Burns, baby, Burns (9-9-2013)

Yep, you guessed it….more poor sleep.  It was slightly better than last night at least.  I left my clothes on and wore my coat, using the sleeping bag as mainly a cushion.  Did I mention I need a sleeping mat?

I left early today again.  I was awake, breakfast was uninspiring, and I wanted to get as many miles down as I could before the sun came out. 

I started out strong in the cool air at about 6:30am.  I wasn’t fast, but the miles ticked down reliably one by one.  Until the sun came out, I was doing pretty well.

Today started with another climb.  The first 16 or so miles was uphill with no breaks.  It started gradually until near the summit where the incline really jumped up.  I had to stop again on the climb, but less often than yesterday.

The descent was nerve-wracking.  No shoulder for bikes and the big trucks and semis from the John Day camp as well as regular traffic didn’t give us much space to work with as we cruised down 30-40 mph.

Lunch was at a classic school house with a nice green lawn.  Pastrami and cheese on Dave’s Killer Bread.  I usually avoid pastrami, but had no other choices.  Luckily, it was pretty high quality and very tasty.

After lunch, things went downhill quickly.  It was hot, I was tired, and we had to climb another 5000 foot summit.  I also got the first flat of the trip on the front tire while going up. 

I stopped quite a bit on the way up, especially if there was shade.  It was a happy time to get to the summit and do the last leg to Burns.

I met a rattlesnake a few miles from Burns.  I thought at first it was dead, but as I rode by it turned quickly and faced me.  I think we were both as surprised as the other.

The last few miles to Burns seemed to take forever.  The people of Burns had a very warm welcome for us, though.  They cheered and rang bells as we rode into camp.

My tent was set up in a dusty field as far back as you can get from everything.  Lots of walking to do while we’re here.

I skipped the Cycle Oregon dinner and instead bought spaghetti from the local parents committee and sweet tea from another vendor.  While eating it, I met up with Kayla and then we watched the local Piuite Indians do some of their dances in preparation for a future Pow-wow.

Things I learned today:  My long-distance bike needs better handlebars, cushy handlebar tape, and aerobars.  One of the kick-stand sticks for touring would be nice too.  Oh, and Keo Look cleats are horrible to walk in.

I also learned that no matter how much sunscreen I put on, I’m going to get fried out here.


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