Across Oregon Part 3

Welcome back to my bike tour across a sizable swath of Oregon.
 
This is the 3rd and (thankfully) final part.  Part 1 is here.  Part 2 is here
 
There are many images below. If some show up blank, refresh to get them to download fully. Click on any for larger view.
 
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Time to pry myself out of Prineville.
 
I’ve been up since dark-thirty fussing and packing, have consumed way too much coffee and the urge to bust out of this gloomy motel is now unstoppable.
 
Let’s go!
 
These past days of riding and exploring with new friends has been great fun. I want to do another event like this.
 
But how thankful I am to get back to biking solo. Simplicity and spontaneity are my preference and path of least resistance.
 
I drop off the room key then accelerate in to the bike lane heading towards the center of town.
 
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Across Oregon Part 3: Prineville to Bend to Sisters to Eugene
A quick stop at the shop, the center of the local bike universe.  
 
Rear tire needs air, and I needed pick up a few other odds and ends. I bid final thanks and good-byes to the staff. 
 
Fire up the navigation device and point Rosie West for the first few miles then South. 
 
I am riding to Bend today. I have never been there or any mile along the way. Exploring by bike is such fun.  
 
Bend looms large if you’re an outdoor-adventure type. I’ll be catching up with friends in town and that describes them perfectly.  
 
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Across Oregon Part 3: Prineville to Bend to Sisters to Eugene
Leaving town, on the road.
The weather is warm and clear. The Cascades don their snowy caps. Life is good. 
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Across Oregon Part 3: Prineville to Bend to Sisters to Eugene

I took a powerline road for a while. Slower going, but a little more interesting than the slated route.

Rosie was tested on sand-handling. Mostly Ok, but her 2.3” tires weren’t very inspiring in the deep stuff.  

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Across Oregon Part 3: Prineville to Bend to Sisters to Eugene

Water break. Both intake and output.

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Across Oregon Part 3: Prineville to Bend to Sisters to Eugene

You can't hide, Sister.

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Across Oregon Part 3: Prineville to Bend to Sisters to Eugene

Lunch break in the town of Alfalfa along the irrigation canal.

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Across Oregon Part 3: Prineville to Bend to Sisters to Eugene

Back on pavement. The Sisters lead the way. The chaparral here looks very familiar.

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Across Oregon Part 3: Prineville to Bend to Sisters to Eugene

This beautiful horse had some sort of magical force of seduction as I found myself being pulled off the road to stop.

That face!

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Across Oregon Part 3: Prineville to Bend to Sisters to Eugene

Miles and miles later, I finally arrive in Bend at rush hour, but the traffic isn’t much of a bother.  

Lots of bike friendly ways to navigate the round-abouts and intersections.  

My gracious host is hardly bothered by a grungy-road-weary bike traveler. Many thanks to Merilee! 

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Across Oregon Part 3: Prineville to Bend to Sisters to Eugene

I'm among like-minded friends. Bike friendly parking! Rosie takes her place in the pecking order.

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Across Oregon Part 3: Prineville to Bend to Sisters to Eugene

Next morning, I got a lift up the road to Sisters. My knee was thankful to shave off a few miles of the days ride – a long one which included the monster climb up to the McKenzie Pass.  

Getting caught up with all the goings-on about Merilee and Greg’s new life in Bend was such a fantastic bonus.

Their home and neighborhood is lovely, but I barely got to see much of the city. It’s a good excuse for another visit.

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Across Oregon Part 3: Prineville to Bend to Sisters to Eugene

On the road heading through Sisters. No escaping them, they’re with you always.

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Across Oregon Part 3: Prineville to Bend to Sisters to Eugene

A long afternoon of headwinds while grinding up to the pass. There's more wind and cold at the top. I’m spent. 

A quick lunch, then head on down through the lava field to the forest.

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Across Oregon Part 3: Prineville to Bend to Sisters to Eugene

And just like that, Badda Bing, back in the green!  

Great downhill rewards are now at hand. No traffic, so I cut Rosie loose on the hairpin turns.  

Tonight, I’m camping at Paradise campground. 

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Across Oregon Part 3: Prineville to Bend to Sisters to Eugene

Crossing the river. I am dreaming of what the diner has for take out and cold beer.  

I wish I had more time to watch these guys. Got to get to the diner before they close!

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Across Oregon Part 3: Prineville to Bend to Sisters to Eugene

A long day. Once again, I slept like brick in my little tent. Night after night of quality restful sleep. Bike touring has many blessings.

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Across Oregon Part 3: Prineville to Bend to Sisters to Eugene

Good morning from the busy McKenzie Highway. Too many logging trucks!  

I will ride the highway to Eugene to catch my overnight train to Van Nuys. 

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Across Oregon Part 3: Prineville to Bend to Sisters to Eugene

Fairly uneventful riding most of the afternoon. But I finally I transitioned to the bike paths just outside of town.

They are wonderfully quiet and car-free.

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Across Oregon Part 3: Prineville to Bend to Sisters to Eugene

One last river crossing. The station is getting close. Thankfully I have plenty of time for some take out food then get the bike ready for train-mode.  

And just like that, the realization comes that the last of the riding will be ending very soon. The adventure is winding down. Gah, just a few more days? Nope. 

Just across Willamett St. is Smith Family Bookstore (smithfamilybookstore.com) full of inexpensive used books. Highly recommended before you board an overnight train to Southern California!

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Across Oregon Part 3: Prineville to Bend to Sisters to Eugene

Transitioning to train travel with 24+ hours of inactivity is quite a mental game after being a human engine for the last 12 days.  

After dinner on the dining car, some stretching and a hot shower, I finally settled to down into my bunk.  

Funny, you don’t really know where you are when you peer out the window first thing in the morning. (Above: Oakland?)

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Later that night in Van Nuys, the Coast Starlight pulled away from the platform while I lashed and strapped everything back on the bike. 

The rear tire needed air again. I could see sealant bubbling through several small punctures. It’ll get me home then that’s it for the rear tire.

The dark ride through the valley wasn’t exactly pleasant but I was laser focused to get back home.

Round 11:30 PM I rolled in the driveway where it all started. Reunited with wife, cat and my own bed. Jubilation! 

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If you’ve done any bike touring, or have questions about trips like this, I’d love to hear. Leave a comment below. The comment password is: life is good

 

Comments (2) -

Elizabeth O'Keefe
Elizabeth O'Keefe 11/8/2021 12:05:38 PM

Nice job Doug!

Doug

Thanks so much! The trip is still on my mind. Good times on two wheels!

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