Woke up at 8 in the morning. looked around and noticed that everyone else was still asleep. Promptly went back to bed. Forced myself up at 9 am. Went down and got a cup of coffee. Jake had already left a while ago. He needed to stay on schedule as his family would meet him at Montana. He was talking about how his mum was paranoid that he would get eaten by a bear. Seems like mums are pretty much the same everywhere in the world. Don and LE were still asleep. Over the last few days i have been up and about at 6 in the morning. Haven’t been able to start riding till 9 though but at least been up at 6. Today’s an exception. After a cup of coffee and a couple of smokes i quickly packed up my bags. My kind of food
Went down and Jalet had some breakfast for us. They had gone home the previous night and had come back early in the morning. Pat had a refresher driver test scheduled and we wouldn’t be able to see him before we left. I marked my location on the world map and got ready to leave. It was almost 12 noon. Turns out today would be a nice short day. Don was thinking about taking the day off and just chilling there. The hostel and the hospitality extended in the middle of nowhere just was phenomenal.
Everyone leaves something behind
We left the hostel and headed to the grocery store to buy a few supplies. The town for 100 people has a grocery store and 2 hotels. Impressive. We started to climb out of the town towards Dayville. Stopped for a moment on the side of the road and Don rolled up next to me. He found a full packet of cigarettes sitting next to the side of the road. Since he doesn’t smoke he gave me those. Time to switch to Marlboros for today. Our plan was to ride to Praire city and then see how much further we could go. Maybe even Austin and camp at the store. On the way down towards John Day Fossil Monument ( everything is called John day something ) the wind picked up. After going over the summit of Keys I stopped at the bottom of the hill waiting for Don. Waited for about an hour and he still dint show. I asked a family in a car as they came down the hill about him. He was going the other way back towards Mitchell. Since his tracker would make a noise i continued riding. It started to pour. The only place to take cover was an abandoned building with no trespassing signs on it. John Day street i think its calledSummit of Keys
While i waited for the rains to stop the bike was getting wet. Made my way to the store at Dayville. The town had just one store and its been around for over a 100 years. Just as i was entering the store George and Julia met me. Hard to recognize George without his bike. He had come to town a few hours ago and had decided to do some laundry so stayed back at the church. George had ridden this route in 1976 for the bi centennial. Apparently the church in town had hosted cyclists then and he came back again to visit. They had gotten LE who had left Mitchell a little before us and he was taking a nap at the church. Don was nowhere to be seen but his tracker was showing that he was coming towards us. I got a cup of coffee and a little food at the store and waited for Don on the side of the road. Julia who was with george was riding the race as a tribute to Mike Hall and Eric who were killed in separate road accidents the previous years. Unfortunately her brother was sick and she had to stop at Dayville. She was waiting for her husband to pick her up. It amazes me how far people would drive to pick someone up in the country. back home they would ask you to take a bus or train but those don’t seem to be an option here.
Don after long long climb
The 100 year store
Don showed up at the store a few minutes later. Apparently he had forgotten his phone when he stopped to water the plants. After he got his phone the wind had gotten super strong that it had knocked him off the bike. A lady passing by stopped and helped him out. Luckily for him he hadn’t been rained on. We decided to stop for the day and stay at the church. The restaurant in town would close in a few minutes and Don headed there to get a meal. I went ahead to the church with George. Setup the bike and came out for a smoke and to call home. Turns out AT&T doesnt work in town. Walked up to the store to use the wifi. Thankfully even though the store was closed they had wifi working. Quickly texted home to let them know that i was done for the day. Don had finished his meal and was ready to go to the church. At the church we discovered that they had a laundry machine. Finally i could wash everything i owned. With laundry sorted and a quick shower i was ready to go to bed. At the church
George and I started to talk and turns out he runs a business that has an office in India. Learnt a little about the financial system in the US and how he invests money in bonds and stocks. Tried to learn a little about the culture about the country. Turns out if you can afford it you would pay for college for your kids. George also had a knee surgery and until about a week before the race couldn’t even walk without a walker. Its brilliant what the human body can do, he has already ridden about 500 miles.
Dayville presbyterian church who hosted us for the night
Finally hit the bed, the church had only one rule which was ” no sleeping on the peos”. Thankfully the floor was carpeted. LE decided to stay with us for the night and ride the next day but he wasn’t happy with the bunch of cyclists socializing and just wanted us to shut up for him to go to bed. I guess when 6 cyclist get together they will make some noise.
The first pic i sent back home
Lesson for the day : When on tour waterproof everything even if you can afford only plastic bags.
Up next: Day 7 : Dayville to Austin