Sometimes the best views are behind us. Sort of a metaphoric statement, but perhaps apropos as we cycle onward. Here’s an attempted over-the-shoulder selfie, with Oregon’s Elkhorn mountain range in the back vista (along with the morning shadow of a fellow rider). A somewhat risky maneuver while on the bike, but traffic is virtually non-existent on this pleasant route out of Baker. ‘Old Highway 30’ has been rendered nearly obsolete by nearby Interstate 84 – but it openly welcomed us two-wheel travelers.
Alas, the friendly old road would eventually give way to the superhighway at about mile 30 today. We had to ride on the high-speed Interstate for several nerve-wracking miles. Fortunately, there is a nice wide shoulder, but unfortunately, it’s littered with all sorts of weird road debris. Thankfully, the Old Highway reappeared to deliver us into the quaint town of Huntington. Here, the road becomes the historic Oregon Trail. It’s a special feeling to make a self-powered journey along the same path early pioneers took over 150 years ago.
Further down the trail, as we came along the Snake river, I experienced the inevitable – the dreaded flat tire. First of the trip for me, and probably something I picked up earlier on the Interstate (a thoughtful departing gift from I-84). This might explain why those early pioneers used wooden wheels instead of inflated rubber tubes. Thankfully, my repair was easy enough, but I can’t imagine what those early settlers persevered through as they experienced inevitable breakdowns on their incredible journey. Also makes me wonder what means of transportation this route will offer 150 years henceforth… hopefully flat-proof bicycle tires will be available by then!
And finally, here’s a picture from the Huntington country store, featuring our Italian rider Maurizio, Herman and Ada from the Netherlands, and Bob – our eldest rider at 78 years young.
More pictures can be found at our touring company website:
Tomorrow we cross into Idaho, 65 miles to the capitol city of Boise.