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07/13/2007 Entry: "Waitsburg, WA !"

Hellooo ladies and gents! OMG crazies we finally have the internet it's been ooooh so long. If it weren't for Ariel cheating and going to her Aunts house I'd have 6 days to update you on, but thankfully that is not the case. I just have two. BUT, I'm hiding them behind the more link, SO CLICK IT NOW!

Crow Butte park to Hat Rock camp ground (40ish miles?)

If you've read Ariel's entry you should know by now that we got a late start. If you haven't read Ariel's entry then you lose 20 points for not preparing for class. Try and do better next time. I'm dissapointed in you.

Anyway, now that we are done with the distractions, we got off to a late start. It very hot and our tailwinds left us. We packed up tons of water and did 30 straight miles to Umatilla, OR. Crossing the bridge into Umatilla over the Columbia was tricky. The southbound direction had no shoulder so we carried our bikes through the brush over to the northbound section which had a bike path. We carried our bikes because everywhere that's not paved was covered in "goathead thorns." When I say everwhere I'm refering the the entirety of Eastern Washington and Central/Eastern Oregon. Goathead thorns always land with one pointy end up (like jacks) and will puncture ANY tire. Even my kevlar lined tires - they gave me my first flat near The Dalles. However, not only does the Eastern Washington brush have the threat of Goatheads, but it's full of Rattlesnakes. Full of them. I see dead ones on the shoulder quite often, and Ariel almost stepped on one in Crow Butte.

I seem to remember someone, somewhere telling me a story of how they were riding and a rattlesnake struck their front pannier from the brush - but I can't remember where I heard that or if it's even true.

Anyways, we got into Umatilla 'round 1ish and went the rest stop where we aquired maps, air conditioning, bathrooms, water, and tons of good rattlesnake stories. Then we biked 10 more miles to Hat Rock campground and decided it was too damn hot to keep biking and short days sometimes are called for. If we hadn't of stayed there we'd have had to do atleast 30 more miles that day into a town that we didn't know if it really existed.

However, Hat Rock campground, like KOA, charges campers the same as RVers - $22. We had seen several homes in the area so we decided to try our luck knocking on doors instead. We met a nice gentleman ride on the edge of the campground who let us stay in his yard for free. He entertained us for several hours with conversation while we made dinner. All in all, a good day.

Hat Rock to Waitsburg (68 miles)

We got off to an early start to beat the heat. Karen woke up up at 4:30am and I had some choice words to say to her about that at the time. We ate the last of our donuts and then hit the road at around 6amish. We did 32 miles into Touchet (pronounced "Tooshee") then 16 into Walla Walla where we at lunch, and then 20 more into Waitsburg. We had minimal winds and occasional cloud cover making it a great ride. Also, we got done by 2pm so we beat most of the heat. (it got up to 95F)

In Waitsburg we met Roger at the market and he agreed to let us stay in his backyard. Later his wife, Laura, paid for us to get into the local pool and we were able to cool off. We splurged on a resteraunt on our walk back and now Laura is making us strawberry shortcake! The Gods of Bikema (like carma) are smiling on us tonight!

I had a couple of thoughts while I was riding today:

Firstly, we are on the Lewis and Clarke trail and I keep reading about their adventure and how much they relied on the natives. We are kind of like them - our maps are more guides than anything because towns that the map say exist rarely do. Instead we ask locals everwhere we go what the terrain is like and were we can likely find water along the way. I think we are experiencing the Lewis and Clarke experience as well as can be done in living in current times.

That being said, locals are often wrong. We were told is was flat between Walla Walla and Waistburg. Instead there was a 6 mile uphill and a 10 mile down hill. Wah?

And secondly, The 8 mile stretch between Hat Rock campground and the Washington border has the highest concentration of bottled urine of anyplace I've ever seen! I counted NINE confirmed bottles of Urine in 8 miles! 11 bottles if you count bottles that I think may have been filled with urine but I couldn't tell. That's more than a bottle a mile! Total today I counted 14 bottles of urine along the road way. Wow.

Picture updates to probably follow.


Replies: Leave us a note! (2)

Great kids' visit gave us a breath of fresh air Wed nite when you visited us in Waitsburg. Such energy and good cheer! We loved having you stay with us overnight. Blessings and God Speed for the rest of your journey. P.S. I was the only one in the pool this evening; I needed you!
We enjoyed seeing your web page this evening. Keep up the good work of posting even tho you are tired each night. From LJ and Rog.

Posted by Laura Jean Hevel @ 06/22/2007 08:29 PM CST

It was really really really hot today. I'm glad that you are all still breathing and such. You should have stopped in Walla Walla at the gas station to visit my cousin. I spent a good portion of the day scanning pictures of GB, getting flowers for the party, and shopping for my baking spree. I'm sure there will be some good stuff left over from the party that I'll bring with when I catch up with all of you. My grandpa continues to provide lots of entertainment in his death. I havn't read the infamous chapter five yet, but all the stories that keep coming up are just hilarious. I'm told there is a section about a nurse whose name he doesn't remember...
I am sorry I have missed this wonderful bikema, and even riding through the deadly sun (I got a lightweight white meshy shirt thing today...hooray!). Thanks for updating!

One more thing: KAREN, do you have any pictures from when we visited with GB? Anne and I realized today that we remember having pictures taken, but they weren't on either of our cameras, and Orian didn't have his with him. If you do have pictures, it would be great if you could email them to me before saturday, as we would like to include them at the memorial bash.


Posted by Ariel @ 06/20/2007 10:48 PM CST




July 2007


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