Day 4 - Madras to Prineville OR
Mileage: 47 miles
Weather: Mostly sunny. Low 50s to start. Low 70s to end. Wind was mostly out of the west.
Highlights of the day:
New Route! Day 2. Staying in Madras meant that we needed a new route to Prineville. Karen did some research and came up with another great option. We spent most of the morning riding through farmland. Carrots grown for seeds seem to be a big crop here. There are also large hemp fields for the booming cannabidiol oil market. Between the fields, we saw lots of cows, goats, and even alpacas. Providing a backdrop to all of this were the Cascades. Not too shabby!
Our one SAG stop was at Peter Skene Ogden Scenic Viewpoint, overlooking a canyon made by the Crooked River. From there we headed into Redmond and took a left towards Smith Rock. Evidently this location is well known as a training ground for rock climbing. We didn’t see any climbers but we gawked at the beautiful rock formations as we headed east. For most of the last 15 miles we were pushed by a growing tailwind into Prineville. Making peace with the wind was not a difficult task today.
It was a short day. There was lots of scenery and plenty of time to take lots of pictures. There was even enough time for some of the riders to stop & chat with the locals. Topics that I heard about included irrigation and cash crops. To clarify, yes, 47 miles is a short ride for these cyclists. It was even short enough for Rob, our lead mechanic, to end the riding day with a flat tire clinic. He discussed tips & tricks on how to fix them and, just as importantly, talked about how to avoid them. It’s a skill well worth learning out here on tour.
Tomorrow we ride out at dawn to the town of John Day, OR. 115 miles and ~5,000’ of climbing. It’s time to get a good night’s sleep.