Thursday, April 3, 2008
Mitchell to Dayville
During breakfast we revisited the idea of making today easier so we could both ride and recuperate. Alison had a great idea to sag to the top of the pass (about a 2000 foot climb) and ride down to the John Day fossil beds. We could then get some time on the bikes and have the whole afternoon to rest, go to the visitor center, and spend some time off the bikes.
The car ride to the summit took a few minutes. It probably would have been almost an hour and half or more on the bikes. The ride down hill was great – fast in spots, but slow enough in others where I actually got to take in some scenery. At about 10 miles into the ride we entered Picture Gorge. The colors in the rock ranged from deep rust-reds to yellows to chalky white. The entire road followed a river.
As our descent started to flatten there was a turn to the north to the Condon unit of the John Day fossil beds. We met Jim and Elaine at the Cant Ranch historical site, where we changed clothes, ate lunch, and enjoyed our time visiting the Cant house and the Condon Visitor Center, a short walk up the road (it felt weird going somewhere and not being on the bike!).
The visitor center is beautiful. Built about three years ago, it houses specimens of fossil finds from the surrounding area. After Gus got done watching a short video on how the paleontologists extract fossilized remains, he said that he wanted to do that for a job! Sonia has always been interested in fossils. This was her type of museum. Had they not been closing she could have spent another hour looking at all the displays.
This would be the end of our riding for today. We had a much needed rest. Even so, Gus was starting to not feel so good. He has a sore throat and was a bit on the hot side. Tomorrow the kids may need to sag while Alison and I ride.
Total Miles: 27.41
Time on Bike: 1:39
Average Speed: 16.47 mph
Maximum Speed: 35.16 mph