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The path to The Dark Side - 2011 TransAmerica Bike Ride

96 miles from Sisters to Eugene. Some people in western OR call the eastern part The Desert, and some in the east call the west The Dark Side (as in cloudy). Today we transitioned from eastern to western. The east didn’t look like a desert to me. More like California with pine trees. The dividing point for us was the Mackenzie Pass. The climb was 15 miles long, and started right at Sisters. Beautiful pine forest all the way, and light traffic. The big surprise is at the top; a massive lava field and views of many snow and glacier covered peaks. Wow doesn’t cover it. After a visit to the observatory at the pass, we plunged down a steep descent. Ferns and cedars became common as we entered the wet side. We had lunch near the bottom, and met up with Aimee, who provided the best sag wagon ever. Free of our baggage we picked up speed, and continued downriver to Eugene. For a long time. I think this was the most miles in one day of the transam.
I had a special treat when my old FD friend Tim, and his wife Lynne met us in camp, and brought us a delicious dinner (and an Oregon Ducks shirt!). Quite a day! Tomorrow will be the last one of the trip.

20110827-094631.jpg

 

14 Responses to The path to The Dark Side

  1. Richard says:

    Can’t believe this is just about the end of the ride. It’s been so great following you and Mike over hills and through the plains. I’m going to have to start reading the news, and none of it is as interesting as your day-by-day.

  2. Mary Jo Curwen says:

    Congratulations to you both! I’m so glad Rich found a traveling companion to finish the route when Mike couldn’t continue. Altho I’m sure Mike is bummed not to be there…
    Job well done–enjoyed sharing the journey! Mary Jo

  3. doug says:

    Your path was 10 or 15 miles north of the desert.

    http://www.cloudforest.com/northwest/forum/20097837.html

    http://rangebiome.smugmug.com/keyword/spiney%20hopsage/1/51388008_JkHfw#51388008_JkHfw

    And if Oregon desert isn’t counterintuitive enough,there’s this. It’s covered with snow every winter.

  4. Steve Peters says:

    Congratulions! What an achievement. I’m so jealous.

  5. Michele says:

    We are so proud of you!

  6. Mike says:

    By the time you get this you and Peter will be done. Congratulations finishers! Hope you have good wx for a your last day a splash in the surf & a great dinner.

  7. Lynne says:

    Congratulations, Rich! What an amazing adventure!

  8. Michele says:

    Congratulations! Amazing! JohnE

  9. Linda Snodgrass says:

    Wow! What an amazing accomplishment and what a great way to transition into retirement!!! Lots of adventures ahead I’m sure!!!

  10. Carol says:

    Congratulations Rich! You have reached the finish line of your incredible, amazing,spectacular adventure!! See you soon!

  11. Amy Sheridan says:

    I have thoroughly enjoyed MY journey as an armchair traveler! Do you really have to stop now? What an amazing accomplishment, I stand in awe. BRAVO!

    But seriously – I have LOVED every chapter of your excellent adventure. (Not so much the part where Mike gets hurt…) Now go sleep in your own bed – how great will THAT be??

  12. Tim says:

    Rich,
    It was a great time reconnecting with you yesterday evening, and getting to know Peter & Aimee a bit. Hope you move to the states Peter (this country could use more like you :)
    What an achievement…among other followers, Doug, Steve & Michele expressed my sentiments well.
    Will be looking for a Final Florence post tomorrow.
    Blue skies & tailwinds,
    Tim & Lynne

  13. Joan & Mike says:

    Yes!!! Congratulations, Rich and Peter. And to you too, Mike. It’s been an awesome journey and I can’t believe the miles you guys put in toward the end. So glad that we were able to travel with you for a couple of weeks. We pick up the trail again in Missoula (remember Missoula?) on Tuesday, after a full week off. We expect to take 3-4 more weeks before reaching Astoria.. Now go home, Rich, to your family and get some sleep. You deserve it.

    • Rich says:

      Thanks guys, Hope the birthday party was fun. Much fun awaits you on the home stretch! Hope to see you again soon.
      Rich

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