Days 3 &4

Day 3, Portland to Still Creek Campground (just beyond Government Camp on Mount Hood), 59.79 miles, Elevation gain 5004 feet, Avg speed 8.99 mph, Riding time 6 hours

For ride date from Days 3 & 4, go to my Riding Days- Stats page.

 Breakfast at  Tin Shed , Portland Oregon

Breakfast at Tin Shed, Portland Oregon

Sitting in my tent, drinking tea and writing. I have Still Camp Campground just beyond Government Camp completely to myself. Life is good. Great, actually. Started my day at Tin Shed on Alberta Street in Portland with a group of friends. No bill came. Instead, the server told us my parents called and paid our bill. So, we called mom and thanked her. At the end of the conversation, she reminded me to use the bathroom before I left. I loved it.

 Springwater Corridor Trail, Portland to Boring Oregon.

Springwater Corridor Trail, Portland to Boring Oregon.

Spent about 15 miles on the Springwater Corridor Trail into Boring Oregon (yes, real name of the town). Then, hopped onto Highway 26. After a stop at Joe’s Donuts, I headed up the mountain. The lupine and daisies are out in full force. Daisies are my favorite flower. I stopped to pick a few and made myself a daisy necklace that lasted about an hour until it wilted and fell off.

 End of Day 3- almost to Still Creek Campground!

End of Day 3- almost to Still Creek Campground!

The weather was beautiful but as I got closer to the final 8 miles, it got hotter and the climb got harder. I started to feel the elevation gain since Portland is basically at sea level and I was headed to 4000 feet. I took it slow, stopped often, took deep breaths and drank a lot of liquids. Once I got to Government Camp, Mount Hood Brewing was calling my name. I ate a huge salad, chatted with some folks and headed to my campground.

I got my second ‘swim’ in for the day. I say ‘swim’, because the water is frigid, coming off Mount Hood from winter snow pack. But, it’s refreshing (until ice cream headache sets in) and worth the sponge bath at the end of the day. I hate sticking to my sleeping bag liner due to sweat and sunblock.

 Day 4, gorgeous views in my rearview mirror

Day 4, gorgeous views in my rearview mirror

I think knowing Highway 26 like the back of my hand is NOT helpful when climbing hills on a bike and hauling weight. I know every turn, when it gets steep and when it flattens out I know when it’s a double lane or single. Highway 26 brings memories of teaching snowboarding at Timberline Ski Resort on Saturdays many years ago. It brings memories of my rehearsal dinner at Wildwood Recreation area and my wedding at Timberline Lodge. Happy memories, but many other emotions since my marriage ended.  I feel good, but all the memories are quite vivid. I’m looking forward to unchartered territory that holds no memories. Although part of grief and growing is feeling. No numbing. Processing and coming to peace with the journey I’ve chosen to take.

I feel good, although tired and sleep is calling me. I’m cozy in my tent and looking forward to another 60-ish mile day to Madras.

Day 4

It was a hot day. I expected heat, but not in Oregon this early. I spent a lot of time trying to quiet my mind from saying all the things I wished. I don't want my trip framed in what I didn't have or what conditions weren't there. For example, wishing it were 10 degrees cooler or that I had ice in my water bottle. Re-frame. It's not raining, it's beautiful out and the views, although uphill are breathtaking. ;)

Mid-moring I passed the 45th Parallel, halfway between the equator and north pole. 

 Swim spot! And, the start of many memories of rafting trips with friends in previous years!

Swim spot! And, the start of many memories of rafting trips with friends in previous years!

The desert welcomed me with a gorgeous view of Mount Jefferson and the smell of sagebrush. I said goodbye to the butterflies, daises and green, lush environment of western Oregon. Sadly, I lost the top half of my flag pole and Road to Rhode flag on the fast downhill into Warm Springs, but I realized it too far down that steep hill! The heat was intense and I couldn't wait to jump into the Deschuttes River at Warm Springs Boat Launch. Which I did and I think about 6 people though I was crazy. The water was cold- but felt wonderful. After cooling down my body temp and quick nap, I was on my way up a long, winding, hot steep hill out of Warm Springs to Madras. Got to my friend Lola and Mark's wonderful home with amazing views of Jefferson, Three FIngered Jack, Three Sisters and Mt Bachelor. They own 250 acres and grow alfalfa, garlic, carrots, spearmint and blue grass. Most of their crops are for seed. Lola and Mark took me to a wonderful Mom and Pop Mexican restaurant and when we got back to their home, there were wonderful views of the sun setting behind Jefferson. Breathtaking! Mark made me his version of a Peanut Buster Parfait (Dairy Queen) and I slept like a log.

 Mark making me his version of Dairy Queen's peanut buster parfait!

Mark making me his version of Dairy Queen's peanut buster parfait!

Lola is an elementary PE teacher in Metolius right down the street and after I get myself away from this computer, I'm going to pack up and stop at her school and say hi to her students. Her school is an Alliance for a Healthier Generation school- the organization I'm raising $25,000 for... so it'll be great to stop in at school before summer has begun everywhere!

 

 End to a great day- sunset from Lola and Mark's home, Mt Jefferson

End to a great day- sunset from Lola and Mark's home, Mt Jefferson