From the Archive

Sumpter to Baker City

6/10/12. Sumpter to Baker City – approx. 30 miles

Sunday morning was clear blue skies and cool. Took my time getting ready and was at the door when the restaurant opened at 7 am. Had a light breakfast of only 1 egg, 2 pancakes, and 2 sausage links.

Spent some time in the Internet looking at places to stay in Baker City and trying to catch up on some journaling. It seems like the pictures aren’t getting to my iPad via the cloud like they were earlier. Not being a tech geek, I am thinking it has something to do with the intermittent Internet service. But don’t know. I was getting a little spoiled by having the pictures magically available to insert into the journal. To tell the truth, I am still a little shocked that I was even able to figure out how to insert the pictures. I came on the trip partly to get away from all progress, and end up engaging in all sorts of new fangled technology. Go figure.

McKinley and Patrice emerged from the camp area, where there were 20 something motorcycle people with them and 1 bathroom. The motorcycle people apparently came in late and woke them up. Doesn’t sound like fun camping to me. McKinley awoke to a flat tire on her bike. So after they had breakfast, the 3 of us gathered to fix the tire. It was probably around 9:3o or so before we hit the road.

The ride to Baker City was a series of rolling hills along the Powder River. Gorgeous views of the mountains in the distance. Along the way, a guy with the Baker City marketing asked to take our picture in front of this beautiful lake – he said he would put it on the city’s Facebook page.

Riding with 3 people changes the dynamics somewhat. I found myself having to pay more attention to the bike riding and less on the scenery to avoid getting too close or too far away. A pretty strong headwind came up and we started rotating turns at taking the lead to block the wind while the other 2 drafted. We arrived into Baker City approx. 11:00 am and started looking for food. The main street of the historic district had been blocked off for the Hell’s Canyon Motorcycle gathering, which was in the process of breaking down and dispersing. We ended up at this really cute little restaurant with a pretty healthy selection of items. I had a roast beef something or other with healthy stuff in it and sweet potato fries to die for. The fact that they are sweet potato makes you think you are doing a good thing.

After lunch, I left McKinley and Patrice to check into my motel – The Oregon Trail. I think I read somewhere that the motel was originally built when they were filming the movie “Paint Your Wagon.” For $40 I got a nice clean room + breakfast and as a bonus a tub to soak in. I spent the afternoon washing everything I owned, soaking in the tub, re-organizing and resting. Also did a little maintenance in the bike. For dinner, I walked next door to the Oregon Trail restaurant. They had a great salad bar with veggies and fruit for 4.95; also had a cup of soup and topped it all off with a chocolate milk shake.

I was feeling a little lonely for the first time. McKinley and Patrice were staying with a local family they found through “warmshowers.” This is a bicycle group that matches hosts with guests bicycling. You register with the group and have access to members willing to host. My impression is that it is somewhat hit or miss. Patrice had good luck in Corvallis and Sisters.

After dinner, I went back to my room and watched TV. I have decided I am still not missing anything by not having TV most of the time. This motel has Direct TV with CNN. The problem is there is no sound with CNN. Just CNN – sound goes with the other stations. So, if you lip read you can get the news. Of course, there is aways the crawl underneath, but I get bored with that pretty quick. I was tired and went to sleep about 8:00 pm.


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