August 6, 2001 - Mike and Marilyn's 2001 TranAmerican Bike Tour

Mike and Marilyn's
2001 TransAm Bike Trip
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August 6, 2001

TRANSAM 2001 > Oregon

Dayville to Mitchell, Oregon. (38 mi.) Mile 3985

Taking it easy to Mitchell

If we did our usual 50-60+ miles today, it would mean 5,000 feet of climbing, a mandatory early start to avoid temperatures close to 100 degrees, and a destination that did not have food nor water. We were both sleep deprived from recent camping experiences, my knee was still sore, and Mike had a touch of Achilles tendonitis yesterday, so... we decided to cut back on the mileage and relax a bit. We have been running a day ahead of schedule for finishing August 11, at which time we think our family has the Goodyear blimp scheduled to cover the event (or at least they should).

About the gash on my knee that I suffered two days ago: I tried all kinds of different tapes, tinctures, dressings, and solutions to try to keep the wound protected while bicycling, and finally settled on a tried and true, time honored solution that seemed to work the best, a scab. Sutures might have lessened the scar and made for a good story, but the other scars on my poor knee will just have to make room for another.

Deciding on a more leisurely pace today immediately reduced our stress. We yakked with Steve at the Dayville Merc some more, ate a late breakfast, and took our time admiring the spectacular scenery of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.

West of Dayville: the road squeezes through a crack in the basalt formation

The road enters Painted Gorge

When we finished climbing and prepared to zoom down into Mitchell, we were surprised to get our first glimpse of snow covered Mt. Hood in the distance, one of the dormant volcanoes in the Cascade Range. This is the last significant mountain range before the Pacific coast.

Oregon's volcanic cindercones visible from Keyes Creek Summit

From here we could see Mt. Hood (not shown)

Downtown Mitchell (population 200+) consists of two cafes, a market, a feed store, and a cage with a captive American black bear named Henry. The bear is the town's claim to fame. Everyday the bear's owner gets in the cage with Henry to feed and wrestle with him for interested tourists. I was glad to see that Henry appeared healthy and happy considering his life of captivity.

Mitchell's Little Pine Cafe makes milkshakes the old fashioned way

We set up our tent in the city park and caught up on our rest

Henry the Bear's small world in Mitchell

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