Site icon BikePortland

Backtracking can be beautiful: Cycle Oregon 2015 Day 4

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

Big skies and big clouds are a great combination.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

In general, I despise backtracking. Loop or die is how I usually roll. But today we learned that backtracking can be beautiful.

Due to the Big Snafu that forced Cycle Oregon to turn around for the first time in its nearly 30-year history, instead of pedaling up into the Wallowas and into Joseph, we left Cambridge and headed back to Farewell Bend State Park. It’s the route we did Monday, only in reverse.

After getting rained on all night (for the second night in a row!) we woke up to blue skies and perfect, Windows start-up screen clouds. As I hopped in the Cycle Oregon photographer’s mini-van for the 50+ mile drive* it was as if the route was completely new. Sure, I recognized some of the farms and the major landmarks (there aren’t many in these parts), but somehow the bucolic valleys, mountain vistas, and snaking rivers looked brand new…

Highway 95 south of Cambridge.
Weiser, Idaho suburbs.


Olds Ferry Road heading toward Interstate 84.
Riding along the Snake River.
Lack of a guardrail really makes all the difference.
Olds Ferry Road on the Snake River that separates Oregon from Idaho.

I’m working from Cycle Oregon all this week. See past coverage here.

*Yes, I drove today’s leg. I wanted to get a different perspective and change things up a bit. I’ll be back on the bike tomorrow.

Hi! Thanks for reading. Since 2005 BikePortland has been a vital community resource; but we cannot continue without more support from readers just like you. Please subscribe today to strengthen and expand our work.. Thank you. - Jonathan Maus, founder and publisher.