but the real title is: "Lone Pine, the ice cream truck, Annie's Cafe in Richland, Cliff Crego, Idaho !, how a symptom of narcolepsy (automatic behaviors) expressed itself, potatoes, and the Council Music Festival"
Here is a website that has an 'Elevation Chart'
that includes portions of where we were bicycling. The chart includes Santiam Pass, Ochoco Pass (elevation 4720), Keyes Creek Pass (elevation 4369) to Rock Creek Junction. Dixie Pass (elevation 5277) then Austin Junction then Tipton Pass and Sumpter Pass then Baker City
. Thank you very much for taking the interest to read of my Summer 2010 bicycle trip.
In Baker City we picked up groceries, did laundry, spent time in a city park, and finally we were able to pick up the replacement part for the broken bike chain. I recalled that as we passed Mason dam, the dam at Phillips Lake, that there was evidence and signage of beavers repopulating this area. I was happy hearing, seeing the signage, and reading that factoid here
We then peddled northeastward out on Route 86
up the hill toward the Oregon Trail monument.
As we left Baker Valley and headed on Route 86, the beginning of The Hells Canyon Scenic Byway
, from the "Blue Mountain Basin"
into the "Continental Zone Foothills" of the Blue Mountain ecoregion
we passed a small monument at the Baker Valley Rest Area kiosk
to the Lone Pine, the last tree cut down in the valley
apparently by accident or by greed. As we passed the area called Flagstaff Hill we saw a historical marker that displayed wagon wheel trail ruts (pictures of the wagon wheel ruts and the lack of lone pine can be seen here
) of the portion of the famed Oregon Trail
headed toward the Grande Ronde Valley, then we passed the trailhead leading upto the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center
. The dry hills here contrasted sharply with the Valley Foothills of the Willamette Valley
I had experientially more associated with "Oregon" and with the forest we had been in just days before. Here the land was very dry and rolling hills. Continuing eastward on Route 86, we got to this area (click here
) where there apparently had been a huge land slide that had blocked off Route 86, and the connected dependent communities, for sometime in late fall of 1984. The historical signage marker
(image from flickr.com) was emphasizing the geology of the area and how that contributed to the "Hole in the Wall" landslide
As we proceeded eastward over the hills and dry areas, I thought I had began to hallucinate as I was seeing an ice cream truck in the far distance. It was true I was hot, getting tired, and sleepy, and my vision was getting blurrier I noticed. Nonetheless as we passed over Kirby Creek then Eagle Creek
I did see a Schwan's ice cream truck pulling into the town and I tried to keep up. We got to the town of Richland
, a small little town in eastern Oregon and began to look for a camping spot. The Transamerica map from AdventureCycling
said that there was free camping in a city park, but the instructions on who to check in with about camping here in this town was kind of vague. Luckily for us S
was seen by a shopkeeper who was really nice and waved to us to come in as her store
, a cafe
, was closing for the night. Annie's Cafe
We got a brief bite to eat, and some ice cream, as we set our tent in the city park. The next morning we packed up, letting the tent air out as were heading into possible bears in Idaho, went to the Cafe for breakfast and more ice cream for me. We were pedaling out of town on the way up the big hill when we noticed the steering linkage was breaking so we returned back to town to the hardware store for more hose clamps
cause that was what was available. I recall with a certain amount of energy that I had noticed the shiny mark in the metal of the steering armature (similar to this image)
, which I said was a crack in the metal while at the Bike Friday shop in Eugene, Oregon, but the mechanic there said it was only a scratch. While in the hardware store we came across one of the people we've met in the cafe at breakfast. He offered then made time and welded the little pieces of the steering linkage. By then the day was too late to get out of town. The next day we peddled out of town going up the hill when, halfway up the hill, there was a sudden snap sound and then we found that the bicycle seat
frame had broken. We returned back to town and went to a shop and got that welded. All of which took way longer than me to write this and I write slow considering this is November 2011 of the year after the bike trip that I am writing this journal entry. I am deeply indebted to the people of Richland who not only were kind to us travelers but also welded things. And Schwan's has some good ice cream for Eastern Oregon
While in Richland we met Cliff Crego
who showed us his beautiful photographs and pictures poems
as well as sharing he would be bicycling to Glacier Park where he said he would be in just a little bit. He was pedaling with a trailer
Route 86 travels northeastward to the town of Halfway
where we camped next to a big red barn which was more preferable than the RV park. All of these towns that I have been encountering, I was really liking. They seem to be peaceful and small-town though I really don't know what goes on there. To me as a tourist they seem really nice. As we continued through eastern Oregon we were getting closer to Hells Canyon and the Oxbow Reservoir. This became the next part of the journey because Oxbow Reservoir actually touches Richland but there is no road there so we had to go all the way out of our way visiting all these nice little towns and pedaling all over the dry dry rolling hills to get back to where we wanted to go. We bicycled past the branching Forest Service road 39 that lead to the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area and continued on Route 86, skirting the wilderness, no matter how hard we tried to be within a forest. We passed to the south, the town of Oxbow and the ghost town of Copperfield and finally could see Idaho, across the waters of Oxbow Reservoir, created by the Snake River
being blocked by the Oxbow Dam
. We were in the land owned by the Idaho Power Company
still in Oregon, but now heading southwest on the Oregon side of the reservoir's banks. Thirteen miles upstream, we then crossed Brownlee Dam
and thus crossed into Idaho
! A new state for me. "State to State ! , State to State !
" like the biker yelled to us outside of Weed, California. I was really happy. Here we went from Baker County, Oregon into Adams County Idaho
Now we were on Idaho State Highway 71
. As we spent our first night camping in Idaho, in a campground near the dam, I noticed that the valleys here were deep and at the end of the day, it would seem the growing season shorter since there would be less sunlight available during each day.
By now, one of the symptoms of narcolepsy
that I struggle with, that I now know to be automatic behaviors
attributed to chronic deep restorative sleep depravation, was becoming more noticeably pronounced. To compensate, at the time, I was arising early in the morning, to begin packing, but was then leaving the site so late that we had worked out a plan that S
would wake up and do her packing, then leave instead of waiting for me to finish my packing. We would then meetup on the road along the way. It was not a great plan or process but more a compensation to my moving slower in packing, S
growing frustration to my taking longer and longer to pack, then her contributions to doing other stuff that had me unpacking stuff so she could look at the map or create a meal. I felt frustrated and could not seem to pack faster. I noticed along the way I was beginning to adopt a tactic of unpacking as little as possible in setting up camp in the evening, such that I would not need to packup stuff and more stuff in the mornings. I was feeling desperate to be done with "packing" and be on our way in the morning. It was also not matching my intention to "use" the stuff I brought, or else the unused stuff was just taking up real estate space in my panniers. But what to postal mail away ? I noticed I began to sleep in my clothes, let alone cause I was warmer in the morning if I was already dressed, but that did not make sense to postal mail away the sleeping bag. There was food that I was not using, but would use, but only if I was willing to expend the energy to unpack the food item then spend the energy and time to repack the remains. I noticed I was getting frustrated and sad. As I bicycled in the beautiful Idaho riverside along the reservoir created by Brownlee Dam damming the Snake River, I thought about how this summer bicycle trip was intended for me to be a way to have less energy about physical possessions and 'stuff' and how that path for me felt blocked, as blocked as this river. I could counter with that I had, and have, less stuff than most people, but that rationalized thought was not resolving in less attachment but in psychological pain, that I was noticing as a thought, yet still entangled amongst. I then realized that as the mornings wore on that the entanglements were much more pronounced when I was more tired than less tired. It made sense that accepting the reality of what was and then acting from intention required cognitive distancing that required cognitive energy I was chronically not having.
Route 71 continued along the east side of Brownlee Reservoir and then the road turned and went up a valley into the hills. I got to Gateway, a cafe and store
was and had been resting at, then I had some hashbrowns, and then we were on our way. Along the uphill roadside we came across some roadside plum trees, where S
wanted to stop and rest in the shade. I kinda worried that the plants might be herbicide sprayed, but while in the delicious shade of the plum trees, some Idaho State Fish and Game personnel
stopped by to encourage us to eat of the fresh fruit. After resting a bit, than more bicycling up the valley hillside, I found and stopped by the headquarters of the Cecil Andrus Wildlife Management Area
Department and the same personnel that passed us along the roadside gave me some ice water and apples that were organic by default. Thanks !
We crested the pass and the tiny, tiny bits of the Payette National Forest
and went downhill into some really dry grassy areas, then we got to Washington County
and we got to the city of Cambridge
. The AdventureCycling map said that people could camp in the park under the water tower
. That was pretty easy to find. One of the people at the Idaho State Fish and Game Department had told me his mom sold delicious hot cinnamon rolls at the farmers' market
that would be happening in the park under the water tower in the morning. We set up the tent and then went out to dinner. Y
often had said she wanted us to have an Idaho potato when we got to Idaho. I heard her spirit of adventure and tried to order an Idaho potato in Mrs. G Ranch House restaurant
. Apparently most of the potatoes in Idaho are from Oregon. It's hard to find in Idaho potato in Idaho because Idaho potatoes apparently sell for more abroad because of the name "Idaho Potato
" and so all the potatoes grown here are shipped to other states and countries. I had some meat cause it was "free-range" and "local" and again had a Schwan's ice cream milkshakes, flavored huckleberry. Apparently Schwan's
has the market on delivery of frozen food to small communities like this and that is why I kept seeing Schwan's ice cream truck traveling where we were now. In the morning we saw the small farmers' market and peddled off. We found a small bicycle store Books and Bikes
(that was not yet on our bicycling tour map) and they did a small minor tuneup on the bike and then we headed down U. S. Route 95
across the Little Wiser River. We kept pedaling eastward on and on, now in the edge of the "Continental Zone Foothills" of the Blue Mountains ecoregion and the "Semiarid Foothills" of the Snake River Plain ecoregion
, had lunch here at Lakey's Cafe
cause it was there, then pedaled on. I turned and stopped briefly at the Alpine Store
in this spot of Alpine. I went into the store, because of the advertisement of "free range" beef jerky
By the time I caught up with S
, at the top of the big hill and the historic site of the Mesa Orchards
with a historical marker
, we were back in Adams County. We then pedaled down toward the city of Council
. I remember there is an off road bike trail the Weiser Bicycle Trail here but as we were on road bikes, more or less, we didn't take that opportunity to be away from automobile traffic. We got to the town of Counsel and there was a music festival, the Council Mountain Music Festival
going on August 21st and 22nd (of 2010)
, so we stayed there. The owner from the Alpine Store that I stopped at, was here with a food booth and was really friendly and welcoming, which I enjoyed a lot. Many people took a friendly interest in us, having bicycled from California. The music was really nice to listen to here and I appreciated that we were staying and hearing music because we had bypassed the High Sierra Music Festival
when we were back in Quincy, California in June, near the beginning of our bicycle adventure. A prior year S
and I had gone to the Kate Wolf Memorial Music Festival
's birthday celebration but this year, cause of the bicycle trip and other logistics, bypassed the High Sierra Music Festival despite it being her birthday. This music festival is much smaller but the music was good. I appreciated the fingerstyle guitarwork
of Buddy Tetreault
. The stage was a converted trailer home
. It was being held in a Veterans Memorial Peace Park that had a M60A3 tank AAD SN 1783A
. That evening we pedaled back to the park in the middle of the town because that's where the city park was and where the designated camping was for people on the AdventureCycling bicycling trail. The next day we pedaled back past the Veterans Memorial Peace Park, when the Sunday music part of the festival was taking place.