Three mountain passes later, we rolled into Baker City where my cousin and her husband live. Mike and Debbie are very nice to put us up for the night, especially with a thunderstorm outside currently. Today was a long ride for me; yesterday I left a bike tool 25 miles—and two mountain passes—behind us. I woke up early and rode 50 miles very quickly to get the tool, then met back up with Steve and rode 25 into Baker City. My legs are a bit sore.
Despite being in relatively populated areas, my phone service has been patchy at best. It is hard to communicate out here, but it’s nice in a way not to be reachable. I appreciate the remoteness of Eastern Oregon.
We stayed last night on Phillips Lake, which is part of a grassy basin surrounded by hills. The snowy Elkhorns and Eagle Caps are in sight. There is an abundance of wildlife here as well as a good share of cows that all stare at you as you ride by. Truly brilliant animals. The highlight of this area has been the birds. Steve, boasting extensive knowledge in the field of ornithology, has spotted 67 species of birds so far on the Trail, although he complains that he could have identified more if we rode slower and stopped more often. I reminded him that I have school in September, so we can’t take all year.