Mileage: 81 miles
Weather: Upper 50s to start. Upper 70s to end. Bright blue skies all day long. Winds out of the west until the last 10 miles.
Highlights of the day:
Today was our last “real” climbing day of this section. We will have hills and we will be climbing the next two days but not the kind of climbs that go on for miles. The riders were all surprised at how tired their legs felt. Then they stopped to think about yesterday…and the previous 4 days…and all the climbing… Hmmm, perhaps there is a reason!
It was quite cool this morning but we quickly warmed up as we began climbing just out of the hotel. An unofficial stop at the Conestoga Wagon View Point provided a beautiful view of the Strawberry Mountain Wilderness area and the John Day River Valley. It’s hard to remember but sometimes the best views of the day are over our shoulder. The route continued up to the top of our first climb, Dixie Mountain Summit @ 5277’.
Near the bottom of our first descent, we had our first SAG stop at the Austin House Restaurant. Time for some really good blackberry cobbler ala mode. Why? Austin House is known for good cobbler and we’re cyclist. Cycling is all about eating – especially at local establishments with homemade goodies.
We had two more climbs. The first climb was to Tipton Mountain Summit @ 5124’, followed by a descent and a climb up to Snall Summit @ ~4900’. This last climb was a little more generous than the first two, it just kept giving more elevation around every corner. A few pictures of the Elkhorn Mountains and it was downhill (mostly) for 20 miles along the Powder River. Riders were happy to find the hotel for food & a well-earned rest.