Saturday, May 16, 2009


Picking up where I left off in Corvalis, we finished up day 4 with good weather in Coburg for a total of about 64 miles.

Day 5: We had just gotten completely packed up and were heading out of the nothing special campground in Coburg when some dark clouds rolled on and it started to rain. We ended up riding the 16 miles to Walterville in the cold rain where we stopped to grab a bite to eat. Luckly we left Walterville with a break in the storm and were able to get about 20 miles in before the next wave hit us. Long story short, we were soaked and cold when we got to McKinzie Bridge so we opted for some civilized lodging to get everyting dried out. All told - 58 miles

Day 6: The main route for this leg takes a scenic route over McKinzie pass between Mt. Washington and the three sisters wilderness. Unfortunately for us, this route is still blocked by snow so we were forced to take the alternate route over Santiam Pass. Santiam pass topped out at 4817 ft...about 500 ft shorter than McKinzie pass but added an additional 13 miles. We finished up the day in Sisters Or where we stayed on a ranch owned by Jim and Patty Evered. This awesome family has opened up their land and their showers for cyclists on the TransAm for years and it was really great to hear some of their stories. Day 6 - 58 miles

Day 7: We woke up that morning to feeling like the tent was going to fly away with us in it. Right away I knew it was going to either be a really fast fun day or a really frustrating slow day. We packed up and headed out fortunately with the wind to our backs. We blistered through the first 40 miles averaging over 20 mph (seriously, fully loaded). After our lunch stop, we started the 2000 ft climb up Ochoco Pass. The pass topped out at about 4700 ft and we descended back down the other side into Mitchell, OR. Our final average for the day was 18.8 mph for 88 miles...probably one of the fastest and easiest 88 miles I've ever ridden.
Also in Mitchell, we ran into two other guys also riding the TransAm. One guy, Zac, was from Los Angeles and the other, Matt, was from Las Vegas. Both of them were completely new to touring or cycling for that matter and were pulling "bob" trailers packed to the max. I couldn't believe how much the were hauling when they rode up. They said that they had to weigh their gear to get on a train and they were each carrying 70 pounds in the trailers. I'll pass on that.

Day 8: We headed out from Mitchell straight into a 7 mile climb. This rough start to the day was followed by rough rural roads and some headwind. Even though I wasn't feeling great on the bike, we had some really beautiful scenery. We rode through the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument and down a section of highway 26 called "Picture Gorge". Day 8 was a good but difficult 84 miles ending in Prairie City, OR.

Day 9: Today gave what I was craving: more mountains, less prairie. We had three good climbs today, each being about 1500 ft gain. These climbs were a little more like what we are accustomed to back home...a little shorter and steeper than the climbs of the past few days. Each of these was about 7 miles long as opposed to the 20 and 30 mile climbs we've been seeing. After the last climb, we finished out the day following the Powder river into Baker City, OR.

Upon arriving in Baker City, we finish up the second map and break the 600 mile mark. Tomorrow we head for Oxbow, right on the Idaho border.

Pictures hopefully to come later


  1. MORE PICTURES! Certainly you guys have had a little more adventure than what you're recording. What is the strangest thing you've seen so far?

  2. Thanks for the update - its great to read. We need pictures! Hope you're having even more fun than it sounds like!