We have entered a stretch of the trip that will be full of long days on the road and the beautiful high lakes of the Cascades. Upon the recommendation of Reedsport native, Brian Swift, we departed the coast along the Smith River. It would be hard to ask for better biking. The soft rolling hills of the Smith River road treated us to two days of nearly car-free amazingness. For most of this section we were able to ride four-wide as we took in the incredible riparian scenery. At one point our relaxing roll was interrupted by three giant birds that tore across a break in the canopy. As they looped overhead it was hard to mistake the distinct feather patterns of two bald eagles chasing an osprey through the sky. This was just one of many reminders that we were cutting through section of Oregon's wild landscape.
Despite a leisurely start to the day, we decided shoot for McCredie hotsprings in foothills of the Cascades. 60 miles and a few repairs later our weary muscles were enjoying a well-deserved soak in the hot waters along Salt Creek. Again, we benefited from some local knowledge and found our way to a hidden campground near a lesser-used part of the hot springs.
Today was all about the climb. We are currently eating lunch at Willamette Pass after gaining over 3000 feet this morning. After a calorie recharge and some stretching we will head for the Cascade Lakes Highway and find a lake to cozy up to for the evening. Tomorrow we will stop in Bend to say hello to my family and prepare for the next round of presentations.