Day 7 - Baker City to Ontario OR
Weather: Sunny all day. Mid 50s to start. Mid 80s to end. Winds out of the west.
Highlights of the day:
Weather. Moderate temperatures and a tailwind to start the day.
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 a kicking tailwind. Wahoo!! Riders flew into the first SAG stop with huge grins on their faces, even after their first foray on the Interstate.
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! We also passed large fields of onions later in the day. They did smell good and made us all a little hungry. Good thing there’s a DQ within walking distance of the hotel.
Group dinner at the hotel tonight with our “get to know you” game. 7 days in - just how well is this group bonding? Tomorrow we ride 60 miles into Boise and our first well-earned rest day.