Prineville, Oregon

We are past the Cascade mountain range. Yesterday was a bit of a climb; we rode from 1,000 feet at McKenzie Bridge to the top of the McKenzie pass at 5,300 feet. In Sisters on the other side of the pass, we met with a couple who were also traveling the TransAmerica trail, but they took the alternate route over the Santiam pass because they heard McKenzie was closed. Steve had called the Forest Service office because we had also heard McKenzie was closed. It turns out it was—but only to cars—so we climbed into the mountains without a single car for hours. It was the most amazing, surreal ascent. There was a little snow on the roadside, bright sunlight, and massive volcanic formations, and it was dead silent with the exception of a road bike doing 50 mph every ten minutes or so.

We met with a rider at the summit and chatted for a bit. On the way down he was drafting me and said it was like following a pickup. He also said it looked pretty funny to see a fully loaded bike hit a switchback going 40. That was a bit freaky, but the weight on my back wheel prevented any sliding. The descent into Sisters was quick, and we found a campsite in town and pitched the tents. We slept in and got lunch in town. Leaving town late, however was a mistake because of the wind; a 69 year old woman rode our route today at 7 am and said she coasted into Prineville, while we battled big winds and just barely got here.

By the way, our official mascot is Static Shock, an action figure we picked up a few days back at a garage sale. He’s a little too intense for me, but Steve likes his attitude. I should also add that Static Shock has increased the weight of my bike by approximately 6 grams, and Steve never even offered to carry this burden, what a slacker.