Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Day 3 - Welches to Kah-Nee-Ta

Today: 67 miles, 5181 feet of climb
Cumulative:241 miles and 12,549 feet of climb

Start of the climb up Mt. Hood to Government Camp and SAG1

Kah-Nee-Ta.  I'll bet you can't find it on the map. This is a hotel/casino in the middle of nowhere. To be more precise, it’s on an Indian reservation, and reservations are always in the middle of nowhere. It’s a very nice place to stay, the people friendly, the rooms very spacious, but the staff moves at their own pace and the WiFi not working didn’t seem to concern anyone. Finally tonight, I saw 20 bike riders sitting on the floor in the lobby with laptops and figured out there was a signal there. I’ve got a nice balcony overlooking a treeless mountain range, there is a huge swimming pool and golf course here too.  Plus the weather is warm and dry now. I’m getting spoiled by these nice resort hotels. By the time we get to Barley, ID on Day 12, the Budget Barley Inn should get my expectations back in line though.

This picture was taken after the climb up Mt. Hood

It was another great day for a bike ride. 53 degrees, windy and cold at the start, but the 14 mile, 2700 foot climb right out of the hotel got everyone warmed up. The route was a climb on US26 up Mt. Hood to Government Camp at 4,000 feet elevation. Then, there were some downhills and uphills and eventually a left turn on Route 9 towards Kah-Nee-Tah. It was cool forest with tall trees, babbling brooks and streams for the first 43 miles up and over Mt. Hood. With the left turn on Route 9 the terrain immediately changed to high desert; much warmer with wildflowers, few trees, and dry air. Clouds that make it over the Cascades do not drop very much precipitation in this area. Finally, I was able to take off the arm and leg warmers, and windbreaker for the rest of the day.

Another view of Mt. Hood during today's ride

I rode near several other riders and we hop scotched back and forth because there were many stops for photographs. In view on Route 9 were the Three Sisters to the Southwest, Mount Jefferson to the west, and Mount Hood to the northwest. The climbing today is supposed to be the most we’ll do until Vermont, except for the one day into Jackson, WY which (I think) goes over the Continental Divide.

The staff of six on this tour really go out of their way to make your day worthwhile. Barbara drives the box truck with the luggage to the first Sag and sets up there. Then she heads to Sag 2 with supplies. Then she drives the truck to the hotel and checks on our reservations before helping to unload the luggage. Mike is riding up and down the course looking for folks who need help and takes pictures of us at several spots. Karen sets up at the second Sag. Jeff gets to ride sweep behind the last rider from the start to Sag2 where he switches off with Karen so she can also get some riding in for the day. And John is the mechanic at the start and finish who rides with Mike during the day, fixing flats and small mechanical problems.

The Cascades, looking west

We should have a much easier 60 mile day tomorrow, and then a big 117 miles into John Day on Friday.  I think I'll take it slow and conserve my energy tomorrow.

No comments:

Post a Comment