Richland, OR to Copperfield RV Park (OR) near Oxbow Dam 38 miles:
Today was a scorcher at 100 degrees Fahrenheit and we were a bit sore in the elbows and our backsides. I wore two pairs of shorts. I didn’t feel like I had enough food the day prior and wanted a good breakfast before we started. I was pleased to have my first grits of the trip. I love them with butter and a bit of honey. We had a fabulous breakfast at the Shorthorn Bar and Grill in Richland and Brenda sent Gregory off with a handful of hard candies for his day of climbing. And climb we did. Right out of the gate was uphill and brutal. We managed a few miles but then had to walk to the summit. We just don’t have our legs yet and the weight of the bike makes it a bit difficult to manage. Gregory did O.K. with the walking for a while but then started getting bored. He had fun taking target practice on the guardrails and snow fences (that keep the snow from drifting on to the highway). We talked about the porous lava rocks in the area (igneous rocks) and admired Gregory’s aim. We also found the grasshoppers plentiful and stopped now and then to try to catch one. He really hasn’t seen many and definitely not in such an abundance. Gregory found that his bandanna was a great shield from the penetrating heat and wore it over his head much of the day. We had lunch in the quaint town of Halfway and a nice rest in the park (where Mike and I rested and Gregory played). We finished the day in the scorching sun as we guzzled water and doused our heads to keep cool. We settled at another lovely campground with tent sites right along the Snake River. We set up, rinsed out our bike clothes and took a long soak in the river while we watched fisherman bring in large trout with very little effort. We did have to remount the bike and ride 2 miles back up the highway to get food but decided to eat at the cafe and it was marvelous. Gregory said it was the best burger he ever had. It was a ½ pound burger and we thought he’d never finish it. He proved us wrong and had a root beer float to boot. The campground is “just” in the Mountain Time zone so we were pacific zone, then mountain zone, then pacific zone and back to mountain at the end of the evening. We don’t have a clue what time it is! Ha!