Day 4 Wednesday, July 13 Sisters to Ochoca State Park,OR 47 miles
I took full advantage of the 11:00 a.m. check out time at the motel this morning. It gave me time to look a few days ahead, learn how to install picture images in the blog (not quite successful yet, but inching closer) and reorganize my gear into “most used and least used” compartments. It was a day of short leap frogs. I rode the 19 miles from Sisters to Redmond and stopped there for lunch with the mother of a close friend. Then I made another quick jump of 20 miles to Prineville. It was there that I loaded up with groceries for dinner tonight, breakfast in the morning and enough snacks and water to get me through the first 40 miles tomorrow. I think I was a funny sight with cans, bananas, and OJ all stuffed in my back jersey pockets.
Word is that in the next 80 miles there is only one small convenience store. This is the part of the trip that is taking the most planning and concerns me the most. On these long stretches you want to take enough food and water to make sure you make it to the next watering hole. But, water is heavy and the more you pack on your bike the slower you go. The slower you go the longer it takes to get to the next watering hole. And the longer it takes to take to the next watering hole, the more water you need to get there! I think you get the picture. Don’t underpack. Don’t overpack.
Anyway, today was largely about slowing the pace down, letting the legs recover a little, and putting plans and strategies in order for the next few days. I didn’t go into Bend to replace my broken tent poles. The jerry-rigging seems to be holding just fine and I thought I could wait until Boise to take care of it. Tonight I broke the pole in another spot! The tent is upright and a little lopsided and precarious. At this point I just have to make do. Not everything goes perfectly on a pilgrimage. I think that is the point. It’s supposed to mirror the challenges and successes of life.
I did want to share that one of the gifts of this time is that blog topics are literally flooding my mind as I ride. I have a little booklet where I can jot down notes during my stops. I remember feeling months ago that I was being pushed into this pilgrimage by my psyche. It became something I could not NOT do. Now that I have the emotional space to reflect and think I feel like a dam has broken and a flood of well-formed thoughts are emerging. It could be that the parameters of my life just did not allow time for these thoughts to take flight. Now they are flooding my consciousness and begging for some exposure on the blog. One at a time, I guess!
Tomorrow will likely be my longest day yet. The first town, Mitchell, is only 40 miles away with limited services. Dayville is about 80 miles away and on the other side of two significant passes. 40 miles is too short. 80 will push me, but it’s time to take it up a notch.