I must have developed some extra muscle since I started this trip because I start the day off by… breaking the handle of Gayle’s coffee machine (again, so sorry Gayle!).
I don’t even get out of the city when I see some elk (deer?) going about their business. And when I do finally leave the town, the nature does not stop surprising me. The road leads through the desert surrounded by snowy mountains. A dozen miles out of Baker City it dips into the magnificent Hells Canyon. And it’s all slightly downhill so the ride is great!
You would not call it a day though had there not been at least one hill along the way. And one climb is exactly what I get: Richland Grade. It’s 7 miles long and the final score is as follows: 5 minutes downhill for 1 hour uphill. The climb takes 2 hours.
In Halfway, when leaving a generous store which set me off with tons of food, I come across a couple I have known since Mitchell (OR): Lois and Gary. They are in their 60s/70s and there are just killing this trail! After some catching up I finally arrive at the host Jan has set me up with: Kate. She is a lively and a lovely physician who invites “the biking gal” (“I tried to look you up but impossible to find you!”) to dinner at the best eatery in town. There’s some good beer involved and heaps of laughter. “Hello” to lovely waitress who chatted with us: I hope you do sign up to WarmShowers!