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Day 04

How can it be so hot...we see snow everywhere?

ROUTE: Kah Nee Ta to Prineville OR DISTANCE:  60 Miles WINDS: Light and variable all day
WEATHER: Sunny and warm.  High 82 TERRAIN:  Steady climb for 7 miles then one significant climb from 17 to 21 miles.  The last 30 miles were rolling desert range land. TOTAL CLIMBING: 3500 feet


Well, we are off again.  We woke to a beautiful sunrise over the mesa behind the motel and to the sounds of black birds chirping to announce the start of another day.  A young coyote was playing below our bedroom window...just a reminder that we are really out in the sticks even though we are at the motel. 

Kah-Nee-Ta resort, what a nice place to stay.  But it's a logistical nightmare for the staff to get all the vans in the right place and to get our stuff organized.  It's quite a hike to our rooms and the trek involves elevators.  All that aside, I think everyone enjoyed the stay...especially if they got to the pool or won some wampum at the casino.  Everyone was wearing a shirt this morning so I guess there weren't any big losers.

Today was our first taste of the desert, but it was just a small taste as the temperatures stayed pretty mild in comparison to what I've seen out here before.  I just hope we can get a break tomorrow as we trudge into John Day which is twice as long as today's venture. 

We descended out of the motel down a "cliff" we were supposed to climb yesterday had it not been for a detour... but the thrill was short lived.  At the bottom, we started a gentle climb for the next 8 miles or so before a beautiful downhill into the Warm Springs valley.  Right at the top, the vista of Mt Jefferson was awesome and everyone took a little time to savor the scene...then it was back to work.

A couple years ago, we had two dudes from Florida that cornered a local Indian and after a long discussion on tribal customs, taxes, and life on the reservation, they asked him if the high terrain we were riding on was a mesa or a butte.  The old Indian just shook his head and told them that it was a "hill."  I'm sure he was thinking, "White man have too much formal education."  Anyway, whatever it was, everyone in our group would probably agree that it was a tough climb whether it was a butte or a mesa...or just a hill in the desert.

After the vista stop, we were met with a beautiful view of the long, winding descent into the valley below that produced post card views of Mt Jefferson as the riders twisted down the curvy descent into Warm Springs.  After Warm Springs we rode along the Deschutes River before another long climb to the top of a mesa on hwy 26...I guess it was a mesa (I'm afraid to ask) was big.  Just about two miles after the summit, we turned off into the country where we began to see the results of irrigation as there were farms with many different cash crops that we just don't see in the east.  Things like mint, onion, and rice fields were strung along our route for several miles before we came back to hwy 26 in Madras.  The aroma of mint and alfalfa fields sure didn't remind me of the feedlots of Kansas we saw on the Fast Ride. 

After Madras, we traveled on a long desolate highway that contained endless rollers and a steadily rising terrain until the last 10 miles to Prineville where everyone was rewarded with a 10 mile descent into town.  It was really dry out there...well, that's to be expected, it's desert.  It was hard to believe that we were so warm and dry when in every direction we would look we could see a snow covered peak.

Tomorrow we ride 116 into John Day.  On paper it will be the to toughest day we have...plenty of climbing, plenty of miles, and dry desert...but no matter how tough the day is, it is a most beautiful ride with photo ops all over the place.  I'm pulling van duty tomorrow so I'll get plenty of photos.  It will be a busy day supporting everyone with all the miles that will be between the front and rear of the group, but I think we are up to the task.  We talked about the importance of keeping water bottles filled all day tomorrow.  Neglecting that fact could be harmful to one's health out here.  Tune in tomorrow and I'll let you know how we did...until then, have a great day. 




Bob was feeling pretty strong this morning as he topped the 4 mile climb out of Warm Springs...and with the help of Mount Hood, he was able to show an impressive bicep.

I took so many photos today that I had to ice my trigger finger at the SAG.


That's cheating Jana.

Hmmm...wonder if the satellite is in orbit today?

What a group...we finally got together for a "family" photo.

The long and short of it.

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