Another great day in Oregon. Leaving McKenzie Bridge we began climbing through pine forests. The sky was hazy due to forest fires. Here is Chad.
Soon we turned onto Highway 242. In 1862 Felix Scott and 50 men created a road over the Cascade Mountains hoping to take supplies to the gold fields in Idaho. His road didn’t work very well for wagon trains. In 1866 they created an easier roadway. That is the highway that we were riding on today. The highway was closed to commercial traffic and we only had about 15 cars pass us on the 28 miles to the top. It was basically a very wide bike path.
We climbed a little over 4,000 feet to 5,325 feet. While taking a photo of flowers I had my bicycle laying in the middle of the lane. A lady traveling in the opposite direction asked if I needed help. I told her I was taking photos of the flowers. She yelled out – Penstemon. Imagine a large field of these things. It was very colorful.
Next, there were large areas of basaltic rock from a volcano lava flow. From trees to a barren, black rock field in about 50 feet.
At the top of McKenzie Pass there was an “observatory” made from basaltic rock. The lower level had little peep holes that let you locate nearby mountains. The upper level was just an observation deck. Unfortunately, the sky was so hazy you really couldn’t see anything. The little girl’s brother is in this photograph. They were visiting with their family from Chicago, Illinois.
The two green “islands” are hills that the lava did not reach.
Then it was a fast 14 mile down hill run through basalt canyons into the town of Sisters, Oregon. There is nothing quite like the rush from riding a bicycle down the side of a mountain.
After Sisters, the country side reminded me of Wichita Falls, Texas. It was not as hot or as windy and there were cedar trees instead of mesquite trees. For those of you who have not been to Wichita Falls here you go.
Near Prineville the route turned into a broad valley with very large rock formations in the distance. There was a lot of hay and cattle.
- McKenzie Bridge to Prineville, Oregon
- Distance: 89.6 miles (144 km)
- Climbing: 5349 feet (1628 m)
- Temperature: 47 – 79°F (8 – 26°C)
Chad’s Wheel Saga Continues
While in Sisters, Chad took his bike to a bike shop. They tightened up his rear wheel and put Loctite on each of the spoke nipples.
Unfortunately, he had to stop two more times on his way to Prineville to tighten up a loose spoke. In Prineville, he visited another bike shop that had an older bike mechanic. He applied Spoke Freeze to all the nipples. Here is the bike mechanic doing his thing to Chad’s wheel. Will Spoke Freeze work? More news at 11!
As we traveled up the mountain the blackberry bramble gave way to gentle ferns. At least they have the common sense to stay off the road.
Is this what they mean by the nanny state?