Our last night on the road was at Big Bear Camp & Retreat between Eugene and Florence, Oregon. Our hosts were Hal and Tonia. They epitimized the gracious qualities of all of the wonderful Warm Showers hosts that shared their homes with us along the way. We stayed in cities, on farms, in the woods. Warm Showers was definitely a highlight of our experience.
For the first time since entering Kansas, we have dropped below 1,000 feet in elevation. As we dropped down off McKenzie Pass (5324′), we entered the lush forests of the west side of the Cascades, branches dripping with moss. Here it takes the sun a lot longer to get down to camp in the morning.
Our favorite riding time of the day is the hours between campoatmeal and secondbreakfast. In those morning hours, the wind is quiet, the light is perfect for photos, and there are few cars on the road. Ones mood is just better. That is some good riding.
We have met some cyclists who get into town late, admitting that they have a hard time getting going before 10am. We feel sorry for them, because they are missing the best part of the day.
We were dressed and ready to leave Baker City this morning, but the frigid rain just wouldn’t quite stop. Around 9:00am, we decided to use our “we don’t have to be home on a certain date” card, and took a rest day in Baker City. We visited the historical museum, relaxed at the library, and had a beer at Barley Brown’s. It stopped raining eventually, but Kim wore her down coat all day. Tomorrow is expected to be warmer and drier as we head into the Blue Mountains. A day well spent.
Today we entered our tenth state, our home state, Oregon. After all our travels, this event is complex: we are happy to be in familiar territory, but this means our adventure is nearing its close. We plan to enjoy each moment.
Last night, we had the pleasure of staying with Warm Showers hosts Leslie and Bob near Cambridge, ID. Besides being warm, wonderful people with home brew in their garage, they also have two Brittany Spaniels, Angus (8 years) and Peat (5 months). All that Brittany energy made us look forward to seeing ours, 12 year old Nutmeg.