T – Well it was a pretty good sleep last night. Only a few cars passed down this road during the night so that was good! It was still raining tho and there were a lot of drips getting through the rain fly and dripping heavily onto the inner tent. In fact it looked like it had rained a fair bit and there was quite a bit of water coming up through the floor also.
During a break in the rain we raced outside. Chantelle cooked some breakfast and made tea while I hurriedly packed everything away. The tent we kind of just slopped into its bag and then after scoffing breakfast down quickly we pulled our wet weather gear on and off we went!
C – I woke up refreshed and excited about the days riding! The back roads through the National Forests have proven beautiful and that’s exactly what we were hoping for today!
T – According to the map our ride today would take us further into the twisty sections of the mountain and over a couple of passes! Sounded good to me!
We continued on the road and it climbed and climbed and climbed all the while becoming narrower and narrower. It was a blast and the forest just so beautiful. We backtracked for a while because we thought we were lost, but nope, we were right all along.
As we climbed higher the sun broke out and the rain stopped. Even though only briefly, we stopped in the sun and enjoyed it while it was there! Then the clouds rolled back in and we raced away from the rain.
C – I must admit this mornings riding, despite the beauty of the surroundings, was a miserable morning for me. I was excited until it rained whilst I cooked breakfast. I got soaked whilst finishing off the breakfast and then during the camp packup. Sliding my feet into sloshing boots was not so much fun and I felt completely miserable, with no blue sky in sight…… I think Todds grumpy mood is catching……. Eventually we did get some small patches of blue sky which helped.
T – Eventually we were spat out on a busy highway. The GPS again ruled king and directed us to turn off just a little ways up the road and follow some old logging trails. What a hoot! With all this rain everything was muddy and slippery which had us laughing as Rosie and Mabel sild around corners and into mudholes! At this point we were glad we had small bikes as we both felt we would have had some nasty offs on bigger machines.
C – Good ol’ GPS hey! Had me perked up in no time, slipping and sliding around muddy corners and through big puddles! I no longer cared that I was wet and muddy! This kind of riding really appeals to me, going slowly and putting lil’ Rosie to the test! What an absolute blast!!! Once again, I was riding along, grinning like the Cheshire cat!
T – In the end we had to sit on the highway to go over the last of the mountains. There was one way across at this point. Santiam pass. It wasn’t a bad ride and had some nice views. Even the heavy traffic was well behaved and we sat on the wide smooth shoulder and cruised up and over.
At the bottom on the other side was a small town by the name of Sisters. We stopped in here for some fuel, both of us running on our reserve tanks for a while now, and some laundry. There was something quite unusual going on in town though. Something neither of us had ever thought existed. A quilting show! The largest in the US we were told! There were quilts hanging from windows and balconies everywhere. And so many people!
We snuck around the back blocks and found a Laundromat where we washed our disgusting stinky clothes and sat in the warmth for a while.
C – Whilst we sat in the Laundromat, several people spotted the bikes on the street and came in for a chat. Its lovely to chat with fellow bikers, and one guy even helped us out with some route planning. He explained he had spent quite a lot of his youth travelling all around the US on his motorbike.
T – Sporting fresh warm clothes we then took off for a nearby free camp.
What a nice camp it was too. Right near a rock climbers paradise by the looks of things. The big boulders near our camp covered in white marks from the climbers chalky hands.
We set the tent up to give it a chance to dry out in the breeze that was blowing through the area while we took advantage of a lull in the rain and read our kindles outside.
Both of us were knackered and ready for bed pretty soon after and as I zipped the door shut and climbed wearily into my sleeping bag, the rain started to come down again.