Open Road Press

Happy Campers

July 12, Day 10 of TheHopeLine Tour of 2014

Introduction to the High Desert

Hot One!Can you say “hot”? We started the day later than we should have, and our portable thermometer read 95 degrees as we made our way up a steep climb out of Mitchell, Oregon. The previous evening, we had become familiar with the terrain of the high desert as we cycled into it. Today, we learned about its heat as we spent the entire day in the middle of it. By the time we rolled into John Day at 7:30, the thermometer outside the local shopping center read 107!

Cycling through High DesertThe high desert is a most unusual terrain. It’s not really a desert because there are trees and brush shrewn about. There are also rocks and streams, the latter of which have dwindled to a trickle in the July heat. There are also grand vistas of mountains, even a distant mountain or two still hosting snow pack. We shared several photos to give you a feel.

Camping Anyone?

Climbing out of MitchellOkay, I confess. Debbie and I don’t really like to camp, especially after a day with heat like this. We carried our camping gear all the way from Florida to Maine on our 2012 Mom-to-Mom Tour without pulling the tent out of her stuff sack. But, today, Big Agnes made her debut in TheHopeLine Tour of 2014, forced into action by full bookings at the tiny town’s five motels. We felt it necessary to take photos of the tent assembly to commemorate the event!

Ledge TunnelAfter a restless night of sleep, we feel affirmed in our sentiments about camping. First, it takes more time than staying in motels. There’s more preparation to unpack the tent and sleeping bags, blow up the mattresses, secure the valuables, prepare the meals, etc. These duties take time away from cycling. They also make sharing our adventure with others more difficult.

WheelsSecond, we’re getting older–although we don’t like to use age as an excuse for anything. It’s not as easy to crawl in and out of a small tent as it used to be.

And, lastly, we’re not really very good at it. I was never a boy scout, or cub scout for that matter, and I don’t know my knots, and barely know how to use a jackknife. Regardless, we’re not naïve enough to think that you can cycle across country without having a tent at the ready.

TentmakingNevertheless, there was also a bright side to our most recent camping expedition. I have to admit that it was kinda fun, and it broke up the routine. We had a beautiful night at an excellent facility at the Grant County Fairgrounds. And we had some time to just talk, without as much technology in our faces. Once we made the commitment to camp, the rest began to fall into place. By the time we zipped up the tent for the night, we were happy campers!

PIcturesque LandscapeSo, maybe we’ll give camping a bit more consideration in the future. After all, it is less expensive and you get to see nature close up. If you don’t hear from us in a few days, it’s likely we’re busy folding up the tent and packing the sleeping bags back into their stuff sacks, trying to get back on the road before the sun begins to sizzle.

One thought on “Happy Campers

  1. linda fulton

    Thanks for the beautifully written highlights of your days….I so appreciate the time you take to put your thoughts together and share pieces of your adventure. It is a delight to be following your journey with you. Thanks for being such inspiration for me!!

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