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Friday 20 May 2011

Day 11 - Pleasant Valley

Todays mileage: 53
Total mileage: 557
End Point: Farewell Bend State Park, OR

Todays blog entry is officially 18 / R Rated and contains graphic (if imaginery) violence. Apologies in advance specifically to family and in-laws.

So I left you yesterday as I was about to jump in the hot tub. The hot tub was awesome as expected. I met a nice Canadian couple called Tyler and Sam there who were on their way up from Zion in Utah back to BC. They were telling me this was one of the nicer places they had stayed, and that Utah was one of the best places they had visited. I'm not sure they were real canadians though as they didn't ski or skate! I had to raise a smile when Tyler asked me if I had a support vehicle!!

I popped into Baker City for some dinner and a beer. Downtown Baker is one of the cleanest cities I have visited to date. Really well kept and some nice historic buildings. Went to bed about 10pm and had a long long sleep. Just as I was dozing off a train went passed - I swear this thing took 30mins to go pass, there must be some mega long trains here.

I stopped in downtown in the morning for a quick coffee and to grab a sandwich for the road, it was then I realized i'd lost another pair of sunglasses - ridiculous. As punishment to myself for my stupidity I sent myself to the dollar store, that's right my new sunglasses $1. They claim to 100% UV (and I'm sure in the land of nancy grace they'd be sued if it wasn't true), this begs the question, when I buy $50 sunglasses what are the other $49 going on??

I left Baker City on old highway 30, a great road which weaves around the interstate. Most of the time its not too close, although at patches it runs parallel. This took me back to my days of boy racing on Hedgerley Lane (shout out to GX). A road parallel to the M40 where we would do our top speeds and 0-60 times. The road led through the appropriately named Pleasant Valley as the landscape was beautiful.

One observation I have made travelling through rural america is the obsession with keeping old cars, parts of cars, school buses - there seems to be some hidden hope that one day these vehicles will once again hit the road or maybe there is a secret additional amendmant to the constitution I don't know of. I even seen a field of car roofs at one point! The photo above shows quite low level 'car hoarding'.

Leaving plesant valley I cycled towards Durkee. As I was about to enter the village, a four legged black animal approached, another dog - out of its garden. I feared for the worst as it bounded towards me.

Now I need to explain my fear of rural dogs is not actually them biting me. I'm sure a dog bite hurts a lot - no doubt. My fear is that once the dog starts attacking me, my initial defenses of water followed by bear spray fail to have any effect and the dog is still clinging to my ankle. At this point i'd have to go all out attack (I'm pretty confident I can take down any dog), and this unfortunately would probably involve multiple dog stabs in the middle of the road. Five minutes later a distraugh family appear searching for Fido and there they find me roaming around with a knife, covered in blood (although it wouldn't look so bad today as I'm wearing my spanish football top) with fido slumped in the highway. Another 5 minutes later, Baker County Sheriff arrives I am taken away. I'm released on bail with electronic tag which limits my movements to eastern oregon (think head of the IMF). Bike ride is cancelled, I enter a plea bargain agreement and have to work in a dog sanctuary for free for 30 days - and to top it off I then have to go on a serious course of rabies treatment which involves weekly injections with large needles.

Anyway you can tell the sun and the miles have had their effects. Angela, Tony, Kathy and all other dog lovers. I'm fairly sure these thoughts of dog murder are a temporary mental condition which will be cured by the time I get to Florida... apologies.

I safely made it into Durkee were I stopped at cute post office and was offered a ride by a lady in a truck over the 10 miles of interstate I had to take. I was sad to turn her down but that would be letting you sponsors down. About 5 miles down the road I had to to take the interstate as old highway 30 stopped. Just before I got on the interstate I stopped for lunch opposite a cement works and railway. I was re-applying sun cream was a massive wasp/hornet/bee/large hovering insect decided it though my spray was some sort of mating odour. Circling me I ran down the highway, did some weaving and doding NBA style. After about 3 minutes I had lost the wasp - I looked up to see 2 railway workers in tears of laughter one the otherside of the track... dear me..

The 10 miles of interstate went quick. I came off at what I thought would be a town called Lime. Except it wasn't a town it was an abandoned industrial complex which wouldn't look out of place in the next tranformers movie. From here I pressed down to Huntington (the capital of catfish apparently) and on to Farewell Bend State Park. Across the river lies mountain time and Idaho - state 3 is not far away :)


  1. Car Hoarding. Rabid Fido. Mating odour. Weaving and dodging NBA style. Great post, Brian! Glad to see you're finding and making adventures. :)

  2. How are the legs holding up? Are the hours on the bike getting any easier?

  3. Car hoarding is for winners!