So I woke up today and the weather was beautiful. I slept in a little bit, which was pretty ice. Finally being dry from the last day was such a good feeling. Nick called me at like 7-something and had questions about camp. I don't think I said a single coherent thing to him. I think I kept asking him what day it was. I still don't know the answer to that. I will have to call him back definitely. Anyways. I got the continental breakfast from the motel, (Katie Kopp, I had non-sugary cereal, which I know you also agree with. haha) It took me almost an hour to repacked all of my gear. I made sure everything was dry, then completely redid the organization of the bags to optimize available space. It worked wonders. I now have tons of room for extra nick-nacks along the trip. I went to the grocery store and talked to a bunch of people bout the trip as I was shopping. I don't think they see a ton of guys in tights pass through Burns, OR. I may be mistaken, but I think that it may have been a dead give-away that something was not normal.
So I took off, the first 22 miles sucked. They were in a straight line toward the huge mountain range. The crazy raining from the previous days flooded the fields and overtook a couple roads, so I had to make a few detours. With 20 mph headwinds, I was getting pretty mad at the day, when I noticed that the crazy headwinds were actually blowing the insane rainstorm in front of me to the South. At this point I said to myself, I said, "thank you headwinds." I will never bash on headwinds again. They blew 4 storms out of my way during the whole day before I ever got wet. Didn't get rained on once. So nice. I thought today wouldn't be that much climbing, but I climbed for a good hour or so right out of the farmland area of Burns. Elevation 4842 feet. What I saw next blew my mind. This valley 14 miles wide, with crazy rivers and rainstorms over the top of it lay before me. I was pretty speechless. It was the prettiest thing I have seen on the trip so far. Again, I couldn't bomb the hill down into the valley (which was 3 miles long), because of the headwinds, but so worth it. That extended view as I went down was incredible. But the bad part about that quick descent was on the other side of the valley, of course, another climb. That one took me an hour and a half.
The good part though is that was the last climb I had for a while. The last 15 miles to Jarthura was a bomb. I did it in 30 minutes. That averages close to 30 mph. It was sick.
Jarthura was great. A man named Jim was sitting outside the only establishment in town, The Oasis Cafe. WE talked for a good 20 minutes about God, the weather, the old reservation down the road, and the cherries he was selling. The were pretty dang good. The Oasis Cafe is INSANE good. It is the only stop for 60 miles in either direction, so the food is super good. I had a bison burger, (which I have never had) that made my face melt. Fresh cut Idaho potato french fries on the rest of the plate. I thought I was going to explode I was so full. 6 bucks. Still can't believe that. OH! and Miss April, my waitress/owner of the cafe, gave me a free bowl of soup for an appetizer. I will definitely come back and visit them someday. I already know I will. They were nice people. Super nice.
Once I found out that the rest of the way to Vale followed a river, and was mostly downhill/flat, I decided to take off for another 20 miles. The weather is great right now. I am sitting in a pair of shorts and T on the side of this huge mountain/valley. ON the opposite side of the road from me is the beautiful river, and the entire wall of the valley is radiating orange from the sunset. The clouds are purple and pink. This is one of the best campsites I have ever made. It actually is the best campsite I've ever made, looking around again. It is stunning right here.
Today I named my legs while riding. The right one's name is Barney. The left one is Leg-olas. (Lord of the Rings? anyone? anyone?)