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05/30/2003 Entry: "Baker City, Oregon"


.... Now that we have that out of the way, let me tell you how things are going. Firstly, we aren't dead. (I felt the need to reiterate that) We are, however, in the middle of nowhere in the Oregon high desert. Well, technically it's not a desert, that's just what I call it. It's hot, dry, desolate, freezing in the morning, boiling during the day, sparse, and full of really bad roads that I can best describe as gravel covered in a thin layer of plaster. Those roads are worse than any headwind or mountain we've ever encountered. It's like trying to ride through mud. Anyway, since we are in this sparse area internet connections are rare, so that is why you haven't heard from us in awhile, and probably won't hear from us for a few days after this.

A lot has happened since we last updated. Unfortunately I can't show you pictures because our picture software is a little finicky, but soon you will see them. The last you heard from us was 20 miles outside of Redmond on the way to Mitchel. That ride was incredibly tough. It was extremely hot, over those nasty roads, and we had a mountain at the end of it. Morgan experienced his first "Bonk," (Were your body runs out of food and energy and gives up on you. It's like hitting a brick wall) but was able to pull through. He's become a very good rider for his age, and is keeping up with the rest of us bigger guys really well. He's also learned how to draft off us quite well, which is neccisary since he is affected by headwinds much more than we are due to his lighter weight. It's so extreme that he has to pedal down most downhills. He's not too happy about that.

Anyway, we rolled into Mitchell very late that night... (click the more link, this is a long entry)

around 7pm. We found a free park to stay at where we met Bob and his son, also riding across the country. They are doing it with BOB trailers and full suspension mountain bikes. Unfortunately, Bob's son developed a lung problem and was unable to carry on, and Bob decided to keep riding on his own. We rode with him some the next day and saw him yesterday, but haven't seen him since. We believe he is taking a more Southern route. Good luck, Bob.

The next day we set out from Mitchell to John Day. We met a two other riders that day, both going the other way and using BOB trailors. We started the day out with a brutal 7 mile, 4,000 ft climb that was followed by 60+ miles of those lousy roads and blistering heat. That was by far our hardest day of the trip (much worse than Mckenzie pass, in my opinion). We finally gimped it in to John Day after 7pm looking for any place we could find to collapse. Luckilly, we met Cindy who was with the 7th Day Adventist Church who let us stay at their facilities. It was wonderful. We got to sleep inside, have bathrooms, and even a kitchen. Josh cooked a giant (and wonderful) vegitable stew, there was also garlic bread, and Spaghetti.

That day Mike Schmidt also joined up with us. He was to be one of the original riders but was unable to join us until then. He showed up in Mitchell at 5:45am and we woke up at 6. Due to the lack of sleep we decided he shouldn't ride that day (Mitchel to John Day) and that he and Jodi should drive to John Day and he would ride the next day.

While laying around John Day we decided that we were in desperate need of a break. Jesse and Morgan's knees were acting up, moral was low (two days of getting in at 7pm means no juggling), and Mike was just joining us. We decided to break up the next two days day (John Day to Sumpter and then Sumpter to Richland) into three days (John Day to Austin Junction, Austin Junction to Baker City, Baker City to Halfway). This would split up the 3 passes (aka GIANT MOUNTAINS) among two days instead of one, and give us a 30 and 50 mile day as opposed to a few 70's. We also needed an overnight in Baker City (where I am now) in order to get the bikes fixed since there are no bike shops around here. We won't see another one until Montana. (on a side note, Jesse and Mark have now also broken spokes)

This decision turned yesterday until a relative holiday. We only road over 1 mountain and 30 miles. We camped behind a resteraunt/store/post office that was the entirity of the town and took many long, much need naps. We decided to splurge and eat at the resteraunt and had a huge, wonderful meal. That night we were able to practice juggling again and turn in early for some real sleep. It was truly wonderful, and much needed.

Today we road 50 miles over two mountains, those nasty, horrible roads, and multiple crazy headwinds to end up in Baker City about 2pm. Despite this sounding hard, it was still relatively and easy day and we're all pretty happy to be here. Moral is back up, and joints are beginning to work again. Mike is proving to be an excellent rider, and we have no fear that he will be broken in soon. We got the wheels fixed at the bike shop, visited the post office, and are staying at the director of the public library's house. (I'm currently using the library's computer). There are, apparently, three other bikers also going Trans America staying there as well, so we look forward to meeting them.

Hopefully we will be able to update more often in the near future and we'll be able to show the beautiful pictures of where we are. Despite the mainy difficulties we've ran into we're still all having the times of our lives. There may be some route changes in the future so that we take a straighter path to Omaha to allow us more juggling time. We'll let you know. And remember, please, donate to the Shriner's Children's Hospitals.


Replies: Leave us a note! (10)

You guys are incredible! Just curious-do you wear helmets?
Keep safe and congratulation on a great journey!

Posted by Seager's Aunt Bono @ 06/20/2003 03:26 PM CST

RE: not dead. Just a warning -- I did RAGBRAI with Seager and there are times he may smell dead but is actually still alive. Just don't dump him by the side of the road until you're sure.

Posted by the other Seager @ 06/17/2003 12:51 PM CST

Hey guys, this site is brilliant.
The trip sounds crazy but its great what you are doing for the hospital. I am even learning some yankee geography (i had no idea oregeon had beaches/was on the coast).
take care of youselves

Posted by Louise from OZ @ 06/17/2003 07:43 AM CST

I'm glad to hear you guys got some rest! I was really happy to meet all of you, and am very envious. If I hadn't signed a contract with Stryker, I would be up there with you in a heartbeat. Not only because you get to see the country by riding your bikes, but because you are doing it for a good cause. Keep it up guys! I'll be watching for updates!

Posted by Jodi @ 06/17/2003 01:22 AM CST

My computer must be going nuts, surely didn't ssend the message 5 times! Old but not senile, sorry!

Posted by Carolyn @ 06/16/2003 10:04 PM CST

Golly gee whiz, am I gladc to see you back online! Sounds like all of you needed some civilization, rest and fun after a rough couple of days.
Hope the bikes start behaving better, maybe some good roads would help?
Idaho is stunningly georgeous, you will be in photography heaven!

Posted by Granny Carolyn @ 06/16/2003 10:01 PM CST

By gosh am I glad to see you back online! Sounds like a couple of rough days, but it seems you all needed some civilization,fun and rest.
Idaho will be stunningly georgeous.
Hope the bikes start behaving.

Posted by Granny Carolyn @ 06/16/2003 09:57 PM CST

By gosh am I glad to see you back online! Sounds like a couple of rough days, but it seems you all needed some civilization,fun and rest.
Idaho will be stunningly georgeous.
Hope the bikes start behaving.

Posted by Granny Carolyn @ 06/16/2003 09:57 PM CST

By gosh am I glad to see you back online! Sounds like a couple of rough days, but it seems you all needed some civilization,fun and rest.
Idaho will be stunningly georgeous.
Hope the bikes start behaving.

Posted by Granny Carolyn @ 06/16/2003 09:55 PM CST

What'll I do with the stuff Eyecare Associates sent you? BE SAFE, love, Mom

Posted by Seager's Mom @ 06/16/2003 08:46 PM CST




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