Average Speed: 12.2 mph; Max Speed: mph 25.2 mph
Elevation Gain: 2,222
Average Temp: 61.4 F; Temp Range: 50-75.2F
The day got off to a wonderful start, with a hot breakfast provided by my host (thank you again, CJ!), and then I was out the door. I wanted to make sure I had enough time to complete my planned 70 miles.
If Day 1 caused me problems because I made it too much about the destination and not enough about the journey, today was a demonstration of the reverse.
Before I went to sleep last night, I got a call confirming the place I wish to stay on the other side of McKenzie Pass tomorrow, but I had not yet gotten a call about tonight. Mid-morning I called, again. And got a voicemail, again. I pulled up the Warmshowers app and contacted two potential hosts, but over the course of the day I found out that both of them had moved. There was a B&B listed on the maps as allowing some camping, only when they called me back mid-afternoon, I found out that their policy has changed. I used my phone to search for other lodging in the area and the next place I called also said no camping allowed, but gave me the name of a place further down the road that just might. Thankfully they did, although it’s not a regular thing. So I’m set up in my tent in a back corner of the property, out of sight of the regular guests. And I’m thoroughly grateful for it, since the next potential campground was at least 20 miles further and potentially full due to the holiday weekend. I don’t want to stealth camp, not least because I doubt I’d be able to sleep very well for wondering if I would be woken up by an angry landowner, a cop, or a wild animal looking for my food (or to make me into food), but I will admit I was considering it for a while today.
The repeated housing fallouts led to just a bit extra being added to my 70 mile day. 15 miles is ‘just a bit’ right? The road wound its way upward slowly all day, but in the kind of way that you barely noticed, so at least that wasn’t a big issue.
The big event of the ride, putting Map Section 1 into my panniers and pulling out Map Section 2. One down, 11 to go!
Most of the route was on rural highways. It was beautiful but with few service locations. But I stopped early and often to top off my water, so I was never in water crisis mode. I know this is likely to get worse over the next days (or weeks), and I’m feeling increasingly glad that I bought my Camelbak bladder as a backup.
Of more concern than finding water was the narrow shoulder in many places. I’m guessing this usually isn’t an issue, as it doesn’t strike me as a high-traffic road. But I saw a fair amount of traffic. It wasn’t ever harrowing or even scary, but it was an annoyance.
Today was a day for vultures, apparently.
And I don’t know about you, but I want to know the story behind this tree!
I had my first confirmed Osprey sighting of the trip! Fledglings, based on how insistently they were calling out.
To distract myself from the long hours and, more importantly, the uncertainty surrounding where I would sleep tonight (I only secured a place to set up camp about 79 miles into my 70 mile day) I started playing memory games based on the alphabet. The ones where one person starts and says something like “I’m going to a picnic and I’m bringing an apple” and then the next person has to say that and add a picnic item starting with a b, and so on until somebody can’t remember them all. For the picnic foods, I got all the way through the alphabet with the exception of X and Z where I couldn’t think of food items. Then I did “I’m going to the doctor to learn about” and this time got all the way through a list of diseases, drugs, and procedures.
Once I passed Coburg and the end of Map Section 1, there was a theme to the day. McKenzie Highway, McKenzie Nurseries, McKenzie School System, McKenzie River, McKenzie this, McKenzie that. All the McKenzies reminding me that tomorrow I face my first mountain pass. I’m at around 1000 feet elevation right now. Over 35 miles tomorrow, I will climb to 5,324 ft. Most of that, however, takes place over 21 miles. So 21 miles for about 4,000 feet of climbing.
Hills have, thus far, not been kind to me on this tour, but I am determined to make it over this pass if I have to crawl over it with the bike on my back! I pray it won’t come to that, though.
Roadkill Count: Today 7 birds, 10 mammals (1 cat, 4 possums, 1 rabbit, 2 racoons, 2 unknown mammals), 2 snakes, 1 lizards