Mileage: 65 miles
Weather: Dry, sunny, and crystal clear (again!). Low 50s. It was in the 60s at the top of Government Camp. Temperatures came up into the low 80s to end the day in the high desert.
Highlights of the day:
Day three started the first big climb of the tour, 13 miles up to the base of Mount Hood at Government Camp. It was a long climb of the western US variety, meaning it goes for miles but the grades tend to stay in the 4-8 percent range. For the non-riders, 4-8 percent is work but relatively moderate. For the westerners, yes, I do know there are steep climbs out here but, in my humble and perhaps inaccurate opinion, the steep ones seem fewer and farther between than back east.
It was oddly comfortable at Government Camp today. We’re generally used to being rather wet and cold. We had neither. Both riders and staff working the SAG stop were ok with that. The descent down from Government Camp, while a little brisk, wasn’t all that cold. We were ok with that too.
Mt Hood continued to show itself in all its glory. The backdrop of a bright blue sky certainly helped make it pop. We had to look at it going up to Government Camp. It peered over our shoulder as we made our way down from Government Camp. And it continued to dog us all the way to our second SAG stop. Mt Jefferson will take over tomorrow. The things we have to look at on this tour!!
As we rode east from the base lodge our surroundings rapidly changed from evergreen forest to high desert, with a scattering of trees and shrubs over grassy hills. Big vistas opened up, with grand views of snow capped mountains to the west and Mt Hood to the north. The route ended with a beautiful winding decent down to the Deschutes River followed by a short but steep climb up to the resort. The riders seemed at a loss to come up with enough superlatives for todays views.
I write this from a room in a Native American owned resort, with a balcony overlooking a beautiful valley, nearly devoid of human signs. Spoiled for one more night.