Woke up in the middle of the night as the camper was getting hit by heavy rains. Thankfully sleeping inside the camper we stayed warm and dry. Early next morning Don and I had a quick breakfast and waited for the cafe to open to get a cup of coffee before we left. It had continued to rain non stop from the previous night. We had to make a decision to get out and start riding or stay another day at the cafe. Staying another day seemed unlikely. We figured might as well start riding and hopefully it would stop raining during the day. While having a cup of coffee i noticed a message from Micheal, he had gotten hit by a car and had gone to the hospital. His note on the group said that he wanted to stop and go home. Quickly wrote to him saying that we would get there in a bit and maybe we could help. In the meantime I was keeping track of another racer who had gotten Pneumonia 2 days ago and had somehow made it to Baker’s city. He had gone to the hospital and was advised to go home. I hoped to be able to meet him at Baker’s city before a friend of his picked him up. Just before we left we noticed another tourer who was riding from East to West. He was sitting in a car trying to get warm. He had ridden from Praire city in the rain and had just reached the cafe. His wife was following him in a car and helping him with food and carrying his gear. Spoke to him for a few minutes and decided it was time to hit the road.
Wet wet day at Austin junction
With 4 layers on i quickly left. Riding towards Baker’s city involved crossing 2 passes and having no coffee or gas stations in between. Slowly we started to climb and reached the top of Tipton. With the elevation at 5124 it was starting to get cold. Just as we were descending it started to rain. So much for the window of no rain that we rode through. In about 5 mins we were wet and cold. Slowly we made our way towards the lake near Baker city. It poured and poured on us and we couldn’t find anywhere to duck away from the rain. Every blog / post and article i read about how hot Baker’s city was turns out not to be true on that particular day.
At 5124 ft its super cold
Riding in the wet and cold, somewhere on the way to Baker’s city
Finally we slowly rolled into town. The first thing we did was try and find a place to stay. The post office was open. We went in and checked it out to make sure we could sleep there. The next step was to get a cup of coffee. Pinged Micheal and he was super sweet to let us stay at his room in the hotel. Went and met Micheal who thankfully seemed to have recovered. He was ready to restart again. Rolf unfortunately had left by then and I couldn’t see him before he left. Don and I quickly changed into dry clothes and put our shoes next to the heater to dry. The hotel had a washer and dryer so we quickly put our clothes in the wash. A quick shower and a couple of cigarettes it was time to get some food. IN the meantime LE showed up, he had taken the day off since he wasn’t feeling very well. George was in town too but in another hotel. With all the mundane tasks taken care off we decided to go and find a nice bar to get a bite of eat. Micheal decided to catch a nap and take it easy, he was still sore. The frozen pizza that he had bought the previous day was dinner.
Micheal wearing his hospital clothes that he got for free
Don, LE and I went out to check out the town. We found this super nice sports bar in town. Its been a while since I have found a nice place just to sit down and eat. While eating we figured out that there is a bike ride that starts at baker’s city and they see about 800 bikers pass through town every September. The town meant for tourists, unfortunately no industries exists at the moment. With our stomachs nice and full headed back to the hotel to catch a nap. Don and LE headed out while i went to the gas station to see if they had waterproof gloves. The only kind of gloves i found were the ones they use to pump gas with. Super thin but waterproof and best of all free. A quick cup of coffee and called it a night.
Don and LE doing research on what we could eat.
In all my years of riding/traveling apart from the time in Rangdum (Ladkh) where i stupidly put my shoes into water i haven’t felt as cold as i had today. Thanks to Micheal we had a warm place to sleep. Hopefully it would be nice and warm tommorow. I am already sick of the rain. I think i can manage when its just cold but cold and wet together seems to be hard to manage.
Glimpse of the main street in town
Lesson for the day: Waterproof shoe covers may not be fashionable but will save your toes from feeling cold.
Up next: Day 9, Baker’s city to Halfway