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it's gonna rain?...

Bruce H

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This was my ride from last weekend and the story.


We had rain last Tuesday and Wednesday then Thursday was glorious. Friday started out cloudy and the forecast was for more rain on Saturday. I didn't think I was ready for that, a trip was in order. I managed out of work early afternoon on Friday, my route would take me thru Bend, joy for joy, NOT!.. The traffic was stuffed until I exited the back side heading east for parts un-known. It was warm and only a light jacket was needed. Camp for the night would be at Chickahominy, just under three hundred miles out. There is a small reservoir there and if the water isn't blooming a possible swim. My camp for the night would include a sun shade, some rocks and plenty of bugs provided by the reservoir.



As the sun sinks into the far off mountains on its way to the sea the sky turns a golden crimson, tomorrow will be a great day.




The hunters were up first, their marble grinder engines churned the still air as they rumbled off. Time to go, I packed my things as the sun approached, the sky begins to glow. Breakfast was the first order of the day, nearest possibility was thirty miles away. I topped off my gas on the way into town then.... McDonalds would have to do, not much else here. In any case their coffee is good, no Starbucks in "cowboy land". Pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage, hashbrowns and a biscuit, that should do it, just never know when the next meal will come around.


Today I thought I'd check out several of the hot springs. The first, on an island in the middle of a river is just behind the tree in the photo. The water was mid thy deep, running quite strong and a little muddy. I am here and do hope I don't slip crossing, can't see the bottom so feel my way with my feet. Slowly I make it across and there are the springs. I wanted a photo but wasn't going to chance carrying my camera and falling into the river so.... none. The water was hot, my guess is better that 106, I can only stay in for a bit then cool in the breeze.




I work my way back across the river, mount up and head south. Won't be needing a coat. Other riders have mentioned that Drewsey is the place for lunch and home made pie, I was close so thought I'd give it a try. Guess not today, no pie and only three things on the menu. When in "cowboy land" do as the cowboys do, eat what they have. Just never know when the next meal will come around... Lunch finished it's south to the Alvord Desert and Fields.


Fields Station flaunts their milkshakes, almost 4,000 sold so far this year and I think one is in order for me. Yes! Chocolate, this is a chance to say hi to friends, Sandi and Tom who run the station. It has been about a month since I have been here. My next port of call is a spring in the desert, a river really. Just comes out of the ground and flows a few miles then returns to the earth. Water here was about 103 today, on other occasions it has been much hotter, you just have to go downstream far enough to get in.






The dust here is about three inches thick but someone has left a small piece of carpet and a bucket so I have a place to sit and stand while I put my boots back on. I will cross several passes on my way, two over 6200 feet but it is still warm. Ninety Six will be the high today, VERY nice! As evening approaches I head for Summer Lake and the "cowboy" hot springs. This building and concrete pool were built in the early 1920's, not much but I like it, always a photo op. I pitch my tent in the middle, there doesn't seem to be many people here... I head for the pool, humm... there are more people here than I first thought, guess suits are optional, everybody is naked. After a soak in the pool its time to sleep, the moon comes up, almost FULL... Humm... Is this a sign?


About 11pm they begin to arrive.... "Burners" from Seattle, these are but a few of the some 40,000 attracted to "Burning Man" Something that takes place on Black Rock Desert in Nevada each year. Quickly I am surrounded by cars, trucks and vans of every size, even a school buss towing a trailer full of junk, the roof is packed, every nook and cranny is stuffed with what ever they will need for the coming week. I'd guess better that a hundred people, the last arrives after two in the morning. OK... now they party.. All night, or what is left of it!


Oh, and the moon shines...


Morning comes but not a lot of sleep, just short bursts. I am up early, want to get a shower and a soak in the pool before breakfast. "Burneres" are up as well, burning the candle at both ends so to speak. I beat the crowds and ride off. Breakfast is forty miles away as I think about what route to go home. The weather is cooler that yesterday but nice. On the west side of the Cascade Mountains the pavement is wet and there are puddles in places, evidence of what must have fallen during the night, none has fallen on me. This weekend I will cover just under twelve hundred miles. NICE RIDE!...

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Awesome tale!!! Thanks for taking us along.


Those hot springs have to feel good after a long day's ride!

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