July 9, Day 7 of TheHopeLine Tour of 2014
After three rest days in Springfield, Oregon, while tending to Debbie’s sore knee, we were chomping at the bit this morning to get back on the road. Upon departure, we were treated to another gorgeous day and a liberal tailwind. What climbing we did today, and we gained 1,000 feet of elevation, was so gradual that it was hardly noticeable. Had it not been for the intimidating climb that awaits us tomorrow morning, and fewer hours left in the day, we would no doubt have logged more miles today.
Our downstream bicycling today followed the McKenzie River upstream. The farther upstream we saw, the whiter the rapids became and the louder the sound of the rushing waters. Trees surrounded each and every view of the river, as inseparable from the water as soul mates are from one another. Rocks filled the bottom of the river to varying depths, forcing currents hither and yon as the gravity forced the snow melt toward the Willamette River and our temporary home for the last three nights.
Our first 30 miles tomorrow will be one of the more challenging climbs we have ever faced. We will rise 4,000 feet to top out over McKenzie Pass. The descriptions we’ve heard describe multitudinous switchbacks and lava flows strewn about. I’m not sure what to make of the latter. We’re just hopeful the mountain doesn’t blow before we make our descent into Sisters on the other side!