Hello from the DELIGHTFUL Vale Trails RV Park and Campgrounds.
I still owe Y’all a recap of my sixth day of touring, but my accommodations yesterday evening on the banks of the BEAUTIFUL Union Creek were delightfully un-plugged from the civilized world.
Stay tuned for a full blow-by-blow of my historic, folkloric, and not at all automotive 65 mile ride through Oregon History from La Grande to outside of Baker City at a later date.
For now I just wanted to check in, give everyone an update only progress and let y’all know I survived 78 miles of biking and bush-whacking.
I could write up a magnum opus detailing all the mistakes that I made today, but I’m not quite mentally ready to re-live every moment of today’s 13 hour, 78 mile, mostly dirt, and occasionally backcountry trail suffer-fest. The most salient lessons I can impart at this moment are:
1) Sometimes a “Short Cut” makes your life WAY more difficult in the long run.
2) Google maps and I have VERY different opinions about what constitutes a “road.”
Today’s ride began with BREATHTAKING scenery and lung-busting climbs.
I began to get a little nervous when my directions had me proceed to pedal on a dirt road, but I figured that the gods of Google couldn’t steer me wrong.
I was beginning to enjoy being all by myself in the remote Oregon forest.
Circumstances deteriorated rapidly.
The forest service “road” I was trying to follow was, in reality, a minimally maintained horse trail that traversed private property.
I pushed my bike on foot and hoisted my frame over barbed wire fences for four miles before finally making it out of the wilderness.
Once I was riding again the fun didn’t stop. I spent another dozen miles uphill on gravel before finally reaching the twenty-five mile paved portion that took me to my final destination. Suffice to say, there were no sandwich-stops to be had on today’s tour.
All in all I learned THREE things during today’s tribulations. When I started planning this trip I glibly told people: “I’m sure something will go wrong, but I’m an adult with a Ph.D., a positive attitude, and a credit card!” I realized today, while I was lost, alone, and seriously wondering whether I would make it out of the woods in one piece that, as grateful as I am for my education and financial fortune, none of those things are worth a tinker’s damn when faced with an insurmountable obstacle miles away from civilization. I realized today that, among all of my attributes, maintaining a positive attitude is the one source of strength I can rely on when times get rough. When the only way out is through, you keep moving forward because that’s all you can do. I realized today that the most valuable part of a personality comes down to glorious, genuine GRIT.
Time to collapse into my tent. Tomorrow I’m bound for Boise!