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, April 27, 2013

Squeezing in one more ride

Saturday April 27 2013

Before heading home today we wanted to get in another ride, making the spread of our riding reach from outside of all four corners of the town of Walla Walla. This morning's ride would be a short one through more peaceful farm scenery, wheat fields, ranchland, and orchards that make up one of the northwest's premier agricultural areas.

Yesterday we touched a toe into Oregon, today we put wheels on some Oregon roads, roads with names like Tum-a-Lum Road, Telephone Pole Road, and Pipeline Road.

If our somewhat out of date guide book is correct, the old Tum-a-Lum school house has been turned into a processing and canning facility for gourmet specialties.

Tum-a-Lum School

We entered Oregon on Stateline Road, and immediately were in the midst of fruit country.

More greenery than we have seen lately

Our ride may have been a bit shorter than the others, but there were some hills to negotiate that gave us a little workout at least.


Looks like you can just roll up and down these hills - but you have to pedal hard on some of them

As we entered the outskirts of town on our return, we came upon a cycling class.

Learning to bike to school


Making the turn correctly over the curb


Members of the Whitman College bike team were holding a bike learning session at Prospect Point Elementary and doing a fine job of teaching these little folks how to ride carefully. There were several groups of children -- quite a few on bikes with training wheels -- lining up for first some bike inspections and verbal instruction, then riding with their instructors. A fine highlight for us to end our bike tour week.

This ends this adventure. I will let you know when the next one begins ;'-) Thanks for following along.



Friday April 26 2013

Kooskookie is a tiny unincorporated spot on the map, and is on the Washington-Oregon border, where pavement ends. That was our destination for today's ride with different landscape from our other riding. We had open fields that transformed into a forested canyon beneath the Blue Mountains, and then took us through orchards, vineyards and wheat fields. The fields are being prepared for what will be abundant fruit.

Vineyard ready and in waiting
Whoops, a kerfuffle in the day


Coasting down the hill


Working the fields

Along the way to our turn around point Gerry and I spotted what we thought was something to worry about. Mama horse, with placenta not yet totally out of her, was standing over her baby who looked "dead". We watched for a long time and fretted. Finally we rode on thinking we would see if the situation was the same when we returned.

"Get up"


At our turn around point we ate our snacks in the shade of the tree, stepped foot into Oregon, rested a bit from the moderate climb, then began the return ride. We were ready to go knocking on doors if that baby was in the same spot and not moving.


Seven hours old and walking


Mama, they are taking pictures of me

We were so happy -- and relieved. As we stood ogling, oohing and ahhing and taking photos, we saw someone coming out of the house behind the pasture. The young woman approached us talking about her "baby" and how she and her ten year old daughter had been tending to and watching over mama, waiting for the birth all night -- up to 6:15 this morning. Then at 7:00, when they were in the house away from the horse, her neighbor called to tell her she had a baby in the pasture. She stood by the fence next to us and talked for a long time and we admired mama and baby some more before getting back in the saddle.

Quite a highlight for us ;'-)

More views for the remainder of the tour.



End of another good day in the saddle.


Friday, April 26, 2013

Hay or Straw?

I am such a City Slicker. I never have thought of any difference between hay and straw. All seemed the same to me. There were bales of "it" by the roadside and I asked Vickie if she thought they could still be harvesting hay since these fields seem so "empty". No, she casually said, that is probably straw. Huh? Hay? Straw? Aren't they the same thing. My grandparents would laugh at you as such a City Slicker, she said. Hay is for feeding the animals, straw is harvested after the hay (the bottom "stalks") and is used for bedding the animals. What a City Slicker can learn from a farm gal.

This day's ride was a little different from yesterday mainly because it had no hills. That sounds great to many, but what it means is you can never stop pedaling to coast down some of those hills. At the end of the day my legs were quite tired.

Also we rode through more ranch area than yesterday and had more family farms to look at, lots of cattle, some horses, goats and Alpaca, as well as several wineries.


A non-city slicker's dream home
In any travel, one often sees signs that tell you to "keep out", "no trespassing", "no hunting". So this sign along our route stood out as unique -- deserving of a photo.
A non-city slicker's dream home
Where are our shotguns?



Irrigation for the new crops
This is wine country. The grapes are not yet "blooming" but the wineries are "tasting". We stopped in only one where Vickie and Gerry did some of the tasting and purchased a bottle to enjoy later this evening.
Irrigation for the new crops
A promising vineyard
This was a two room school that operated until 1974
We were invited to ring the bell -- it is VERY loud


Beautiful stairway inside the school now leads to offices of the winery


Justin had made his thoughts quite clear
From the L'Ecole the route took us through more farmland.
Justin had made his thoughts quite clear
Lots of farm animals along the way -- cattle, horses, goats, alpaca


Tumble down farm building (I like these a lot)


Working plow horses had my attention for a while

Back in town for our tea crumpets and then to our hotel for a dip in the (outdoor) pool and a soak in the (outdoor) hot tub. A fine day.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Cycling through the wide open fields

Wednesday April 24 2013

After the complimentary hotel breakfast and a leisurely start to our morning, we decided on one of the tours that Justin (from Allegro Cycle) had mapped out for us. We left from our hotel door to wander through a bit more of the town and for a visit to Pioneer Park.

Japanese? sign at the park
Colorful trees are out everywhere


Covered wagon travel?

Leaving the park, we crossed a bridge over Mill Creek -- which is much more than the "creeks" we know of. It is more of a rather fast moving river that runs right through town. Later we will cycle on a trail that takes us to the Dam where it starts -- later.

Mill "Creek"


Looking the other way off the bridge to the spillways up the creek

We eventually got out of town and oh so enjoyed our time in the fields. I cannot describe the different kind of beauty on this side of the mountains so will let photos do as much as they can.

Perhaps Spring Wheat (we're not sure) starting in the foreground and fields waiting for planting in the background





Sun, light traffic, rolling hills, smooth riding - Ahhhhhh


We finished the loop back into town and knew we had more energy for just a bit more riding, so pulled out the map to find Justin's suggested Mill Creek Recreation Trail along the "Creek". I have to keep putting that in quotes as it is way beyond my definition of a creek. We were going "up river" on the trail so there was a little bit of incline to the end -- and a swell coasting down hill when we turned around.

The spillways from the Dam apparently lessen the flood potential for the town, but they are not salmon spawning friendly. The Corps of Engineers who built this project are now in the throes of making some changes to help with that -- adding "steps" or "ladders" in parts of each spillway so the salmon have a "fighting chance".

Spillways for miles

Needless to say, the near end to our day's tour demanded a tea and crumpet (in this case bread) stop when we got back to town.

Walla Walla Bread Company with VERY friendly wait staff

We don't think the day could have been better.