Day 7 - Baker City to Ontario OR
Weather: Sunny all day. Low 50s to start. Mid 80s to end. Winds out of the SSE.
Highlights of the day:
Weather. Moderate temperatures. There have been years when we experience triple digit highs. Not this year. No complaints. We did have a headwind for most of the day that seems a little more in our face on the last 20 miles. But… that wind helped keep the temps down. The legs might have complained a bit but it really did help.
After several days with significant climbing, it was a well enjoyed break for the riders to have a route that was primarily downhill. Downhill on good pavement. Downhill with not much wind to speak of. Downhill!!
The seventh day on the road took us out of the mountains and to the eastern edge of Oregon. It included our first foray onto an interstate highway. In some of the western states it’s legal to ride on the highway when there are no reasonable alternatives, and we met that criteria twice today. We were on the highway for a total of 7 miles on a Sunday, so the traffic was light. Almost all of the shoulder was freshly paved and beautifully smooth.
The pine-covered mountains gave way to golden rolling hills along the Snake River. This is a river the riders will get to know very well. It comes in and out of our route all the way into Jackson Wyoming. What we saw today was wide and ambling but soon will be dotted with rapids and falls as we head east.
We are also coming into farmland. This is farmland that apparently would not exist without a great deal of irrigation. Brown borders of scrub and dried grass surround the bright green fields. No irrigation. No green. We passed large fields of lavender. Breathe deep and relax! (while riding into a headwind…) We also passed large fields of onions later in the day. Dang, did they smell good and make me hungry!
Group dinner at the hotel tonight with our “get to know you” game. 7 days in - does anyone have all of the names down? Tomorrow we ride 60 miles into Boise and our first rest day.