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Monday 16 May 2011

Day 7 - Into Oregon (through wind and dust)

Todays mileage: 61
Total mileage: 340
End point: Umitilla, OR

After soaking up all the culture and flames and Hawaiian Pizza Sunnyside had to offer it was time to push forward, onwards to my second state.

I was pleasantly suprised to find a bike path leaving sunnyside which went all the way to Grandview. Grandview kind of reminded of a mexican hill valley out of back to the future (btw its Michael J. Fox's 50th bday - can you believe it!) At least one nice thing about the town was that trucks were banned from the downtown area.

I left Grandview and pushed onto Prosser - which is supposed to be the posh town in Yakima valley. Very cute and historic I decided to make a brief pit stop. I grabbed a large latte and plentiful supply of cherry pop tarts which would do for emergency suplies and breakfast :)

Chatting to the ladies in the coffee shop in turned out I would have to climb Prosser Hill, which is one of the ridges enclosing the Yakima valley. It was a tough climb, but only 10% of white pass. At the top I got a great view over the entire valley and to top it off I could see the snow capped peaks of the Cascades way in the distance.

Over the ridge the terrain changed dramatically into windy grassland. I took some back roads which were perfect. I saw a car maybe 2 or 3 times and hour - straight with a few dips. Off to the side there were signs saying hunting was permitted but only on foot. This was a bit bizarre because I could see for about 5 miles in either direction and I couldn't see anything worth hunting! Maybe more stealth was required!

Whilst we are talking about animals - a quick question for my North American readers. What are those animals that are about the size of big rats, but look like mini squirrels and live in little tunnels next to the road, I've seen lots of these!

The route was quite desolate and I thought this might be what lots of Nebraska is like. I got into a little race with a tractor which must have been just a tad slower than me. After about 20 mins of chasing this thing I was just about to move out when the driver did a right turn into a field - not fair. I saw one other bizarre tractor which was running on something similar to tank tracks - it was shifting though.

After a couple of hours the terrain became more agricultural and was some sort of mega farm 'AgriNorthwest'. A few sprinklers on the field, and a lot lot of dust on the unfarmed areas, The last ten miles led due south to the Columbia and was down hill - this was just as well as I was heading straight into the wind, mixed with dust. The road was empty and wide though so I was happy.

I finally reached the columbia river which is the state line between Washington and Oregon. I headed over the interstate bridge which had a pedestrian route, Unfortunately this was on the wrong side to get a good picture of the Oregon sign. But i'd made it into my second state - woop!

My campground was just off the interstate next to the Marina and has some good facilities, with lots of space and nice views.

For you cyclists out there I averaged 20km \ hour today (computer still in kms,  haven't figured out how to change it!! Works out at 12.4mph) Not so bad given the weight and the wind!


  1. Yay Oregon!! Is that animal a chipmunk maybe?? Great job! xxx

  2. I think they were prairie dogs. Little buddies standing up on their back haunches? P.S. How often are you showering, Brian? Can we get more details in future posts on the current and degenerating state of your hygiene? ;)

  3. Congrats on crossing into state #2!

  4. Bri, I don't want to hear too much about your hygiene - it's bad enough in my imagination now I've seen Rick's comment!