I’ve ridden my bike on many rugged adventures through the state but never joined Cycle Oregon for one of their week-long rides — until now. Follow along with my adventures over the next seven days as we cruise through the Northeastern corner of the state exploring Hells Canyon, the Wallowas, and meeting all the people in between.
Just arrived in the historic gold mining community of Baker City, Oregon with 2,200 other folks geared up to ride our bikes through Hells Canyon and around the Wallowa Mountains.
The live music stage and beer garden are the most popular destination this first night in camp—and it’s also well stocked with some of Cycle Oregon’s private label wine from Eola Hills Winery.
Once a bustling gold mining town located right on the Oregon Trail, Baker City has settled down into its valley between the Elkhorns and Wallowas and grown up into a hard-working mountain community.
Kicking off the day’s ride toward the Idaho border with quiet winding roads in Eastern Oregon.
Somehow the Cycle Oregon masterminds found a 40-mile downhill with a strong tailwind between Baker City and Huntington. They say every day isn’t this easy, but it was a blast while it lasted!
We camped right on the Snake River tonight and saw this majestic Great Horned Owl leaving his perch.
A local rancher takes a break with his pup to watch the parade of riders cruising past.
The route today expertly avoided traffic and routed down many a bucolic country road.
I met lots of great folks out here today. Many are Cycle Oregon veterans who’ve bonded and ride together each year.
Saying farewell to Farewell Bend State Park and headed towards Idaho in the morning light with Cristina, an old friend also riding her first Cycle Oregon.
Farewell Bend was the last good watering hole on the Oregon Trail before travelers headed north up the rugged Burnt River drainage.
Great sunrise over the meandering Snake River this morning.
Traveling from Weiser to Cambridge, Idaho, paralleling the scenic Weiser River Rail Trail.
The Snake River as it descends into the rugged Hells Canyon makes for a scenic winding road.
We all take a quick break at the summit and admire the view.
Rode past many relics of ranches past today, admiring the undulating fallow fields.
One of countless scenic vistas opening up around us as we descend into Hells Canyon. Well worth a pause to take it all in.
Lots of autumn hues starting to pop out of the foliage to accompany the strong sagey petrichor in the air from the rain last night.
Friendly family of cows along the Weiser River curious what I was doing in their front yard.
We awoke this morning to hear the pitter-patter of rain on our tents, then saw it had dusted the surrounding hillsides with the region’s first snow of the season.
As we rolled through desert canyons and agricultural valleys, we saw many large birds of prey.
Lots of brooding skies, beautiful green sagebrush and multi-colored dusty limestone cliffs on the route today.
One of the highlights of my day was running into this gentleman and his dog playing the somber sounds of the alphorn on the basalt cliffs of the historic Oregon Trail. In spots, you can still see the ruts from the 400,000 settlers looking for a better life in Oregon’s lush valleys.
Friends were made and legs tested on the long, gradual climb after lunch today.
Remnants of an original Pleasant Valley homestead.
What goes down must go up: What was once a downhill with a tailwind turned into an uphill with a headwind.
Luckily, camp was just a few short miles from the summit.
Lots of climbing yesterday with a brisk wind more suited for November than September put a lot of us in the mood for a pint at the award-winning Barley Brown’s in Baker City. The stout was delicious!
Bike Rodeo contenders wait their turn to tackle the mayhem.
The countryside that the Grande Tour Scenic Bikeway passes through is second to none: rolling farmland as far as the eye can see!
Rolling into Cove, a small town nestled up against the Blue Mountains.
It dropped darn near freezing last night in camp and left a fresh coat of snow on the Wallowas, too.
Fast rolling pavement through wind farms and past curious livestock.
A constant stream of grins as we all cruise past the finish line in Baker City.