Tuesday, July 21, 2009

We're Off. Day 1-Baker City, OR to Richland, OR-42 mi.

We finally got on the road after much anticipation. We had a nice day of riding with a few good uphill climbs to get us warmed up for the big 7% grade tomorrow. Fortunately most of the riding was flat or downhill and that is why we were able to make 42 miles. It was more than we originally thought we might ride but there weren’t any campgrounds in between. Lucky for us we ran into a group of cyclists from Sonoma that were doing a 500-mile loop. We shouted “Go Bears” to a guy wearing a Cal jersey (University of California, Berkeley) and they stopped to say hi. Just about that time their sag wagon arrived and they offered us cold water and bananas. I don’t know how we would have done if we wouldn’t have gotten that little boost. Gregory is holding up great! No complaints today except when he had to apply sunscreen, which was a foreseen complaint. Everything is so exciting to him and it brings great joy to Mike and I. We can already see that though we rode the Trans Am Trail in 1994 (East to West) this experience will be entirely different because we are seeing it through the eyes of our child. Gregory and I had a great time mooing at the cows and neighing to the horses, finding wildlife including beavers, prairie dogs, fish, and multitudes of birds including a red-winged blackbird and hawk and making up songs as we pedaled away. Gregory appreciates the beauty of nature and is always pointing out waterfalls, flowers, mountain ranges and picturesque farms along the way. Also, to keep ourselves occupied, we counted cans and bottles 5 cents, 10 cents, etc…. (in California redemption value is 5 cents each) and you wouldn’t believe how much money we would have been able to collect if we’d stopped! Of course we would have never reached our destination! To cap off a great first day we have a nice grassy campsite overlooking a field with a beautiful barn; we are visiting with Will, a fellow cyclist and the Schwan’s truck just pulled into the RV park and Gregory just received a free sample ice cream sandwich. Who could ask for a better day?

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