My first camping night. I thought it would be best to break in camping with someone who knew the ropes. They charged us a whopping 5.00 person to camp in the biker area. The showers were spacious, clean and hot. There was a great hot air hand dryer. For dinner we ate some of the snacks we bought in Prineville. It was spitting rain and I was getting a little worried, not to mention that the temp was dropping and it was getting quite nippy. There was nothing to do really but get in my sleeping bag in the tent and try to keep warm – at 8:00. For some reason, I could not get my feet warm – they were freezing and I didn’t have any heavy socks – mental note: buy heavy socks at next opportunity. I slept rather fitfully, and finally the night ended around 6:00 am. I headed for the hot air blower. McKinley heated water for the Starbucks via, and I began feeling almost human again. Actually, I felt pretty good.