Trip Log: Day 18
We bid farewell to Prineville this morning and set our sights eastward. Some friendly bikers we crossed paths with a ways back pointed us towards route 380 in lieu of the less scenic and more traveled 26. The friendly advice paid off and we enjoyed a day of beautiful riding through the high dessert. Much of the road followed a branch of the Crooked River that provided us with several great blue heron sightings (GBH!!). We also spotted our third bald ealge of the trip!
Daphne lead the majority of our 60 mile day, earning her major steam donkey points. Flash Back: On our first day of the trip we stopped at the Tillamook Forest Interpretive Center and learned about an old mechanical beast of bourden that pulled giant logs down the hillside, a.k.a. the steam donkey. From that point on we have developed the custom of bestowing steam donkey points upon an individual who distinguishes themselves through feats of strength, endurance and gusto. In other words, it's our trip's equivalent of getting a gold star in kindergarten.
The trek along 380 has been smooth and hot. The miles were melting away at a good clip as was our water supply. Luckily there were two towns on our way that proved to be perfect pit stops. We pulled into the general (and only) store of Post, Oregon around noon and took an extended lunch break. Nathan and I indulged in the daily special, the meatloaf sandwich, while Daphne and Matt strategically supplemented their lunch with ice cream and coffee. Slightly heavier and much happier, we continued to push east.
A few hours of riding later we arrived to the small hamlet of Paulina. Here again, the general store was the (only) pace to be. We met the owner, Rose, and got the word that we could sleep for free at the local rodeo grounds. That was all we needed to hear. We changed into our evening wear, kicked our feet up on the front porch of the store and delved into stories and laughs with a small group of locals. The unofficial mayor of Paulina, Greg, was even kind enough to share some of his famous barbecue chicken! After thanking the welcoming committee for their hospitality we pushed off for the home of the annual Paulina Amateur Rodeo.
The rodeo grounds are a perfect campsite - picnic tables, flat grassy areas for the tents and even an outlet to charge our beloved computer! After settling in we decided to host our own rodeo. The links below will usher you to videos of a few of our better attempts to last eight seconds on the wild bucking Kona Jake. We have all had a few cracks at her and so far Nathan holds the record at seven seconds... tomorrow's another day. Yeehaa!
It sounds like it's going to be even hotter tomorrow. We're hoping to hit the road extra early to take advantage of the cooler morning temperatures. That means it's bed time. Even bicycle cowboys and cowgirls need their beauty rest.