Today’s route: 49 miles, 1,300 ft. elevation gain
Today we packed up for the last time and faced a stiff headwind for a short but sweet ride back into Umatilla.
The route rolled through wheat farm country dotted with old barns and back through the Walla Walla onion crops I remembered from our first day.
At the rest stop in a tiny town called Helix (population 183), I noticed this wheat farmer talking with one of the riders. This interaction between spandex-clad cycling city-slickers and tough, old-fashioned farmers is a great part of the Cycle Oregon spirit.
The highlight of the day was seeing the Columbia River Gorge open up before us and riding into Hat Rock State Park for our final rest stop.
I pedaled hard through the wind today, playing a mental game that my girls would be waiting at the finish line. They weren’t there, but my spirits were lifted with a free iced mocha, compliments of Nossa Familia Coffee and Cycle Oregon.
The end of Cycle Oregon was definitely anti-climactic. There were no closing ceremonies or fanfare; just a mad dash to locate your belongings amid a sea of 2000 duffle bags.
This completes my ride reports from Cycle Oregon 2006. I hope you enjoyed my words and photos. I have a few more stories I’d like to share, along with some general impressions of the event, so stay tuned for those.