08/17/2004

Day 79 - 8/17
Bend, OR to Blue River, OR
84 (4652)

I finally started riding again today, and my body did not like it. It started with just a small cramp in the center of my right quad. I stopped and stretched it out, but the pain was still there. As I continued to ride, the pain grew worse. It felt like shin splints, but
in my thigh. I kept riding slowly and stretching lots. After an hour of pain, I had only gone 10 miles over easy terrain. I called grandma to cancel my stop at Uncle T's in Sisters. I was just going too slow. Too bad, cause I wanted to see the truck he's building.

I almost threw in the towel, but I knew I had to try to ride it out. If I were to delay my Bend exit another day, I'd have to bypass the coast and head straight to Portland.

After 20 agonizing miles, the pain began to subside. Then I got a flat tire. There was a sharp piece of wire in my tire right next to the tube. I'll bet my grandma put it there...

After Sisters I began up McKenzie Pass. It was a beautiful ride with little traffic. The desert turned to pine forests up to the summit revealing a vast lava flow field. From the top were unobscured views of Mt. Jefferson and the Three Sisters.

On the other side of the Cascades I was in deep shade riding through a thick old growth forest. Soon I was along the McKenzie River in search of a place to camp. After inspecting every campground within 10 miles, I chose a RV park over the USFS campgrounds. It was cheaper plus I got a shower.

Oh, and speaking of cheap, I'll have to be a bit more frugal these next few days because I realized I forgot my wallet in Bend. Thankfully I had over $100 stashed away for just this type of thing and I do have my ATM card, but the hundred should be more than enough.