Log in

In the morning we started off from the Ochoco Divide Campground at the Ochoco Summit and had felt glad that we had accomplished the first of a couple of daunting passes of the Ochoco Mountains. The prior evening, at the shared hiker/biker campsite, we had met some people who had bicycled there too, one of which whom had never had macaroni and cheese before. They were having macaroni and cheese that evening. I like macaroni and cheese and did not relate to the generally disparaging introduction of the food item to the newcomer. I noticed I was annoyed that our map indicated this site had potable water, but the campsite did not have water, unless you purchased plastic bottles of water from the campsite host.

The morning downhill ride through Bridge Creek Wilderness was very brisk and beautiful. The road, Route 26, was going through Crook County into Wheeler County.

One of the campers from the night before had said there wasn't much in the town of Mitchell. As I was approaching the edge of town, where there was a fork in the road, I stopped at a small roadside coffee stand the Route 26 Espresso. The coffee server was friendly and the coffee was warm on this brisk morning. When S arrived we had a coffeestand breakfast, then went into the town of Mitchell. In the town of Mitchell I reflected on how people try to be helpful but sometimes are not. As we had already had breakfast at the coffee stand we didn't stay in Mitchell to see the cute little town. Nor hang out with the bicyclists that had arrived, coming from the east.

I see from a random blogger bicyclist on the internet, from this post, that the sense of camaraderie I sometimes seek, this being the TransAm bicycle route and all, that we missed something by not being in the town longer. However, the town of Mitchell has apparently been the site of some floods, from the flash flooding of the Bridge Creek. So maybe it was good we left (though, really, there was no 'threat' of rain).

We also had the goal of reaching Dayville before nightfall and staying overnight there, as there was reportedly a Presbyterian Church that had been hosting bicyclists since the 1970s. The ride here was dry but it was interesting watching Keyes Creek as we got higher and higher. The roadside geology was interesting as well as seeing the roadside historical marker for "H. H. Wheeler" (picture from flicker.com). I did see words of encouragement for bicyclists spray-painted on the ground in the bike lane by some unknown person and some were pretty funny. Then we went downhill and the ride was amazing. We were heading towards the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. We passed a number of bicyclists, however they are all heading westward. We nodded and waved but that was about the extent of the interactions. We passed by many little spires and huge hoodoo mounds on this twisting turning road of the Ochoco Highway alongside Mountain Creek then Rock Creek. I recalled from my geography class that this area received less precipitation than the West Coast, and so the rocks here were less weathered, and thus I could see the weathering in the rocks right now rather than just seeing dust and sand. I was getting sleepy here and I recall S, at the Rock Creek Junction juncture of Ochoco Highway and the John Day Highway, wanting to know if I wanted to go north here on Oregon Route 19 to see the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument Museum area, before it closed for the afternoon, but I recall, much to my chagrin that I said no let's keep going on towards Dayville, to the south through Picture Gorge. I recall feeling sad and feeling slow as we were leaving beautiful Picture Gorge with its tall shadowy basalt walls, now on the John Day Highway alongside the northward flowing John Day River.

Then again, they did not have trilobites.

We then left this area and continued heading into Grant County toward Dayville along the Journey Through Time Scenic Byway. When we reached the edge of town of Dayville there was a person, trying to be helpful and welcoming, who waved me through pointing down the main road. The next person I encountered encouraged me to "write my parents and let them know I was okay". I found that kind of amazing. Meeting my need for care. The Dayville Presbyterian Church indeed has its doors wide open and they've been hosting people on the TransAmerica bike route since the 70s. Donations from the bicyclists have been well used, getting amenities like a washer and dryer and a computer for subsequent bicyclists. I used some of the available supplies there and made some pancakes for dinner. As we were there in town, a number of other bicyclists arrived, some coming actually from the West. I was happy. We slept on the floor of the community room as other people slept in the community room or in the sanctuary of the Church. We packed up the next morning, had breakfast in the town, at a restaurant with some of the bicyclists, and continued pedaling on. We were then heading towards the city of John Day where we were hoping to get more bike tires. We also had a plan to CouchSurf with a host there.

We passed through the city of Mount Vernon, I checking a supply store for fuel canisters such that we could boil and purify water, but they had no fuel canisters that fit our stove. I found that while I had stopped in the store, S had passed by but then as I caught up to her, her tire had popped. We changed the tire on the edge of the city of Mount Vernon as it started to downpour. We bicycled into the city of John Day and checked a hardware store and then a Les Schwab, but they had no tires that would fit but they did have some tires at a kids toy store. Cheaper in quality but available. We then went back westward towards the CouchSurfing host. After meeting Ryan and his son, we then all travel back into town to get groceries. After dinner we all watched a movie "Dances with Wolves". The next morning I recall being kinda tired, really tired. We packed up, left latter than desired, bicycled into town with the intent to depart, and then after visiting the visitor center and watching the video "Kam Wah Chung | Oregon Experience | OPB" I wanted to see the Kam Wah Chung & Co. Museum. "When would I be here again ?" I thought. We decided to stay an additional day with our CouchSurfing host who kindly let us stay in his house another night. The Kam Wah Chung & Co. Museum was exceptionally interesting to me. I had all sorts of observations and ideas that I thought would be more directly related to the experience of Chinese American people, based on watching my grandmother and family, based on experiences of scarcity, and conservation within such in a city like this than maybe some of the museum docents had.

For one small example: in the picture at this link the kitchen had a few cans of foods like sauerkraut and beets on the shelves. The docent suggested that these were some of the strange foods Lung On and herbal doctor Ing Hay liked and that is why they were on hand. My observation yielded the idea that these were the can foods that they didn't use because they didn't like it and left it on the shelf, or know what to do with sauerkraut based on the remembered observation that my grandmother did not throw a good can of food away, and she had a few cans of beets and sauerkraut, that sat there in her house for years.

Another idea was that businessman Lung On and Ing Hay had the intent to returning to China, never did, and that this was strange and sad. From what I had learned in Asian-American Studies courses, the idea of the sojourning Chinese person was a false but popular American idea based on the story of immigration and discrimination (a quick google reference). My interpretation of their behavior and choices was then that they might not have ever had the idea to return to China, intentionally created community here in Oregon, and that the pattern of behavior was not strange but consistent with Chinese American immigration.

The next day we continued bicycling east on Highway 26 into Prairie City. I did the phonecall checkin, a regular experience now. This locality is where we would have the dreaded chip sealed road experience. Bicyclists along the way he had told us of the dangers and horrors of the chipsealed road where little bits of gravel will fly out and strike bicyclists because it's not fully paved into the road but just pressed into hot tar. In theory it was a cheaper way of doing the road but for bicyclists it meant large piles of gravel and little loose bits. We stopped at a hardware store for pedal screws then left. Prairie City was dusty and the road was getting kind of tiring and hot.

There were indeed piles of construction gravel along the roadside as well as in the middle of the bicycle lane as we proceeded forward, crossing the boundary into the Malheur National Forest.

We stopped at The Austin House Cafe, the only building I saw to mark Austin Junction to make the turn on to Oregon Route 7. We were directed that drinkable water was to be found "... coming out of a pipe in the ground about a mile down the road. It's where everybody gets their water." I felt suspicious.

Here we headed northeast, soon crossing the Middle Fork John Day River then the North Fork of the Burnt River and passed into the Wallowa–Whitman National Forest. The forest was beautiful. We were in the southern part of the Blue Mountains and in the Mesic Forest Zone of the Blue Mountain ecoregion. As we exited the forest growth going down into a valley, we were now in Baker County. We crossed the Powder River and then I saw the strangeness I later determined was the Sumpter Valley Gold Dredge (click here to see the satellite image from maps.google.com). It is strange, but I do recall feeling uneasy here and now I read about the ghost Joe Bush who lives here, in the dredge. There were mosquitos here and we were bicycling into dusk, a period of time in which I was having less fun as I found myself reacting strongly to mosquito bites, as well as sleepy. We looked for off road camping, but that would have been better found in the forest than on the populated valley. We searched, but ended up camped at Phillips Lake at Union Creek Campground, a campground just at the edge where we reentered the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.

In the morning after leaving the RVs and the campsite behind we ventured past the Phillips Reservoir dam, over the hill and went down Oregon 7 toward the valley alongside the Powder River and toward Baker City. I stopped on a empty but automatic weigh station to weigh myself then, as S arrived, was passed by this bicyclist who was also on a Bike Friday, though hers was an upright bike. We exchanged cards and then we went on our way east as she caught up with her group that was going west. We got to Baker City and attempted to restock on fuel for the stove to create potable water, groceries, and then bike parts after finding a small part of the drive chain had snapped. As it was Sunday, there was no bike shop open, so we camped again in an RV park that was available on the edge of Baker City. We were longing to be camping in the forest.
We left the city of Redmond, going north then along Oregon Route 370 and we found ourselves in a really beautiful valley, between plateaus, by a river, the Crooked River that was having a lot of it's water taken for irrigation. I later found out, by not going along the Ochoco highway, as we had started to the day before, we were saving ourselves the climb to 3200 feet elevation to a high desert plateau (and through a militarized area) and instead we were remaining near 2800 feet, amongst cattle land and depleted forest. At the time, I was puzzled as to what name this valley had, as I saw interesting geology, seen from the vantagepoint of the bicycle. After getting home to Sacramento and researching the subject on the internet I found this area was the northwest corner of the area called the Lower Crooked River Basin part of the Deschutes River Valley ecoregion of the Blue Mountain ecoregion. The geology was interesting as I found this area was the beginning remnant northwest edge of the Crooked River caldera.

We were on our way through Crook County to Prineville. We passed the mouth of the Dry River as it emptied into the Crooked River. I recall saying: "Wow ! That is a dry river !" as I was looking at the dwindled flow and the multiple irrigation canals I saw, way before I knew the given name of the river.

The Crooked River caldera was apparently one of the largest known explosive eruptions on Earth that happened 29.5 million years ago and we were now entering at the northwest corner of a vent. Here was apparently, as I am not a geologist, silicic tuff and rhyolite dome complexes, basalt and basaltic andesite, according to OregonGeology.org. For me, specifically, I saw interesting geologic formations as I bicycled along the valley. I was noting and now have identified Deschutes Formation basalt interlayed with Rattlesnake tuff layers as labeled in this image:

Deschutes Formation olivine-phyric basalt flows and the Rattlesnake ash flow tuff exposed in the Crooked River Canyon south of Prineville (credit to OregonGeology.org)

Buttes capped with basalt.

We entered Prineville, passing many signs saying "Welcome Facebook", then camped near the Ochoco Reservoir, on the Ochoco Creek.

I was puzzled by the "Welcome Facebook" signage, and upon being home, I recalled the vaguely familiar sense I had read about Prineville / Facebook from here: "Facebook to run on Coal!? « It’s Getting Hot In Here" from February 2011, received by me as a Rising Tide North America person, as Facebook's new data center was a hot topic. Such a large user of energy really could make a stance on where their electricity is sourced from, and choose not from burning of coal.

The next day we bicycled east via Route 26 into the Mill Creek Wilderness, part of the Ochoco National Forest. As we left camp we experienced a flat tire then further along the road we had another. This is when we met Thirtysixer, as he paused to see if we needed any assistance, then as quietly sped off, after we exchanged CouchSurfing info: Sky Horne

We camped at the Ochoco Summit (el. 4720 ft.) of the Ochoco Mountains.

Here is a recap of various pictures from Panoramio. Here is a picture of the forboding signage at Cougar Hot Springs "No parking sign, I mile from hot springs." but here is a Panoramio picture of a fair rendition of the Cougar Hot Springs as I saw it on the Summer bicycle trip "Rebuilt Cougar Hot Spring, June 2010"

Here is a fair picture from Panoramio of the Rooster Rock fire "Rooster Rock Fire - Sisters, OR August 2010"

and a beautiful picture of "Three Sisters"
We arrived in Sisters, Oregon, a place I had been wanting to visit for a while. A city with a cool name. The landscape of the small city and Deschutes County was beautiful. While bicycling here we were on a more frequented established bicycle route, The TransAmerica Route, so had been seeing more bicyclist, mostly passing us traveling east to west. One was Bruce Moore who blessed us with including us in his blog "Westbound on the TransAm: 93 Days Discovering America" here. He was fascinated with the SatRDay, which was fascinating to me as we had just spent a lot of time on that bicycle's maintenance and road repairs. His blog has great pictures which I appreciated as I had decided to not bring a camera, desiring to spend my time enjoying bicycle touring and not the slow blogging I have done up until now (as this blog post is October 27, 2011, more than a year after finishing my Summer 2010 bicycle trip) and in the past.

The Roster Rock fire was very present, and had posted updates in town. The fire was problematic for us specifically as we had had plans of being in Bend, Oregon, as we needed to pick up a specific thing in that town, being delivered on a fixed timeline. We were significantly diverting just to go there.

In Sisters, we were directed to camp in the city park Sisters State Park. This tradition was apparently well established as there were many bicyclists traveling through. The campground was fair and convenient, but had a lot of motorhomes.

As we were heading into the "high desert" and were definitely in the leeward side of the Cascade Range, in the rain shadow, I was wanting to find greater water storage capacity.

We headed out of town along U.S. Route 20 going southeast toward Bend, Oregon, a city I had heard, in my proposed move to Oregon, four years ago, as the aversive comparative, ".. well it's not like were moving to Bend Oregon!" so my expectations were mixed. A city with a 'reputation', yet also a new city for me.

The passage through the leeward side of the fire was smokey. Occasional stoppages of traffic flow. The views of the Three Sisters volcanic peaks was beautiful, and different than the views I had gotten from the northern aspect from Oregon Route 126 and Santiam Pass. I could definitely identify the three "Faith", "Hope", "Charity" especially as there was signage and markers.

We planned on couchsurfing with Griffin while in Bend. We passed a Flashback Cruz car show which was very crowded and popular (with others) after making our appointed connection. I enjoyed getting to know Griffin and had a great time there. He had arranged for a 'Mexican Night' so his friends came over and shared food.

We left going northeast avoiding U.S Route 97 toward Redmond, Oregon. We saw rural farms, lots of lava rock architecture, and some lamas and alpacas.

Had I know the "Horse Lava Tube System" or the "Redmond Caves" of Redmond were here I would have wanted to explore them, but we didn't. You may see links to them here and here. What I did hear about was the Redmond Canyon, and hearing it was a landfill was not that interesting from a tourist standpoint, but sad for me from a environmental standpoint. We also had logistical difficulty trying to find camping as I was feeling more and more tired, unable to think or plan, and we had to turn around on Oregon Route 126 east, as we found there was a military base east of Redmond, which equalled 'no camping'. Apparently this was the historical site of the "Oregon Maneuver".

The next day, after looking for camping refill supplies and bicycle supplies we took Route 370 to get to Prineville. We went through a beautiful valley with high edges.
Cougar Hot Springs was spooky. Not that anything adverse happened but it had a "no camping zone" for a mile in each direction of the hot springs and the potential of an unpaved road section that had been reported from a helpful passerby bicyclist.

We hid the bicycles along the trail and hiked up to the hot springs. There we met others, encountered some general young adult behavior, and then after leaving, bicycled away. The unpaved gravel section we eventually found was brief but abrupt, especially while traveling at night. We camped along the road after it had gotten way way too dark.

In the morning we found and finally touched the McKenzie River. Beautiful. The town of Rainbow was brief. Following the now well established route on the AdventureCycling map, Orgon Route 126, we bicycled to McKenzie Bridge, where I had a mocha.

We opted for the option of Santiam Pass as the other, McKenzie Pass, seemed too steep according to the elevation profile on the map, so we stayed on Oregon Route 126. I stopping briefly at Belknap Lodge at Belknap Springs, looked around seeing a builtup resort spa then we bicycled on.

We bicycled, camping at Olallie Campground in the Willamette National Forest campsite along the McKenzie Highway near Olallie Creek.

The next day I saw some beautiful roadside waterfalls along the road of Highway 126 near Carmen-Smith Hydroelectric plant at the foot of the Carmen Reservoir. Then we had a stop at Sahalie Falls of the McKenzie River which turned into a lunch break.

We had another break at Fish Lake, a somewhat dry lake, and opposite the lakeside of the road was a huge lava field. Still a new experience to me, seeing lava fields, that I found fun. At Fish Lake Remount Depot we refilled up on water on this sunny day.

The next spot we camped at was a most exciting adventure. We saw this spot along the highway that was clearly at one time a parking area that was now blocked off by boulders. Further up the hill were branches strewn, totally not randomly, poorly concealing a trail. Then this great big lava tube pit cave was there. What was in there ? Why was it half heartedly blocked off, yet not with signage to stay away ? Smartphone google skills revealed little information for me, but I later found it was a rather famous cave, Sawyers Cave, that was taken off the roles of tourist sites to allow forest restoration and recovery. Here are some (other people's) links to pictures of Sawyers Cave: http://undergroundplaces.blogspot.com/2010/06/spelunking-at-sawyers-cave.html and http://www.allaroundbend.com/component/content/252.html?task=view . At the time of us bicycling by, there was not the photos here http://www.panoramio.com/photo/36247612 nor the gate.

There be mosquitoes here.

The next day we has as a goal of going over Santaim Pass. We left camp going up then crested a small hill then downhill passed Santiam Junction then began going uphill again. There was some weird police action as I bicycled near and around the tuya volcano Hogg Rock, phalanxed motorcycle cops around an olderstyle motorhome then more and then more cops. Both the tuya and the actions of the police drew my attention.

We crossed Santiam Pass (4,817ft) then sped downhill, seeing signs of the forest fire that had been here as well as seeing signage about the amount of erosion that Black Butte received as compared to the mountains west of here. As there was lesser water because of the orographic lift of the Cascades Range (the mountains we had just crossed), there was less precipitation, no glaciation and thus less erosion. The Geography classes I had taked I was seeing in life !

Stopped at Suttle Lake, then bicycled past Black Butte, then into The City of Sisters as we saw signs of the Rooster Rock fire of August 2nd.
The Aufderheide Memorial Drive was beautiful. Considering the town of Oakridge at mile 0 at about 1124ft elevation, we went alongside the North Fork Middle Fork of the Willamette River. We then passed the old growth area of the Aufderheide at mile 27 about 2880ft elevation. Here I felt sad and mad. Here we had issues of stuff. I already carry weight about issues of stuff. Currently, on the bicycle trip, my stuff was fitting into two borrowed Axiom Monsoon panniers, with a stuff sacked Sierra Designs three person tent, a stuff sacked borrowed sleeping bag, sleeping bag liner, and a borrowed Thermarest pad. I had the idea I was carrying necessary items, but also saw that "necessary" is relative.

In researching what to pack, I read of people carrying radios, wine glasses, pillows. None of which I had. Blogs were replete with stories of how this stuff was deemed excessive and sent back home by postal mail. I heard it as a maxim "Stuff will be sent back". I thought differently. I was careful with what I packed. Everything I had packed I choose cause it had had multiple purposes.

On the road, I kept getting told I had too much stuff, yet had no guidance as to what I should consider getting rid off. To this I had a reaction of anger. I also heard in the criticisms there was a sense of care and an attempt to understand what I was carrying. I notice I still feel defensive about my stuff, an indicator to me about the energy I have about my stuff, and the energy I believe I put into having less stuff than most people.

The discussion peaked as we were cresting the small range, at mile 32 at about 3533ft elevation.

We sped downhill along the South Fork McKenzie River into the Cougar Reservoir Area. At Rainbow we joined the eastbound path of the AdventureCycling TransAmerica Trail, along Oregon Route 126.

Aufderheide Memorial Drive

Aufderheide Memorial Drive National Forest Development Road 19

The Aufderheide Memorial Drive was one of the best places to bicycle. Overhanging branches of trees, dappled light, old growth forest and a very non-busy road.

We arrived at the town of Oakridge, left Highway 58, visited the small town of Westfir (I admiring and appreciating the Office Bridge, Oregon's longest existing covered bridge), then continued to the Aufderheide Memorial Drive into the Willamette National Forest.

This route was not on the AdventureCycling map, but should be.

Out of the Deschutes National Forest

The underseat steering attachment bracket was cracked through. I applied a couple of hose clamps to stabilized it enough to move the bicycle without breaking it further.

The water at Wickiup Reservoir was labeled hazardous because of blue green algae growth so our time here was limited. Though beautiful and peaceful, what we were looking for, camping out here would not have lead to a fixed bike, so we tried to wave down passing trucks as they drove by the south eastern end of Wickiup Reservoir.

As we attempted to hitchhike a ride, we called a number of friends. My cellphone had reception and we were able to call Better World Club to be picked up. They had trouble trying to find where we were located. We were in a national forest.

After about three hours of phone negotiating a tow back to the Chemult Amtrak to get a train to Eugene, we constructed a plan to get a tow to Chemult than a pickup from a friend coming from Lost Valley.

The towing service had never picked up a bicycle tow before. As we rode in the cab, we also learned that tire blowouts from semi-trailer trucks happen regularly and the ODOT then picks up the pieces of shredded tire as the truck driver is supposed to just keep going. We learned the name of the Davis forest fire of 2003, and saw more of the lava fields, now from a higher vantage point from within the cab of the tow truck.

There are beautiful lava flows in Oregon, which I am guessing is identified as A'a by the descriptions I read here: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Lava#Volcanic_morphologies and what I saw here: http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=43.636696,-121.809196&spn=0.070194,0.113297&t=h&z=13&lci=com.panoramio.all,org.wikipedia.en&layer=c&cbll=43.636647,-121.809297&panoid=u2_Ynfu4ncjnK-VNfdgPJg&cbp=12,351.82,,0,21.27 at here http://maps.google.com/maps?sll=43.629288,-121.766694&sspn=0.1,0.1&ie=UTF8&ll=43.64651,-121.79821&spn=0.13937,0.226593&t=h&z=12&lci=org.wikipedia.en and just throwing in a random internet photo of the lava flow, (though we didn't climb it to see the flow from this photo's perspective). I had not ever seen such uniformly black craggy outcroppings stretching over a wide expanse of land, relatively flat, yet appearing sharp and rough, surrounded by coniferous forest.

In the tow truck we quickly passed by what had taken the past few days to bicycle through. It had taken so long to bicycle this route: from Chemult northeast on Highway 97 then we bicycling northwestward up the Williamette Highway (Oregon Route 58) to then go east at the the Crescent Cutoff Rd. / Co Route 1351 then turned north onto Co Highway 1352 then continuing on Co Highway 46 / National Forest Development Road 850, all part of the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway as I noticed I was getting sleepier and more fatigued, not physically fatigued, but mentally fatigued and subsequently more irritable, becoming myself irritable at my lowered threshold of irritability.

By dusk, we saw our friend, R which was a welcome sight to see as he arrived in his pickup truck pulling into Chemult minutes after we arrived.

It was well near midnight when we got to the community of Lost Valley, near Dexter in the foothills outside of the City of Eugene. I was glad to have an easy to pitch tent to set up in the field.

I collated and computerized some photographic slides of permaculture sites for R assisting him for his next permaculture class and imminent travel for him during the next few days. I enjoyed being at Lost Valley, revisited many aspects of it as we stayed there camping for the next three days.

BikeFriday assessed the damage to the bicycle and, multiple phone calls later, needed "special steel shipped from Seattle" to perform the repairs. Having been at Lost Valley for a couple of days, we said bye to R and others and moved to our other friend R's house in nearby Pleasant Hill as BikeFriday continued working to complete the repairs. I had fun seeing R and S, the last time seeing then was at the Buckeye Gathering. I give credit to R being the one who started me on making things like this:

There at R's house we had some peaceful raw food dinners and enjoyable quiet. We also had a couple of visits to the City of Eugene to resupply for the trip and to be at a birthday party.

Roughly a week after being rescued from the middle of a national forest, "BIKE POWER !!" was surprising shouted to us from community as we pedaled away and up into the foothills of the Willamette Valley.

The road going eastward out of the Willamette Valley up into the foothills of the Cascade Range through Lane County by way of Highway 58 was here forested, shady, narrow, hazardous, with little shoulder to navigate the bicycles on as contrasting with when we were going westward on this same highway where the route was hazardous there because of the highspeed truck traffic, sunny, hot, and dusty. I appreciated here the ecosystem contrasts of the wet lush forest here v. the drier rain shadow on the leeward side of the Cascade Range.

Next was the Aufderheide Memorial Drive and over the Cascade Range in to high dry eastern Oregon.

We really were not stuck at the junction of 'leaving Crater Lake' and arriving at the small town of Chemult, for as long as this interruption in writing about it took.

Yesterday was my birthday and I celebrated by bicycling around Davis, California. I visited Delta of Venus cafe having a warm vegan soup, then browsed the artist cooperative The Artery (pretty colors, waxes, fabrics, turned wooden bowls) then rode out to D–Q University, where the local permaculture group was planning, earlier in March, 2011, to go to assist planting fruit trees as DQU was having a tree planting with CommonVision.org's "Fruit Tree Tour", but the planting had been cancelled because of rain, twice.

I had not yet seen the physical area of DQU yet, so was happy to have the opportunity of bicycling out there and back yesterday then ending up at the Davis Food Co-op. I was also happy to see the Yolo County Airport as I bicycled past, cause I like airports.

The evening before, I was going to go to a memorial for Japan "Haiku4Japan" but missed being at the event, instead joining the organizer for "Japanese Fondue" (finding out it is actually Shabu-Shabu) as well as having my first experience of a sake bomb. I felt it had some elements of irony, a sake 'bomb', as we all talked about climate change, Fukushima, radioactivity. None of the other restaurant patrons seemed to notice when the group around me sang "Happy Birthday" to me. We then humored that they might be possibly relieved, contrasting to the quiet but gloomy end civilization discussions going on amongst us previous.

Since my last update in December, I have been busy in the present. I have been searching for healthcare and healthcare options, a search with no right answers, but lots of potential pitfalls. We ( NevadaDesertExperience.org ) had a decision of whether to hire an intern whose references were good, except from where it counted the most. The Sacramento Valley Permaculture Guild group lost then gained an organizer. I helped paint the new tool shed in the Community Garden. Computerwise I have been mapping out the summer bicycle ride on MapMyRide.com , as well as studying CEUs for my regular license renewal and enrolling in Geography course. Socially, we have had our friend Shannon leave for a crewing trip across the Pacific Ocean, multiple CouchSurfers and CouchSurfing meetups for the New Year. Then in January, a founder of Nevada Desert Experience, Sr Rosemary Lynch died, all requiring bits of my time to organize, reorganize and publicize.

Additionally since the beginning of the new year, there have been initial appointments with new-to-me healthcare providers, as well as the excitement of finding people who have a diagnosis of narcolepsy on the internet, surprisingly enough for me on facebook. The local Sacramento CouchSurfing group got a boost of energy as I 'made' a number of new moderators for the group such that there are more regular local group events. I also had a class reunion, something I had not ever "planned" on going to. In going I felt it was a challenge to go, challenging the accumulation of ideas that I had of how other classmates perceived me then and might perceive me now. My perception of myself, from high school, was that I was a sleepy kid that was "nice" but often not able to have enough energy to arrive in class. I missed being in class often, sometimes by my accounting, about a third of the time absent. When I did have energy to arrive, I recall feeling sleepy due to a now explanation of an undiagnosed narcolepsy. I even missed the class photo opportunities, so there really was no visible enduring sign I was even in the high school class. I was very happy to have been able to be at the reunion. I had enjoyed seeing where the other people were at in their lives, hearing their perspectives.

Busyness: Been organizing regular meetups for the Sacramento Valley Permaculture Guild, the offshoot: "Liberation Permaculture" meetups, and regularly occurring Sacramento CouchSurfing get togethers. My class for geography "Weather Studies" has also been consuming my time. Reading about the ongoing Fukushima events, and how it might affect the number of participants on the upcoming Sacred Peace Walk 2011. Maybe more people would come to protest against nuclearism, but maybe some might avoid being involved because of fears of possible additional radiation exposure.

I felt this was a good short blurb for the Sacred Peace Walk: " : Nuclear power and nuclear weapons are never safe. Join Nevada Desert Experience on the Sacred Peace Walk 2011 , April 17 to April 25, from Las Vegas to the Nevada National Security Site (formerly named the Nevada Test Site) to protest nuclearism. The SPW this year ends at the NNSS as the world commemorates the 25th Anniversary of the Chernobyl Disaster."

Back to the Summer Bicycle trip 2010

Here are some pictures of Black Butte, the route leaving California, and Crater Lake:
Pictures of Black Butte, the route leaving California and Crater LakeCollapse )

When I lived at Lost Valley, near Dexter Reservoir, 18 miles southeast of the Eugene area of Oregon, I would often take the Amtrak Coast Starlight back and forth to the California Bay Area visiting for a week each month. The Amtrak station stop before the Eugene Amtrak Station was Chemult Amtrak Station where, due to the timing of the train, it would often be early dawn or late at night when the train passed through the small town with a very brief stop. For three years I had wanted to visit and explore this tiny town that I had only seen from the vantage point of the train window, more often than not seemingly covered in snow.

We left Crater Lake National Park, from the northern park entrance, and had the choice to either undertake a more hilly route called the "Windigo Pass" (that might have long stretches of unpaved gravel roads) that would take us toward the Willamette Valley and the Eugene area, or go east toward the flatter highway traveled area on the route toward Chemult and then Bend, Oregon.

"Windigo Pass" sounded formidable, S's recumbent bicycle with it's road bicycle tires was less stable on gravel, and we had the idea of a goal of arriving in Montreal, so we headed east.

We had multiple mosquito bouts at Crater Lake as well as along North Umpqua Highway No. 138. We decided to get lodging in Chemult. Cute town. Mainly a truck stop. Mostly saw the Pilot Travel Center. Here in Chemult, we ended being on the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway.

As we bicycled out of Chemult, along U.S. Route 97 we stopped at a ranger station. I then found out that the "snow Aedes" were the mosquitoes that were the cause of this unusual amount of mosquito activity. We then headed northwest along Oregon Route 58. Along Route 58, we discovered closeup why there were shredded tire parts along the roadside, as the result of an semi-trailer truck had a blowout of a tandem wheel, notable as the truck kept on going despite the explosion and flying rubber and metal. At the junction of Co Highway 1352 we entered the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway, passed Davis Lake and the Davis Lake volcanic field, then the Deschutes National Forest. Beautiful lava fields, huge areas of sharp looking lava, large areas of burned forest from the Davis forest fire in 2003. While searching for a site for wilderness camping, we arrived at warning signs about the hazards of the water at Wickiup Reservoir, then there was a crack that fully disabled one of the bikes.

We attempted to hitchhike a ride and searched for who we knew in Oregon and was in the memory of my cellphone.

Clear Water of Crater Lake

'Mazama Village Campground' we used as a base camp for the next couple of days to visit Crater Lake National Park. As Y and S's mom, A, arrived by car, we were able to visit parts of Crater Lake and the surrounding area that we possibly could not have seen by foot or bicycle only, but on-the-other-hand, by car we kinda missed areas we might have otherwise enjoyed without a vehicle. I, however, was glad to be in the car and out of the clouds of mosquitos. The mosquito hat I brought received more than a couple of bidders to acquire it from me. 

I was glad we had packed a U-lock and cable and so locked and left the bikes at 'Mazama Village Campground'. 

We drove up the distance from Mazama Village to the edge of the caldera, where we visited the Rim Village Historic District. I liked, as a student of architecture, the rustic style of the building ornamentation. We walked along the edge of the rim astonished by the blue blue beauty of the water in Crater Lake below reflecting the blue of the sky above. While at Rim Village we saw least chipmunks, white snow piles on the rim path and on the interior slope of the caldera, July tourists, and mosquitos, lots of clouds of mosquitos.

Inside the Sinnott Memorial Observation Station I was very happy reading and learning about the names and nature of some of the geology and landmarks, like the massive Llao Rock (click for google images) and the spikiness of the Devil's backbone (click for google images). On display in the Observation Station was also a secchi disk, used for measuring water clarity, and lots of interpretive signage retelling the history of Crater Lake. 

This day we also visited the Crater Lake Lodge and took photos of the lake and the surrounding landscape. 

That evening S, Y, and A went to a Ranger lead campfire lecture but returned shortly to the tents, as overwhelmed by the mosquitos. I was already hiding in the tent. 

The next day we drove back down to Union Creek and visited the collapsed lava tube which then received the Rogue River forming the Rouge River Gorge (click for google images) and Natural Bridge (click for google images), a natural bridge underwhich the Rogue River flowed. 

Then next morning we packed up and S and I bicycled up from Mazama Village (6,004ft) to Rim Village (7,100ft) and turned onto Rim Drive as Y and A left. S and I went clockwise going around the caldera, convenient for our path, but also safer as then we were against the road and the inner rim going in the direction of the automobile traffic. Safer as drivers would be usually looking toward the lake rather than away which if we had been riding the other direction would have meant an impact would push us down Mount Mazama into the forest. 

On Rim Drive just north of Watchman Lookout Station on Watchman Peak, we reached 'North Junction' (7,025ft) turned northwestward, and heading down the mountain. I enjoyed the Pumice Desert (click for google images). That evening we coasted downhill to the northern boundary of the National Park (1,783ft), and decided to head toward Bend, Oregon. We did have as a possible goal of bicycling to Montreal. We headed eastward on Oregon Route 138 then passed a junction with the Pacific Crest Trail again, then reaching the eastern end of Route 138 and turned northeast onto U.S. Route 97 riding into Chemult

I had been wanting to visit and explore Chemult, more thoroughly for years. 

The Road to Crater Lake

We quickly left the campsite we had created along a turn off road of Oregon Route 62 in the morning. Around midnight, the time period that I was noticing I was becoming most awake, an SUV had parked about three hundred feet from us, just a little too close to where we had discreetly camped and where we had erected our tents behind a stand of trees attempting to be undetectable from the road. We were concerned that the driver would want us to pack up and leave, or worse harass us. Their intent, if any, was unclear.

The driver had the engine idling then the SUV drove off after about an hour. It was hard to determine what was really going on v. the fears of potentially being harassed.

In the morning, I was relieved to find that the driver had apparently just had digestive issues, as determined by the paper traces he/she left behind.

We had packed a titanium gardening trowel (that S and I had had for our gardening in our garden plot in Sacramento) and each of us had a supply of toilet paper and an ethic of "Leave-No-Trace". I had attempted to not buy a lot of new gear for this bicycle trip, let alone, lightweight gear was expensive, but I also wanted to be OK if things got damaged, which I thought would be harder if the item was new and expensive. The weight of my gear didn't seem to be a problem for me in bicycling, consistent with the beliefs I had when choosing and looking at gear and preparing for the trip. Most of my gear was stuff I already had or was borrowing from S who had chosen for her, to upgrade certain items for increased warmth or lightness.

The morning blurriness was regularly becoming a point of struggle for me, my thoughts, and autonomic behaviors. I recall regularly feeling startled as woke and reawoke while my body was doing things like an automation.

We bicycled into the tourist stop of 'Union Creek Historic District' at 3,323ft. elevation. We then continued bicycling parallel past the upper Rogue River and continued the long slow climb up the slopes of Mount Mazama.

When we got separated by the nature of our different bicycling speeds, the inability to hear or really interact with each other while riding single file, and need for rest or refueling (snack) breaks, we would often rest and wait for the others to catchup at some landmark or junction of the road. I recall leaving markers on the road at the western entrance (4,850ft) (as we were going northeastward into the park) of Crater Lake National Park after having waited for a long time.

As we got further into the park and higher in elevation, the mosquito level increased, urging me forward. The mosquito level was also most intense during the dusk, and dawning morning. I had two different mosquito repellents and was regularly putting spray diphenhydramine on the reddened bites that was working to reduce the bites that often swelled to about the size of a quarter and contributed concomitantly to drowsiness in me.

As we increased in elevation we passed by many patches of snow. I was enjoying the ride, noting we had left Jackson County and had entered Klamath County. I also noted with a keen eye that Klamath County utilized wooden poles rather than metal to have as snow pole markers. I also noted the mosquitos that landed on my bicycle and hitched a ride. I found out later they were different than the usual breeds for this area, these ones being known as a group "Snow Aedes" as identified by range, photos and verbal descriptions of how they hatch from the snow and don't need standing water to breed that I heard while on the trip. Here are some google images of Ochlerotatus communis, images of Aedes punctor, images of Aedes hexodontus

After cresting 6,200ft elevation the road intersected with the Pacific Crest Trail, where there was a huge marker and informational signage of what the PCT was, then about a mile further down the road I left a marker of my left turn onto 'Crater Creek Rd.' into 'Mazama Village'. 

When Y and S arrived, they recounted to me the idealized version of me sipping a refreshing drink inside the cafe of 'Mazama Village' at 6,004ft elevation, whereas the truth was I was trying to find a camping spot, possibly an indoor spot, for us to be in overnight. The current plan I had heard was that S and Y's mom was going to be arriving tomorrow and pick up Y after all of us being here for a few days. I was hesitant to be outdoors in this level of mosquitos. I heard that that would have been their idealized vision for themselves, upon arriving at the end of the day of bicycle riding. I actually didn't feel muscularly tired, just regularly drowsy, and kinda cold.

We got one of the camping spots at 'Mazama Campground'. Which was a good thing as the rental cabins were filled, the Crater Lake Lodge full, so the staff were directing people to go to camp at the town of Prospect (from where we had come) or to go further north, by many miles, to a possibly full campground. I commiserated with one of the staff members who was expressing astonishment as how the sizes of RVs had grown to now being more often than not the size of Greyhound buses (being motorhomes or fifth wheel trailers) and thus they were taking up more space in the campgrounds. She also pointed out to me where a motorhome had also adversely impacted the roof of the kiosk she was stationed in. 

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