Yeah! An A+ day. Beautiful blue sky and sunshine this AM. Cool jacket weather throughout much of the day. We did a lot of climbing again but had some gorgeous descents. And most the climbing was done by 50 miles. The wind changed direction a lot but clicked in for us the last 15 miles – a tailwind that swooshed us into Baker City with a rain shower in its wake. No rain for us today so we did not have to clean the bikes! Only the chain. Our bikes have never received such TLC.
We have mountains all around us now. This range is apparently the Strawberry Range. We were either in the prairies or climbing through Ponderosa pined forests. Spectacular! the farms and ranches look well maintained and so did the animals. Lots of cattle here, horses , sheep, llamas and I am sure the forested areas have deer, elk and skunks although we saw none. The group is getting organized into traveling parties. It is interesting to watch that all shake out. Bob & I ride together and like running into other riders on the roads or at SAG stops but feel safe doing it this way. There are some terrible distracted riders out here and those who refuse to wear mirrors and think they own the road so we give them room. The tour staff are great. usually 2 or 3 of the 7 are riding during the day – taking sweep positions at the tought climbs or end of day. There is a mechanic on staff who is very knowledgeable. Every evening there is a “Mechanics time” where you can bring your bike to get checked or repaired or whatever. We are responsible for basic tasks like cleaning and chain care but they will check any problem you think you are having. So I better get to sleep – although we have a late start tomorrow 7:30 – breakfast is at 6:30 and with this crew, if you want good food get there at the start! Oatmeal the last two days for me … hopefully tomorrow too (see I am already thinking about eating again!). An easier 83 mile ride – lots of down hill BUT Interstate riding for 20+ miles so I will have my worry mode in high gear. On to Ontario, Oregon.