Living the Dream
“Ummmmmm….. Andy. We ARE trying to head South, right?”, says Josh as we find ourselves yet again cycling every direction but South in the state of Washington.
After many days spent following the Adventure Cycling Association’s Sierra-Cascades route up and over countless mountain passes we were starting to go a little crazy. Looking at our route it seemed like we traversed the entire state of Washington before beginning to head South. Worse yet, it seemed that our intended route had us needlessly climbing every single major pass and high mountain road while blissfully ignoring the pleasant desert roads that parallel the ranges.
If our intended trip was only a North to South trip through the states, that would be totally fine. However our route merely begins in the states before heading south through Baja California, mainland Mexico then Guatemala. In the interest of self-preservation, we decided to ditch the “route” and make our own!
As soon as we ditched the “planned” route and just started cycling the roads we really wanted to, the trip took on a whole new character. Gone were the days of knowing where everything was going to be and how far it was and how steep the grades were. Instead we have been finding ourselves chatting with locals a lot more, cycling through the most isolated sections of Eastern Oregon and California and continuing to find adventure everywhere we go.
The cycling itself has definitely eased up in terms of climbing but has instead become a daily battle with the sun to find shade, rest often and drink tons of water. We are treating these days in the Oregon and California desert as our “training” for the real deserts of Baja California.
After a great rest day spent in Hood River with old friends from Yosemite, Jenny and Delaney, we decided Hood River would make a great next rest stop. However in order to feel we “earned” it we decided to cycle the 160+miles in 2 days. The end result was many miles of isolated riding and one night spent sleeping in a ditch on the side of the highway when we got ourselves stranded. Luckily Bend more than made up for that with its awesome outdoorsy scene, wonderful food and craft beer and another friend from Yosemite, Ingrid.
Upon leaving Bend and Ingrid’s wonderful hospitality we decided to go for a 7 days push to Reno, NV where we were excited to take a rest day and see the sights. Those 7 days we a blur of desert, forest, long isolated highway stretches, loooong flat valley rides, short passes and friendly locals. All in all, it ALWAYS pays to take the paths less traveled.
We now find ourselves in Reno with 1.5 days to spare.All-you-can-eat sushi, Glitter Gulch, river time, beer and rest are in store for sure!
From here it’s about 2 days to Lee Vining, the eastern entrance to Yosemite National Park. Who knows what the next few days have in store.
That’s all for now but as always check out Josh’s blog for even more cycling-blog fun!
Bend to N. Chemult “area” 60’ish miles
N. Chemult “area” to Klamoya Casino “area” 62 miles
Klamoya Casino “area” to Newell 65 miles
Newell to Rush Creek C.G. 62 miles
Rush Creek C.G. to Susanville 82 miles
Susanville to Hwy. 70/395 Junction 64 miles
Hwy. 70/395 Junction to Reno 24 miles
Total thus far in the trip: 1,323 miles!