To Be Continued…

I hurt my knee a week and a half ago. I have been staying in motels and campgrounds in Grant county, Oregon ever since waiting for it to get better. I saw a doctor, and she said it’s probably tendonitis and to rest for a couple weeks. I got home to Newport today after waiting for a week for buses to come as I was in a small area where they only run periodically. I would have been home yesterday, but a lazy bus driver told me there wasn’t room on the bus when there was clearly room in the empty handicapped section where I had put my bike on the last 3 buses I had ridden. He just didn’t want to push a button for the lift.

Being home before finishing is a little depressing, but there wasn’t much I could do about my knee other than wait for it to get better, and staying in motels was too expensive to continue doing. If I would’ve tried pushing on, I could’ve hurt myself further. I am not quitting yet though. I am flying to Denver, Colorado in a couple weeks and finishing the rest of the ride from there. My knee should be better by then, and I’m going to make a few changes to my bike so it will be easier to peddle.

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Stuck in Eastern Oregon

My knee is still hurting, so I haven’t left Grant County yet. After I left the warm showers host’s house, I went down to the RV park in Prarie city and set up my tent under the gazebo there. It was a nice spot be out of the storm. There was wifi, plenty of outlets to charge stuff, and a sink. In the evening, an older guy on a bicycle showed up and pitched his tent in the corner of the gazebo. He wasn’t very talkative, but that was cool with me as I just felt like reading anyways. There was a market nearby, so I got some cheap steaks and cooked them up on my little camping stove. Its hard to control the heat on that thing, so they came out a little charred, but I just drowned them in bbq sauce. Later, I ate some snacks and watched the thunderstorm. It was the first time I was a little cold at night.

 The old guy left early in the morning while I was making oatmeal for breakfast. I was alone there for most of the day, and I just read, played around on my mandolin, and cooked up some sausages for lunch. Around 5, two people on bikes showed up. They were a couple. I didn’t catch their names, but they were nice, and the guy told me why my knee might be hurting. A little while after the couple showed up, a middle aged hitchhiker came to the gazebo. He seemed nice, but he talked a lot, and the more I listened to him, the more it seemed like he was a little off. I fell asleep around 9: 30. It was still cold, but not as bad as the night before. 

Today, I woke up early and decided I’d had enough of Prarie City, so I rode 13 miles back to John Day with the intention of catching the bus to Baker City from here sometime this week. It was an easy ride mostly downhill so it didn’t bother my knee to much. I got some breakfast, and then checked into a cheap motel for a couple days. It was going to be an hour until my room was ready, so I decided to go hang out at the city park. As soon as I got to the park, there was a ranger there that invited me on a free tour of an old Chinese store in front of the park that had been there since the 1800s. I left my bike in the nearby visitors center, and then went on the tour. It was pretty cool to hear the history of the building and see all the old stuff inside. I had no idea it was there the first time I passed Through John day. It is a historic landmark now because it is the oldest and first Chinese mercantile in the USA. I’m now in my motel room, and I will probably go get a pizza for dinner later.
Camped under the gazebo

Behind the gazebo

Old Chinese mercantile

First bad day

I woke up this morning with plans to ride up my first pass today, but at soon as I got on the bike, my knee left knee started hurting. I left John Day, Oregon around 11 and made it to the next town over, Prairie City. I got here around 12 and sent a text to someone from the website warm showers.org, which hosts bicycle tourists. I hung out in town for a while under an awning, and it started pouring rain. Eventually, my host responded to my text. He wasn’t home, but he was nice enough to let me go into his house and wait for him to get off work. When I grabbed my bike to head to his house, one of the gears got caught on a planter and now it won’t shift to the lowest gear. I haven’t used that gear much yet, so its not a huge deal, but it still kind of sucks. When the dude got home, he told me I could put my bike in the backyard. When I was wheeling it back there, a bungee chord got caught in my other set of gears. I was pretty pissed as it seemed like it was just one thing after another. I decided to go to town and get dinner and hoped I wouldn’t break my leg walking there or choke on my food. I ate a good dinner and then came back to the dudes house and was able to cut the bungee chord out. What happens tomorrow totally depends on how knee feels in the morning. I might take the bus back to John Day in the morning and get a motel room to give my knee another day of rest. Or I might just take a bus all the way to Baker City to the nearest bike shop and get my bike fixed. I really wanted to ride up the next few passes because they are small and would be good practice. I’ll see how my knee feels in the morning and go from there.

Transamerica Bicycle Race and John Day Fossil beds

On Monday, I woke up around 6 at the Spoke’n

hostel. I went downstairs and had breakfast with some of the racers. After breakfast, I asked Pat, one of the owners, if there was anything I could do to help out while I waited for the 6 o’clock bus to Dayville to roll into Mitchell. He said to just hangout out front, greet the racers, and show them around. There was a few other people there to help out including a girl from the bike shop in Prineville that I had previously visited. I talked to the other volunteers while racers kept stopping in. This was the 4th year of the transamerica bicycle race. Each year, more and more people have been participating. Last year, there was 50 racers. And this year there was 130. I left the hostel around 5:30 to go wait for the bus and said goodbye to all of the people I had met.

I took the bus to Dayville, and then came to the local church which also acts as a hostel. When I arrived, there was a racer here from Canada, but he was just there to rest as he was having heart issues. He left shortly after I got there and was headed 20 miles out of town to a hospital to get checked out. I was alone at the hostel until around 10 when 2 more racers showed up. Their names where Laura, a young girl around 25 from Latvia, and Patrick, an older man from Belgium. We talked for a bit, and I showed them where the shower and wifi password was. About half an hour after they arrived, two more racers showed up. John was a funny middle-aged man from Liverpool, and Mike was a 27 year old from Las Vegas. There is a washer and dryer at the hostel, so I did some laundry for the first time since I left. None of us had many clothes, so Laura, Patrick and I threw our clothes in there together to make a load. I stayed up talking to John until around 12:30 and then went to sleep. This hostel is a lot an smaller than the one in Mitchell, and there aren’t any beds, so we all slept on our sleeping mats on the floor.

Everyone woke up around 5:30, and I made pancakes for John, Mike, and myself. Patrick and Laura were the first to hit the road, and John left shortly after them. Mike hung out until around 8, and then he also left. I started getting my day pack ready to go check out the John Day Fossil Beds, which are about 12 miles out of town. Right when I was about to leave, a few ladies showed up to have bible study here at the church. I left most my gear here, and headed out to the fossil beds. It was a huge difference riding without all that weight on my bike. I went to the museum first, looked around, bought some postcards, and asked a ranger about the nearby hiking trails. I rode a few more miles to the blue basin trails and went on a short mile and a half hike. I rode back to the museum and rested for a bit before heading back to Dayville. When I had left Dayville earlier in the morning, the heat wasn’t to bad. By the time I was riding back to town, it was 82 degrees and rising. I was drained by the time I got back to the hostel, so I rolled my sleeping mat back out and took a nap. I’m going to stay here again tonight, and then hit the road early in the morning to beat the heat.

My private room at the Spoke’n Hostel
Dayville Church Hostel

Live baby chickens outside a store in Dayville
Old building in Mitchell, Oregon
Racers outside of the Spoke’n Hostel
The racer’s bikes
John Day Fossil Beds
The road to John Day Fossil Beds
John Day Fossil Beds Museum/information center
John Day Fossil Beds
Fossil
Fossil Beds

John Day Fossil Beds

Hitchbiking and Recap of the trip so far.

So, I’ve been on the rode for 5 days now. In my last post, I didn’t really write much about the ride because I was trying to update the blog from my crappy laptop, and it was being a pain in the ass, so I got frustrated and just posted the Smith Rock pics without saying much about the trip so far. 

On the first day, I was running on only 4 hours of sleep. I made it from Sisters, Oregon to Smith Rock, Oregon which is between 25 to 30 miles. I was beat by the time I got to the campground. Check out my Smith Rock post to read more about that place. I stayed at Smith Rock campground for 2 nights. 

I left the campground early Friday morning and headed to Prineville Oregon. I got a little lost along the way, but figured my way back on route pretty quickly. I stopped at a museum with old cars and army stuff to ask directions. They were closed when I got there, but when I sat down at a picnic table, I was immediately greeted by a friendly dog. Eventually the dog’s owner, a nice old man, told me how to get to Prineville. I made it to Prineville around noon and checked into the Rustler Inn because I was tired from the ride and the previous days hiking. I ate lunch at Dairy Queen and chilled at the motel watching Young Guns 1 and 2 on tv. I ate dinner at a Chinese restaurant around the corner. 

The next day, I checked out of the motel at 11. I went to the bike shop and got a tuneup because my gears had been skipping. The people at the bike shop were nice, and I signed the guestbook. I left the bike shop and went to a small park nearby and hung out there for a bit. I ate some mediocre pizza for lunch and then went back to the park. I was going to take a bus at 5 from Prineville to Dayville to skip some climbs, but around 4:30 I realized that the bus only runs on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I rode 7 miles to Ochoco Lake and stayed there for the night. It was a little loud there, but I figure it was karma for all the campground partying I did when I was younger. I decided to try to bike up Ochoco Pass, but when I saw the first hill, I wussed out and stuck my thumb out at a turn out below the hill. After an hour and a half, a nice dude named Arron and his girlfriend gave me ride in their truck. They dropped me off at the campground at the top of the pass, and I rode down the other side to Mitchell, Oregon. The ride down was fun and I think I hit 30mph at one point. Now I am staying at a cool hostel called “The Spoke’n Hostel” and using there wifi. The people here are very friendly. The Transamerica bicycle race started yesterday, and lots of them keep stopping by here. Supposedly, it is going to be crazy here with people coming in and out all night, so the people that run this place were nice enough to give me my own private room so I can get some rest.

Chillin at a park in Prineville, Oregon
Sunset at Ochoco Lake, Oregon
Spoke’n Hostel Mitchell, Oregon

Ochoco Lake, Oregon

Smith Rock

I camped here for 2 nights. Nice place. I was just going to go for .4 mile hike to an overlook, but the view was so nice I had to go down there. I probably ended up hiking around 3 miles. Smith Rock is a popular rock climbing spit. Most of the people at the campground were there to climb. There are some rock climbers in the pictures, but they are hard to see.