Day 69 (August 6th 2016) Baker City – Mt. Vernon, OR; 90 miles

Today was originally supposed to be a shorter day, however, some last minute changes added an addition 20 miles to the ride. We conquered the Three Sisters by noon and they weren’t nearly as bad as the elevation map would lead us to believe. We finished the last few miles with relative ease.

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The biggest hardship of today’s ride was a wildfire that was wreaking havoc on Oregon since Sunday. The smoke was heavy in sections and made it hard to breathe. I had to take a few puffs of my inhaler. After climbing the hills it felt like I just finished smoking 5 cartons of cigarettes.

We took a break in John Day in their visitor center. The woman was very nice and accommodating and even told us that next year they are hosting a solar eclipse viewing party. It is drawing 50,000 people from around the world. Hotels in the area starting booking up in 2011 and all rooms are currently booked. For a town of 2000 people, it’s a huge deal and will boost their economy significantly.

We are staying in a very nice hostel tonight complete with a dog that reminds me of precious little Skippy, rest her soul. We ate in town and had a delicious blueberry milkshake.

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Even though today was a high mileage day with lots of climbs, for some reason it felt short and easy. Luckily it decreased mileage for tomorrow’s ride, so we’ll get in with plenty of time to see the painted hills.

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