The goal today was Prairie City and the camp ground in town. 83 miles and 4000 ft of climbing. One big climb leaving Mitchell, a fun downhill, then slow climb into Prairie City. Today was the first hint of rain I'd seen. I actually BARELY beat the bad weather to the camp ground.
The scenery today was exceptional. Riding beside the river again most of the day (against the current meant slightly uphill for the last 50 miles). I had to keep fighting the urge to stop and take pictures. Every time I did stop, it seemed like I'd ride a mile or two and the scenery would be even better. While stopped at a store for water (and a cold Mt Dew), several old classic cars came in. They asked about the bike and I asked about the cars. No luck in securing a trade but it was interesting.
It was hot during the middle part of the ride, so when I found the small town of John Day, I got some ice cream. While stopped I met this lady who was riding the route looking for riders crossing the US. SHe was riding the route and wanted to meet others. We chatted for a while and took some pictures together.
Late in the day the skies started to darken and I kept watching the weather. I could tell the guys behind me were getting soaked but for the time being I was dry. WHen I got to Prairies City the grey clouds had caught me. The host at the camp ground said I could camp under the shelter so I took my bike over and parked it under the canopy next to a picnic table. I unpacked and went to the showers. When I went into the bathhouse it was just starting to rain and the wind was picking up. I showered in a coin operated shower stall (just like a small car wash) and changed into shorts and a t-shirt. When I came out it was clear and sunny!
I setup the tent on the grass next to the creek and then went under the shelter to eat. I had Spam and chips in my panniers for supper but a very nice couple had come over to meet me and brought spaghetti and a salad! It was awesome! They sat and talked for a while. They asked about the signatures on my bags and I explained about the fundraiser. They ended up handing me $60 before I left the campsite. That, along with the food was a true treat.
Later another biker (Bob) came into camp. He was doing a large 5 day loop of the area and it was his last night out. He camped next to me and we talked a bit. He was gone when I woke up it the morning, which was a bit of a surprise. I wasn't used to being beaten to the road! (Bob shows up again in tomorrow's post :-))
The last few pictures below were taken in the morning before leaving the camp ground.