Nancy Cycles!

Nancy Cycles!
"You got to be careful if you don't know where you are going, because you might not get there." ... Yogi Berra

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Smith Rock State Park

The rock spires of this park, located in central Oregon's high desert, rise above the Crooked River and is where Renee and Susan would fish today. Renee biked with me from their house to the Park, met up with Susan for fly fishing, and I rode on to make a nice loop ride for my day.

Smith Rock State Park is an internationally known rock climbing haven with hundreds of routes to choose from. Millions of years ago this area was a major center of volcanic activity. As with trying to get great photos of the Grand Canyon can never do it justice, so it is with this park and it's "Geologic Wonderland". But here are some anyway ;'-)




After leaving the fisher folk I made my way along the quiet, almost traffic free roads for a complete loop. I came upon a waterfall at the irrigation canal.


And this dear deer crossed my path.


I couldn't pass up some "yard art".

This was a much busier day for me than yesterday when I sat in the van and read while Susan and others fished on Hosmer Lake. I didn't actually mind sitting and reading as it felt great to get some rest and relaxation time. The only thing that happened was a family of otters were romping on the reeds and swimming at the boat launch. By the time I got my camera they were scampering off, and this is the only photo I got.


After the fishing outing yesterday we stopped in Bend for dinner and found Bend to be a lovely, classy town. I was disappointed that my friend Meg who moved here with her husband would be out of town while we were here, and I would not get to see her. I shall return, Meg!

Yesterday Susan was disappointed that she caught no fish and was beginning to think her fishing skills were deteriorating. Today she caught four, and has redeemed herself with herself. Everyone had a great day and we enjoyed dinner that Renee and Tim had prepared for us as part of this outing weekend.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Interim Day

No "real" activity today as we transition into another mode. We filled some time with chores and scouring a few bike shops in Eugene while my bike was having its face lift. We did not get to see any of the Olympic Trials, and in fact we believe they have taken a break for a day or two.

Once we got my bike we hit the road south to Redmond, Oregon where the fly fishing outing will be hosted by members of the club. Susan planned the drive across the old McKenzie Highway as a beautiful sightseeing route and we were not disappointed. We even had some snow for our summer drive! Fortunately it was on the side of the road and not on the road.

Neither of us knew we would be driving through a lava field and viewing Belknap Crater. I would never be able to describe it, so will let some photos do it for me. Even then, it doesn't do it justice.

I believe this is Three Sisters mountain.

Lava field is huge. The last activity in Belknap Crater was 1800 (eighteen hundred!!!) years ago.

We walked to the top of the observation tower. Don't be too impressed -- there is an easy, winding paved trail from the parking lot to the top -- we did not scramble nor bolder hop...



Halsey to Coburg, OR

This was our last day for the tour. Of the 19 cyclists on our tour, six of us have Bike Fridays.

Several of us followed Susan's alternate route from the motel and avoided the HILL as well as that awful highway we rode in on. Those who chose the hill route enjoyed their ride as well, the route we took was completely car free and flat and much to our liking. There was quite a chill in the morning air so we were once again bundled up in warm wear.

Had to have a snack stop of course.
Link the stud was directly across from our snack spot and peeking through the fence with curiosity in his eye. He was quite entertaining as he ran around a few times and returned to look at us, then when I waved at him he gave a long and loud whinny.

This was the shortest day of our tour, and the sun barely had time to come out for us before we were near the end. And then someone said the word Bakery.

We said our goodbyes at the park and each went our separate ways. Susan and I will make our way to her fly fishing outing weekend in Redmond, OR. Our first stop is here in Eugene where the Bike Friday manufacturer is located. I had prearranged to bring my bike there for a handlebar exchange and have just a few small things I want to have them check out.

We dropped off my bike for work in the morning, checked in to our motel, and walked about town for a bit. We had to at least get to (tax free) REI while are in town. Eugene can be thought of as a throw back to the Hippy era, and we strolled through what is surely true Hippyville, which we both rather like a lot.

Our next adventure will begin soon ;'-)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Albany to Halsey, OR

Another great cycling day, although the second half brought us headwind for most of the way. Strong headwind I might add. That helped tire us out by the end of the day.

We were still in the country side and enjoyed the farm animals. Two of the goats in this group were "bickering" and the goat dog ran at them to put a stop to it. They ambled off into their own spot to graze and peace prevailed.

The farm buildings add to the peaceful landscape, and country homes nestle in the trees.

There are often times we need to stop to look at our map, have a chat about the route, or (yes, even on a bike rde) answer a cell phone.

I was taken by the vast fields of clover -- I have to guess for bees?

Our friends Linda and Brent had to leave us early for family commitments in Montana and then Idaho. We said our goodbyes midway in our riding day and know we will miss them for our final day tomorrow. But Linda will be glad to know that if she had to quit, she did it at the right time -- that horrendous headwind began just after Brent loaded up her and her bike for their departure. I became a bit envious at the time, but now that it is in my past, I am happy to have successfully completed the ride and tamed the wind!

Three of us found a cafe in the town of Shedd. With no town sign, we thought we were in Thomas Mills where we were to meet up with others for a lunch stop. Where was everyone? Oh well, we are hungry so let's eat and worry about them later. They of course were in Thomas Mills, just a mile further down the road. However, we were the ones who found the only restaurant in the area while they had "picnic fare" at a town park.

We have ridden near the Willamette River for quite a bit on or tour, but seldom got to see it. Today we got a glimpse.

The very end of the ride for the day was, once again, plagued with a strong headwind, this time coupled with loud traffic on a highway. Not the greatest was to end a day, but getting the the motel with snacks and drinks by the poolside was a welcome treat.

Monday, June 25, 2012

On to Albany

This day we did ride the actual tour! We were in and out of some light rain, and as you can see by Tango's sunglasses, we had periodic sun. Actually Tango is prepared for either or both.

Tango is our friends Kristi and Kristin's loyal friend.

Our route was on quiet roads with more country living. The horses, cows, goats, sheep and alpacas gave little notice as we cruised by during their lazy grazing, and the rolling hills gave just the right amount of leg and lung challenge to let us know we were pedaling bikes.

We were ready for tea and crumpets by the time we entered the town of Independence. As one might guess -- Independence is the place to be for the fourth of July.

And the 2EZ was open. It was quite something with antiques and, well, junk on the tables, lining the walls, and on any available flat surface. Our server never stopped talking to us the entire time, told us the remodeling they were in the midst of HAS to be done by Friday (by the looks of things this could never happen), and told us every detail of the remodel and history of this place and other places in town. We had difficulty getting him to stop talking and let us pay to get on our way...

Finally we got released and could ride on!

Kristi was the only one of our smaller group (the larger group started earlier than we did this morning, and had already left the winery) to take part in the wine tasting, but others did purchase a bottle or two for later.


The town of Jefferson held our (rather late) lunch spot.

And then we were all ready to finish the day and wheel into our luxurious Comfort Suites Inn and our group pizza dinner. The original group picnic cookout got changed with the cold evening weather and -- some rain falling again. That and a long mileage day made pizza delivered to the hotel breakfast room a lot more attractive!

Alrighty then, I am caught up.

Oregon bike touring

It's hard to catch up when I miss a day of updating here, but I will try. I may do it in two installations -- one for yesterday and one for today.

A rather mixed bag for our first day of the tour. OK, we did not actually do any of the tour. Well, we toured a bit, but not as part of the planned route, and not with our touring group.

Let me start with the pouring, cold rain we awoke to. So, it was pouring rain and cold in the morning with a promise of sun and good weather in the afternoon. No brainer -- we wanted to ride in the sunny good weather. Susan found the Salem Bike Club (our destination for the day) listing on line and saw there was a ride scheduled for 1:30. Perfect. We talked with members of our group who decided to follow the original plan and determined we would meet up at the end of the day at our motel.

When in doubt - shop. Susan had also found some good sales at Eddie Bauer, and lo! There was an outlet right close by, and on the way to Salem. We shopped (and bought things we could not live without), drove on to check in at our motel, and took off for the ride start. We arrived half an hour early, met our leader, signed the waiver, got our map and cue sheet and I took a test spin in the parking lot. No gears! Susan worked on and nearly got it fixed -- cable had pulled totally out of the gear box on the rear - but we ended up going to a bike shop and missing out on riding with the group.

Found some interesting bike racks in town. One was in front of a quilting shop.

Finally my bike was fixed, the sun was shining, and we had a map and cue sheet! We did the ride on our own and had a grand day. First we toured around town for a brief time. Last week I was at the capital building in Olympia, Washington; this week we rode around the capital building in Salem, Oregon.

With the help of Susan and her GPS skills, we found our way out of town and onto the Fairview Loop ride we had garnered from Jakie the ride leader. Bucolic country side with farm animals, Christmas tree farms, vineyards, and wide open spaces.

And fine dining in Turner before heading to our home for the night.

We began our cycling adventure at 3:00 p.m. which is quite late to begin a thirty mile ride, and we were good and tired when we finished.