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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Day 4 - Kah-Nee-Ta to Prineville - the Watershed Moment













Bikers bike watersheds...




....crunching up the slope from river side....



...cresting the peak where the mountain divides rain from one river to the next...







...and swooshing down to the next river.

We always know whether we're moving up from one river or down to the next....



And a watershed moment today...





Al took over the biking crown...

Today she was stronger than I was... and she will be from now on...

as her youthful energy gains over my months of training...

...and I will need her help.






We woke up this desert morning....

the sun peeking over the colorful view....





She felt great from the first stretch...








coasting out from the hotel...







stopping to freshen the Cat-eye computer....







As I paused for an early photo of the golf course...




(is this a wise use of water in a desert where water is so scarce?)

Al streaked ahead to find the hills...





Another stop for the lovely yellow desert daisies....





Where is Al?

She's way up ahead....

past the rattle snake in the road...





past the little creek that waters this valley....









and up to the top for a view of Mt Jefferson...






Then laughing down a huge downhill...

full of confidence - no longer riding the brakes....



A pause at the bottom to help call for help...








- Andrew from England had wheel trouble -







Then up over a small hill....









...and down to the waters of the Deschutes River....



I am so impressed with the rich greens along the river with the towering rocks above...





And white flowers that smell like honeysuckle back home....

I'm struggling up the next hill...




Mark from New Jersey helps me....













We stop to drink in the scenery and I notice the flowers he carries on his handlebars...

He tells stories of Italy...

but I'm falling behind...

My legs are weak....






... I barely make it to the SAG stop...

where rider Jay is sweeping glass from the road to help protect our precious tires....







I see Al briefly at the SAG and then she is off again up the mountain.





I pause for breath and grab a picture of my slow friend Gayle.

I'm not sure I can make it...









Finally we reach the top of this valley and coast along the ridge top...

Rich farmland reminds me of home...




But this farmland lives only though the constant help of irrigation....

The legal battles of the  American west are for water rights...

Everyone needs the water....




Farmers...

fishermen...

golf courses...

salmon....

sometimes the rivers run dry before reaching the ocean....




And we need the water too - the air is so dry...

and it is so hot...





I am struggling...

I have to stop often...





We have a lunch SAG at a shady park...









...and then a long hot uphill...



- Wait for me in the shade I asked Alex...







- What shade?








Finally we find a tree and rest in it's shelter...

a welcome moment of cool and quiet...





Then back up for yet another climb...

....crest this watershed...

.



..and whoosh down to the valley of the Crooked River...




Al spots our fist red-tailed hawk...

For this spotting Barry will donate $1 to our Flight for the Land...







And we coast down to the Brother's cafe next to the Crooked Creek...

For Apple Pie a la mode...







I have made it one more day...

but tomorrow we face 117 miles of desert and 5,000 feet of climb....

but one thing for certain...

... I won't need to worry about Alex anymore...
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