Rolling through the wheat fields of Eastern Oregon. Water stop in Dufer. The infamous laundry line in a bike camp. Jack, where did you park the truck? Bikes tucked in for the night. Scott on dishes.
Oh, what a day. 75.2 miles from Maupin to the the Hood River Fairgrounds. A three mile climb in your face right out of the gate. Then another long climb, about 1800 feet up and 7 miles long. Then down to Dufer, down to Rowena, then up and down into Hood River. You think you're done climbing until the last turn on the Odell Highway, and it's a steep up to the fairgrounds. It was a late arrival for most of the tribe. We did not see a rider into camp until after 2:30. Most of them came in between 4 and 6. Long day.
It is a beautiful ride, though. Golden wheat fields as far as you can see until you break the last hill and head down into the Gorge. ( The town of Dufer has thrashing days in August if anyone is interested!) The tribe rolled along the mighty Columbia River on the Riverfront Trail at the Dalles, then along the historic Columbia River Highway, the Columbia River Highway State Trail, until they climbed back up into the orchards of the Hood River Valley. Hood River is the nations leading producer of pears. Primarily D'anjou pears. But apples, cherries and raspberries are grown here too. A great smoothy stand with fresh berry smoothies took the edge off of the day for many of the tribe. A cold beer in camp greeted the weary!
We prepared a pasta dinner to refuel the group. Linguini with an Italian sausage red sauce, Orzo with fresh Chantrelle mushrooms in a white wine cream sauce, a blue cheese salad, sauteed zucchini, fresh scones with local berries for dessert. Wait a minute: who asked if the Orzo with $150.00 worth of fresh Chantrelle mushrooms was MACARONI AND CHEESE??? You're kidding, right? Oh, I get it . You're past the point of tired and your brain isn't quite kicking on all cylinders. Macaroni and cheese. Yeah right.
The tribe did an amazing job emptying the beer cooler tonight. They followed dinner with the map meeting and a guest speaker; the Director of the Board for ACA, Carol Stevens. (She and her husband live across river in White Salmon. ) Logistics were put into place for the shuttle across the Hood River Bridge, (no bikes allowed), and the tribe turned in early. Tomorrow's ride is another long 59.6 miles with a couple of good climbs. Climbing seems to be a common denominator of this ride. Those who did not train for this level of a ride were really feeling it tonight. But, they shall recover and peddle on!