Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Day 69: Going through Hell to reach Oregon

Day 69
Cambridge, ID to Halfway, OR 58miles

Dont worry about the title. I had a great day today. The Hell being referred to is Hells' Canyon. According to Wiki it is the deepest river gorge in America. And most importantly of all for me, it represents the boundary between Idaho and Oregon, the final state of my trip.

The first part of the day was a climb (this seems to be a recurring theme!) which took me over the pass and down into Hell's Canyon. The descent was awesome – about 6miles of almost non-stop downhill. Well I stopped to take a couple of pictures, but you get what I mean!
My favourite type of road sign!

The descent into Hell ('s canyon)

The canyon was stunning, with a huge reservoir flanked by steep mountains on both sides. Just past the first of the canyon's dams, I crossed the Snake River and I was in Oregon!
That's Oregon on the other side!

Oregon: A state with 8 sides. Or something like that!

This is it. My last state. I still have quite a bit of riding to do (over 600miles), but the end is now most definitely in sight. I'm really looking forward to that first glimpse of the Pacific ocean. I'm also now back on Pacific Time (GMT -8hrs) for the rest of my journey. Which is good, as it can be quite time consuming having to keep changing all my clocks!

Although I wasn't that impressed with Oregon's welcome for me. Within a few miles of crossing the state line, I was having to fix a puncture! It's actually my first flat since way back in Kansas. I was having those problems with my back tyre. Got a new one and some new inner tubes in Hutchinson, and since then not a single puncture. That's 33 days, and almost 1,900miles, so I can't really feel too hard done by! And besides, it was a very pretty place to have to change an inner tube!
Punctures - truly the work of Satan himself

I found the culprit, a small thorn had pierced the tyre at the point where the sidewall and the road bit of the tyre meet. Removed it with my trusty Leatherman tool pliers, changed the tube and was on my way in 20mins.

The rest of the day involved a gradual climb out of the canyon. Decided to stop at the town of Halfway for the day. 58 miles is more than enough, and it puts me at the bottom of yet another early morning climb for tomorrow!

Think I will treat myself to a decent meal, and maybe a beer tonight. Recently I've been buying and making myself a lot of sandwiches or rolls. This is good because it's cheap, but I feel I need a proper dinner tonight. It might even involve ice-cream!

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