Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Ride Day 89

Today I rode from West Roosevelt to Umatilla 56 miles and 1600' of climbing in some high wind and light rain. I packed up my campsite and headed out early. I had checked the weather report and there was a big storm predicted to be approaching my area. Ahead of me I could see blue skies and behind me there were dark storm clouds. The wind was blowing from behind me most of the time but it was swirling a bit. When it was a tailwind I was able to pile up the miles quickly and easily. I saw a lot of baby rattle snakes along the road today. I ran over one of them when it darted in front of me as I tried to go around it after seeing it at the last second. Suicide by bike, what can I say. I also had 4 deer start to cross the road right at me but they spooked and ran alongside of me for a ways before they pulled up and crossed the road behind me. There were deer, coyotes, eagles, ospreys, pelicans, vultures, gulls and lots of songbirds that I saw today. One mockingbird cracked me up. I heard it sing on a power wire running next to me so I copied his song as close as I could. He then flew ahead of me and we did this again, and again and again for several miles he just kept flying up ahead of me and singing then I repeated him. I was laughing like a crazy guy. Oh ya right, I am a crazy guy riding a bike around the country. The mockingbird only stopped because the power lines diverted from the roadway. The coyote did not notice me and I stopped my bike and watched it for about five minutes. Then I intentionally made a whistling noise and I startled it and it turned tail and hopped off through the field. It looked more like a fox the way it bounded through the field. The eagles remain too high in the sky for me to identify. I stopped in Patterson at a small cafe and had a coffee and a burrito for a total cost of five bucks and the burrito was good. I talked to the local farmers that were gathered there talking about farming. We discussed my ride and some farming things then I looked out the window and saw that the storm had caught up to me while I was eating this second breakfast. I jumped on my bike and headed out to try to get ahead of the storm again. In about 4 miles I was out of the rain and back in the sunshine but the storm was still coming my way so I rode hard to Plymouth. I looked at the campground in Plymouth where I had planned to stay and it was just an open field with no trees or any protection from the storm and they wanted too much money for it so I got back on the road and went in to Umatilla where I checked into a cheap but good enough hotel to rest up and dry out. The weather report says the next three days are supposed to be similar weather so I will need to monitor the forecast and look at the sky and decide if I can ride in the next few days. My butt could use a rest. Since I left Garibaldi Oregon down on the coast I have been riding everyday and covered 350 miles in five days with lots of climbing in there. More later...

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