Friday, June 19, 2009

Baker City we miss you already

Friday June 19
If you didn’t notice, I skipped Thursday June 18 because we didn’t do any riding. We spent the day wandering around Baker City Oregon and just enjoying a beautiful day off. My legs were very tired yesterday just from walking around but my knee has stopped bothering me for the time being. Miraculously Donna has had no ill effects from all the exertion that she has put forth. This is probably the most strenuous work she has done since I’ve known her and she’s up to the task. I was concerned about her neck from the surgery she had 10 years ago but that is not an issue. Similarly, the last time we rode together she had knee and hip complaints. This time, nothing! What a gal I picked. Not too many 51 year old women out there would be able to keep up with her. I get kind of goose-bumpy when I look in my helmet mirror and see her right behind me spinning those long legs for all she’s worth.

Lewis got to enjoy his day off by spending a couple hours in the outdoor heated pool. This would not have been his idea had there not been another boy who was also outside with him. He would have been content to sit in front of the TV and watch Sponge Bob Squarepants. But when an opportunity presents itself to actually play with other kids, he jumps at it. So he gets a sunburn. Here we have been protecting him from the sun everyday that we’ve ridden and the sun was present. We forget to put sunscreen on him and wham, he’s fried. Not too bad but painful to the touch. Probably will peel in a week or so. But if you ask Lewis he’d tell you it was worth it.

So after we finally get him away from the pool (2:00 ish) we began our strolling around town. First we went to the Post Office and sent a box of stuff to home. This would be things we have collected and things that we decided that we could do without. The package probably weighed all of 5 pounds but it’s not something we need to carry another 3500 miles. Donna is even agreeing with me on this! I have been trying to lighten our load in every way possible and have thought of another great idea. I’m going to cut the handles off our toothbrushes and just leave a short nub of a handle instead of the 7 inches of plastic! Probably not. I’m guessing Donna would draw the line on that one. I’m still hearing about the shampoo that I used as dish detergent which left our dishes with a spring mountain mist aroma (which means spring mountain mist taste when you put food in them and then try to eat the food).

Ok, back to our walk. We meandered to the wonderful city park in Baker City and the whole time we were walking Lewis kept whining about going back to the motel so he could swim some more with that kid. Once we got to the park (I knew it was a great park as I rode by it the night before when I went to Safeway to get some groceries) Lewis forgot all about the kid at the pool as there were easily 20 kids playing in the huge playground area. At least 4 or 5 were in his age group too. He worked his way around the playground until he finally got up the nerve to join 4 other kids who were playing on the merry go round. This was Lewis’ first time to experience a playground version and it didn’t take long to realize he wasn’t going to leave here without being pried away. Photo.
By the time we returned to the motel, it was time for dinner (leftovers from the fabulous pasta feed the night before) and the long process of packing that would speed us on our way in the morning.

Now I’m ready to talk about today. We awoke to overcast threatening weather. The forecast was for a 30% chance of showers in the afternoon with the likelihood of thunderstorms later. Before we could leave the parking lot, the rain started. This would have been around 9:00. It appears as though the weathermen in Oregon aren’t any better here than anywhere else. Our plan was to visit an internet café and have some pastries and coffee then hit the road. We found the perfect café and Donna and Lewis were able to relax and enjoy themselves while I tried to get the stupid computer to hook up to the internet again. It stopped working the afternoon of the day before and I easily spent 2 or 3 hours on changing settings and playing with the tools functions. I hate computers! Fortuantely it seems as though the problem was with the wireless and not my new computer but I wasn’t able to determing that yesterday.

So we spent 45 minutes there and I sent out a few e-mails and the rain didn’t stop. So we began our ride for the day. We stopped less than 5 minutes later when we came to the public library. I had promised Lewis some computer time when I got the computer fixed but we still weren’t able to hook up to the Webkinz site. So the public library was a second chance. We were able to get a computer as soon as we walked in but they had some kind of filter that wouldn’t allow him to do the games at the webkinz site. So he wandered off dejectedly until he stumbled across a couple of older kids playing computer games. They got him started on his own game and instantly webkinz was forgotten. Donna took the opportunity to do some e-mail from the library and I read part of a book. We stayed there over an hour before finally deciding we had to put some miles in, rain or no rain. So we left the library at nearly noon and stopped 5 minutes later at the Safeway so I could get some donuts as I didn’t get to eat in the café like they did.
Ten minutes later I returned from shopping in Safeway and our bikes were stolen. NO. Just kidding. I returned with a dozen donuts, a footlong sandwich, and 3 individual milk bottles. Donna and I are actually drinking quite a bit of chocolate milk on this trip as we heard about the benefits for athletes who get recharged after drinking chocolate milk. And we like the taste too! I snarfed down 3 donuts outside of Safeway while Lewis had just one more. Donna nad none but she did polish off her choco milk. So at 12:20 we were absolutely going to start pedaling. We were currently about half a mile from our motel.

The rain quit before we did our first 20 miles and it was never a really intense rain anyways. The remainder of the day was perfect cycling weather as we seemed to be chasing small blue patches in the otherwise overcast sky. It looked as though it might rain or thunderstorm at any time, but it never did. Hight temp today was middle 60’s. This is very fortuanate as Eastern Oregon is typically in the high 80’s and above this time of the year.

We pedaled most of the rest of the day (54 miles) and at 6:30 we pulled into Halfway Oregon. It’s gotta be halfway to somewhere but we know not where. Our warm shower host didn’t pan out so we’re staying at the Halfway Motel and RV Park. Camping next to the motel for $5 a person which includes a shower but no coffee. They do have wifi so I’m sitting outside the office with the computer while Donna and Lewis are probably already sleeping. I’m going to join them now as it’s nearly 11:00 and it gets light real early here. Goodnight.


  1. Great writing and great riding. You picked a perfect name for your blog.Glad you haven't had anymore problems. Nice to hear you telling what a great, athletic, strong gal Donna is. Mike told us how to google and get your route by terrain and sattelite. We are all watching you guys everyday. Nice that Lewis has some companionship when you stop. Mom

  2. Reading everyday, love it. Glad you took time off so Lewis could play. Kyle's party was nice. Lots of kids stayed over at their house that night. Erik's is next Sat., the 27th, thank goodness, the last party.

  3. We're enjoying following your adventures! Thanks for blogging Alan. Hi and Hugs to you all.
    Julie, Carl & Colin

  4. Yea, Donna. You rock and you look good sporting those cycling shorts. I hope your adventure is going well also..... Jill

  5. Wow, I am really enjoying the pictures you have posted so far! Sounds like you all had a great time in Baker City. I like the idea of cutting off the end of the toothbrush. What do you need all that handle for anyway? Every ounce counts, right? You really got me with the "I returned from shopping in Safeway and our bikes were stolen," bit...Glad you have a sense of humor about it but, don't jinx yourself!lol.

    Alan, I hope you are having an enjoyable Fathers Day. And I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Solstice!

  6. Good to know that you guys are doing well.
    It's nice that Lewis got to play in the pool and at the park. Along with getting to play some computer games.

    Baker City sounds like a lot of fun!

    Can't wait to hear where you have been next!

    Enjoy yourselves!

  7. Glad to hear you had a good time in Baker City & thanks for stopping by the library! My apologies to Lewis for the computer trouble (I'll have to look into resolving the Webkinz issue for the next kid) but I'm happy to know we were able to provide most of what you needed. What an amazing adventure you're all on. You're an inspiration. Keep on trekking & I hope you can stop by again sometime.
    Perry Stokes
    Library Director, Baker County Library District