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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Day 5 - Prineville to John Day - The Power of Water





Today - we witness the power of water!

Long ago a hot flow of lava covered this land...


...and slowly the flow of the river sliced a chasm 1,000 feet deep



 today we bike through this canyon...





Water creates...

..and water restores...




Drink

Drink

Drink

before you bike the desert...





With 117 miles of desert and mountain ahead of us, we start with the dawn...




The rising sun reflects on the Deschutes River as I spin out early...




Being such a slow biker I need a head start...





I follow the meanders of the river as long as I can...





But then - at mile 15 the road turns up into the mountains and I leave the river....






Luckily at that moment Al and stronger bikers arrive and they lead me up the slope...

blocking the air flow for me...

making my ride easier....

Thank you forever Mark and Bill!

..and Alex -

my daughter who tells me how to bike in a pace line...

...like she's an expert now!






Four long miles upward...

a few breaks along the way...






.....but we all make it over the top to the SAG wagon.

Whew!





Now for a good long downhill....





....and then another even steeper six mile mountain climb....

Oh my goodness. This one almost does me in.

My thighs are screaming!

I keep hitting my granny gear to see if there is a gear left that is any easier.

No such luck...





I take a break 3 miles before the summit...

...and 1 mile...

...and 1/2 mile...

I really think I won't make it!





But finally I reach the summit!

Time for a picture (thank you, John!)




As I take a photo of this sign, Howard passes me...

- Great photo, he says.


You know, to a car driver there's nothing special about this sign...

But to us bikers it's a prize!








Then the incredible downhill for 40 miles!

Wow! I've never gone 28 miles per hour for over an hour on bike before...

... with no effort other than holding on to the handlebars.





It is amazing! Huge rocks on either side...






...you can feel the tectonic action as you careen past the sharp cliffs...





And water did all this?






This cool refreshing water?






Cruising along the road I look back at the narrow chasm I just coasted through...






Suddenly I hear a piercing cry...

....a red-tailed hawk!



That's another donation for our Flight, Barry!









Finally down to the town of Dayville I reconnect with the group...

..including Al.

She is doing great...




..but she's anxious to get to the hotel, so she leaves me...

That's okay.












I buzz along enjoying the waters of the peaceful John Day river.






...enjoying the company of Allison...

she just graduated high school and received this trip as a graduation gift.

Quite a gift!

- Doing this amazing adventure so young, Allison, may be tough.

How can you ever top this?







I coast into the town of John Day...

The desert heat was softened by the water in the clouds....



117 miles - long and challenging...







Cold water refreshes...






....but a cold shower....?


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