Delightful Oregon

Delightful Oregon

Days are going by, but it’s never boring.  There is always something new, something different.

I am nearing the end of the Missoula to Bend chapter, that I shared with Rose and Will. Only another 2-3 days before they are done with their cross-country ride and I continue on my own, but none of us is in a rush, we all enjoy taking our time.

High deserts of Oregon
Riding along another river
Quiet roads

I hadn’t planned to take this route, but it certainly wasn’t a mistake. It has been amazing. The road was almost never flat, we had some very long climbs that made us work hard, but of course followed by wonderful downhills. I had never climbed for such long distances, and never coasted down such long hills either. We biked through farmland, canyons, pine forests. We visited so many small towns that would have remained anonymous if we hadn’t been on our bikes.

Scenic Oregon
At the top of another climb
All downhill from here!
Each area has its own beautiful flowers
Baker City valley
Another pass
Cyclist friendly place in Prairie City
Scenic road, but can you see the headwind?
Nice to see the sun again after a couple days of clouds and mist

We did go through a real city a couple days ago, Baker City, where we were hosted by Nancy, a Warmshowers host who grew up in Turkey.  To my delight, she had baked baklavas the day before, not knowing that this is one of my favourite desserts! To digest all those extra calories, she made us play “ping pong without rules” in her garage.

Nancy had posted a little “Warmshowers” sign on her door
Pizza dinner with Rose, Will and Nancy. Baklavas to follow.

Only one place, Austin Junction, who claimed to be bike friendly, was not very welcoming. They had all kinds of signs to welcome cyclists and we had even called the day before to make sure we could camp behind the store as they claimed, but the woman in charge that day was likely not having a good day and had changed her mind.  I think it was my first “bad experience” or at least somewhat unfriendly interaction on this trip. But luckily we found a pretty decent place to pitch our tents across the road and spent the night listening to coyotes, owls and trucks going by…

Pine forests
Supposedly cyclist friendly Austin Junction Café. Too bad the owner was in a bad mood.

After a pretty long day yesterday, that ended up with a stiff headwind/crosswind, we arrived in Dayville, a cute little town where Rose, also on Warmshowers, welcomed us. For many years, cyclists have been offered to stay in the local church, and over the years, from all the donations, people in charge were even able to buy a washer and dryer for cyclists to use.  The place had a fully equipped kitchen, a nice shower, wifi and even food that we could use. We shared the place with another friendly cyclist, Jeffrey, who biked with us this morning to Mitchell.

Dayville reminded me of Dawson City
This café apparently has the best pies in the US, but they were closed the day we were there.
Downtown Dayville!
Inside the church
Where we spent the night

Ahhhhh… Mitchell!  This is no ordinary place!  I’ve actually never seen anything quite like this one.  Another church turned into a hostel, with a very welcoming host, beautiful bunk beds, an amazing kitchen full of treats for cyclists, lots of little quiet corners with sofas and chairs that just want to suck you in and never let you get up again.

Beautiful morning on the way to Mitchell
More quiet roads and beautiful scenery
The road was going between these two hills
And soon into another canyon
I was sure I would see Lucky Luke or the Daltons
The Spoke’n Hostel in Mitchell
Bunkbed where they had already posted our names
One of the sitting areas
More sitting areas

For a village of about 150 people, they certainly cover the essential: a brew pub with a great menu (including veg options), a well stocked grocery store, a café and a French bakery that will open… tomorrow!!!

Downtown Mitchell

Well, this was not the end of the surprises for the day. A guest at the hostel offered us to join him on his drive to the nearby Painted Hills, where we had planned to go as a side trip tomorrow. Not only were we excited to see the place at sunset, that also means we can really take a full day off tomorrow!

The Painted Hills
Sunset on the hills
Big valley
Dry land
Very scenic
More painted hills
The trio

And my final thought of the day…

13 thoughts on “Delightful Oregon

  1. Tu fais de très belles découverte en sortant des sentiers battus et en les parcourant en vélo. Profite bien de tes derniers jours avec de la compagnie

    1. Oui, quel plaisir ce fut de partager ces deux semaines avec des cyclistes vraiment agréables. De belles rencontres, encore une fois!

  2. Bonjour Catherine, merci de si bien nous faire voyager avec toi. Penserai à toi fréquemment dans les prochaines semaines car je serai en Afrique du Sud!

  3. Once again thank you for ‘taking me along’ and allowing me to share the beauty of your travel. It is snowing lightly here this morning, Much too early as the leaves are still on the trees and the hoses and garden tools outside. We do not expect a heavy snowfall here but you never know. Keep safe

    1. Snow in the forecast here too, in Bend. I agree with “much too early”. Happy to share the stories and pictures, it’s like travelling with a whole bunch of friends!

    2. Hey Cat,

      Love to here about your own adventure through eastern and central Oregon! Nancy also played me and her friends in no rules ping pong, it was a blast! I’m sorry to here about your experience at Madison junction, I was fortunate enough to ride onward that day to dayville where that Rose talked my ear off about all of the wonderful and weird cyclists she has met over the decades. Hope all is well and that you are enjoying Bend as much as I did!

  4. Allo Catherine
    Cette fois-ci, par tes photos, tu me fais découvrir un “pays” que je ne connaissais pas. L’Oregon que tu as parcouru (Nord et Centre) m’apparait partiellement désertique comme certaines parties de la Californie voisine. Et les montagnes qui ressemblent à la crème glacée Napolitaine trois couleurs font partie des beaux paysages que j’ai découverts aux alentours du Grand Canyon.
    C’est tellement agréable de pouvoir revoir ces contrées à travers tes yeux et ta caméra!
    Merci de les partager avec toutes ces personnes qui te suivent et t’encouragent.
    bisous
    Fernand

  5. Hi Cat,
    I have had the pleasure of enjoying the hospitality at many churches in the past while on tours. But it seems like the place in Mitchell it’s pretty special! Makes me want to turn around and check it out 🙂
    Cheers!
    George

  6. Humm! merveilleux de partager ton voyage (après 3 semaine a me battre avec une infection aux oreilles, comme si j’avais 5 ans encore) Oh well, ca arrive.
    Entre temps il a neige ici pi J’ai déglacer mon pare brise pour la premiere fois et surement pas la dernière.
    Merci pour tes récit il me font rêver et me rappelle un temps sans soucis.

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