How the West was Won

We’ve finally made it into Oregon! At this point in time, we’ve only got California to go through (although we’ll be hopping between Washington and Oregon for the next few days).

Our time from South Dakota through Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho was incredible.  Wyoming was absolutely beautiful, and our experience climbing the 20 miles up the Big Horns was excellent.  Afterwards, we enjoyed a massive downhill and an easy day into Cody, WY.  My 4th of July was cut a bit short by a sudden bout of sickness, and the team decided to make Cody, WY the rest day instead of Yellowstone, and I ended up staying in Cody the day afterwards because a few of us were still not feeling well.  I rode through Yellowstone the second day, and it was beautiful, if very touristy.

Montana was a pleasant experience as well.  We had mountains everywhere and despite some difficult climbs, the mountains, lakes and forests we passed through were beautiful.  Our rest day in Missoula was excellent, starting off with a group of us that left early and raced to Missoula to catch the final game at 12:30pm.

After Missoula, we headed into Idaho, which was amazing as well.  The climb up through Lolo Pass was a lot of fun (despite some headwinds), and the descent continued for nearly 2 days, through almost 100 miles of winding roads following a river and forest.  We got a chance to bathe in some hot springs, relax in the very refreshing river, and enjoy camping and S’mores.

The Pacific Northwest has definitely not been what I was expecting.  Our first day into Washington was miserable, starting off with a long climb out of Lewiston, ID, and then running into the headwinds that seem to be so prevalent in Washington.  Moods didn’t improve until 10 miles out of Waitsburg when we hit Dayton, WA and got some snacks and ice cream.  The terrain was also not what I was expecting for Washington, we rolled through fields of wheat, rolling hills, and almost desert-like conditions.

Today’s ride from Waitsburg, WA to Umatilla, OR was great.  Scenery changed from wheat fields and hills to giant rocky hills and the Columbia River valley to almost desert-like prairies.

I’m still astounded that we’ll be in Portland in 3 days and then travelling down the coast into San Francisco.  This trip has been so amazing and the team so enthusiastic, fun and dedicated that I’ll definitely have I4k withdrawal once I’m back at home.  At the same time, I am looking forward to seeing family and friends and resuming a more ‘sane’ lifestyle, as weird as it will be.  But first, let’s ride our bicycles!

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