Day 59: Unity to John Day and Catch Up

We have had an eventful two days!

Yesterday we rode for Steven’s Aunt Roberta, who is a breast cancer survivor. She is one of the reasons Steven was drawn to I4K’s cause, and she celebrated her 61st birthday and 20th year of being cancer free!

Our ride began as the sun was rising. The sky was a beautiful mix of orange, blue, purple and pink. The team rode 20 miles to Vale, OR, which was a famous stop on the Oregon Trail, for our first rest stop. We then rode 20 more miles to our next rest stop, which was on the side of the road because there was nothing around. Unfortunately, Jason took a tumble between rest stops. The good news is that he is totally fine. He scraped up his elbow and knee, but doesn’t have a concussion or any broken bones. We all rode 20 miles back to Vale while he went to get checked out at a clinic in Ontario because we couldn’t ride forward on such a hot day without van support or service. We stayed at the gas station for 4 and a half hours and ended up shuttling the remaining 60 miles to Unity. It was a long day but we stayed positive, got a good meal at a local BBQ restaurant, and made it to Unity in time to enjoy camping. The stars were amazing last night. It was perfectly clear, and we even saw the Milky Way!

This morning was not as cold as our wake up in Yellowstone. We dedicated today’s 50 mile ride to Adam Hayden, who is fighting glioblastoma. We are wishing him strength and his family peace.

Our ride was a pretty one though national forests. However, there was a 9 mile stretch that we could not rode though due to construction. We shuttled by group through it and then continued on. It feels like it has been a while since we have had a routine day, but such is the west. Nice and unpredictable.

There were a few long uphills, but also some satisfying downhills today. We stopped for lunch in Prairie City at a very cute coffee shop called Roan Outwest Coffee and Decor. They had an “adult coloring table” with coloring books and colored pencils, as well as many comfortable chairs we all enjoyed. We ended up getting a portrait with Judy, the manager of the shop. She also introduced us to her friend Diana who immediately gave us all hugs when she learned what I4K was. She related to our cause of raising money for cancer research because she views it as what saved her. She is a breast cancer survivor and is now battling bone cancer. I always enjoy meeting people that our efforts are potentially positively affecting.

After staying at the coffee shop much longer than we normally stop for lunch we finished the rest of our day. We set up our tents and enjoyed the downtown. Many of us ended up having dinner out in order to take advantage of air conditioning.

Even though our days in Oregon have brought some unforeseen situations, we are still enjoying ourselves and are looking forward to the days ahead!


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