June 8, 2017 – Mitchell, Oregon

Howard writing:  Yesterday took us up and over Ochoco Divide, which more or less separates central from eastern Oregon.

The landscape has changed dramatically – jagged rock hills have replaced mountain forests, browns have replaced greens, and volcanic rock is evident.

With rain forecast for the next several days, and with a wonderful tail wind, I decided to add 16 miles to an already-long day yesterday and push on to Mitchell.  Total riding distance was 85.7 miles, with 3300 feet of climb. Wendy rode 24 miles, round trip.

Mitchell is a sweet town (population, 120) not far from John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. We’re camped in our little trailer outside a bike hostel that doubles as a church on Sundays.  There are several other cyclists here, and it’s fun to trade stories.

 We watched the second half of the Warriors dramatic victory last night in a local cafe, which stayed open an hour and a half past the normal 7:30 PM closing to allow us to watch the end of the game.

Yesterday, a wife-husband duo who own a coffee kiosk in Redmond, OR, committed a random act of kindness toward me.  I rolled up to the window and ordered my coffee and we chatted for quite a while about the ride, about the central Oregon region, about small town life, etc.

These are cordial and warm people.  When I pulled out my money to pay, they refused to take it.  I said, “C’mon, that’s not right, let me pay.”  The  guy said, “Look, we own this place and we can do whatever we damn well please!”  Then they asked if I had room to carry with me a half-pound of their custom-roasted coffee beans.  I had to refuse the offer.  That lovely encounter warmed me for the next 50 miles.



  1. I have enjoyed following your progress. Sounds like you are having a wonderful time. Hope the weather doesn’t slow you down. Be careful on the wet roads.

  2. Great to read such fun tales from the road already! I am loving following along!

  3. Wow, you’re putting on some impressive miles and some grinding elevation – the training is paying off, as long as you get past the Oregon brews. Looks like the Warriors have given you another opportunity to catch some basketball on TV after your ride on Monday from ??? – Ride On, Wild Ones!!

  4. Dear Howard and Wendy, Just catching up with the blog today…such wonderful photos and heartwarming stories. I’m so excited for you and love living your trip vicariously. Love, Annie

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