Today's subtitle should be Roy Rides to the Rescue.
On this trip Roy has been diligent about not carrying anything extra except food and water. He throws away receipts, discards maps that have been used, refuses plastic bags when we buy groceries.
So I couldn't have been more surprised when we left Mitchell this morning (after a wonderful breakfast with plenty of the world's strongest coffee--my claim, not theirs) and Roy turns around to pick up a bicycle pump from the side of the road. I hadn't even seen it because I was focused on the scenery, not the shoulder. "What are you going to do with that? How are you going to carry it?"
He answered "I don't know. Maybe I'll leave it at that bike shop in Prineville." He carried it in one of his drop down panniers which he uses when we take on excess cargo, usually food.
After a bit we stop in the shade and he decides to add air to our tires to see if it works. After all, he's not going to lug a full size pump up a mountain if it doesn't work. It works great, but we have to use an adapter because it's a Schrader valve (like a standard car tire, not Presta like our bicycle tires).
The ride today was 500 feet down over about 5 miles and then a 2000 foot climb over 11.5 miles. I like the name of the Journey Through Time Oregon Scenic Byway. But although we stayed on the same road, the scenic byway turned toward the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.
The road cuts were pretty amazing.
There was shade to stop and rest on the climb.
We climbed past reminders of an early 21st century fire.
As I passed a pull off, I saw a motorist reading his drivers' manual. Since my mechanical abilities consist of reading the owner's manual to Roy, I didn't see how I could help, so I rode on by. Shortly after that there was a shady spot, so I pulled over. Knowing Roy, I was pretty sure he would stop to help the motorist.
Guess what? The motorist had a flat tire, and his spare needed air. So that's what the pump was for.
Roy was pretty amazed. He had no idea why he felt compelled to turn back and pick up the pump. The motorist passed us on the next curve and tooted and waved his thanks.
Including all our stops, it took almost 3 hours to get up the hill. But there was a wonderful rest area where we lunched. And then it was mostly downhill to Prineville, a town of almost 10,000. We passed two grocery stores and a Starbucks and we are staying at a Best Western on the west side of town. Haven't seen the town center yet.
After staying in a historic hotel with a shared bath down the hall, this motel seems like the height of luxury.
On the way into town, we passed the Ochoco Reservoir. Note the docks up on the grass. The water level must be low.