Sunday, July 22, 2018 Seneca to John Day
|3 hrs. 53 min. riding time|
I did miss on the night temperatures last night. It was 35 degrees F. when I got up at 5:15 this morning. I think the cold woke me during the night. I had to get up and put more layers on and then hike to the toilets in the dark. Eventually, I fell back to sleep and was able to get up and moving early. However, I was not well organized. I lost track of how many trips I made between my tent and the car. Once I was finally ready, my friends had already left. That was ok as I had a comfortable start to my ride and still caught up with each of them.
About mile seven, we turned onto a forest road that was unpaved. That’s where I saw John and Mary Lou. I went ahead and finally got back on pavement. Nice road at that point. Rode through healthy forest. I passed Wendy on the downhill. I was following another rider who stopped where several others were stopped and blocking the road. Safest move for me was to stop too.
Their group said we’d missed a turn. So, I pulled out the phone to check. If we did miss a turn, we were back on track. During that time, Wendy passed me. Just before the first rest stop, I passed her. (we did miss a turn and so missed Murderer’s Creek)
John and Mary Lou made it to the rest stop while we were there so I sat and munched with them. Then I took off.
There was some climbing and then a long, long downhill. I passed a lot of riders on that portion. Our next turn was onto Hwy 26. A section of this road was one part of last year’s ride that I’d missed so I’m glad I got another chance to do it.
Met up with Don at the second rest stop. We finished the day about 1pm.
Showers are in a trailer. There is an open area where everyone changes clothes with individual shower stalls. As I was taking off my sports bra, my hand flung out and I hit a woman in the head. Poor lady, she survived the day on the road only to get a concussion in the shower.
After my shower, I just sat in the shade trying to stay cool. I put my head on the table and went into twilight.
Later Don and I went to a presentation about some local history and got to see the Kam Wah Chung building and its contents.
Hope I drank enough today.
from BRNW Oregon 2018:
John Day history
Surrounded by the Strawberry Mountains and the Blue Mountains, the John Day area has a remarkable and complex topography. Perhaps it was this landscape, and the mighty John Day River cutting through it, that drew the first homesteaders in Grant County to stake their claim on the land that is now John Day.
In its early days, John Day was much smaller in comparison to Canyon City, which was at the time a mining boomtown. Several fires in Canyon City led to the relocation of many of its residents to John Day, including 1,000 Chinese immigrants drawn to Eastern Oregon in the gold rush. Originally built in the 1860s as a trading post, the Kam Wah Chung & Co. business was converted into a general store, clinic and social center in the late 1800s and continued to operate into the 1940s.
Originally called John Day City, the Western outpost for mining, cattle and timber harvesting that sprung up in the 1860s has retained much of its heritage—lumber and ranching are still mainstays in John Day, while its geologic features draw both paleontologists and outdoor lovers to marvel at the mark of geologic history written in the Painted Hills and fossil beds.
Things to do/see in John Day
Grant County Museum in Canyon City. The town also boasts Oxbow Wagons, where you can see horse‐drawn stagecoaches and wagons, lovingly restored.
It’s a bit off our route, but worth a trip back to explore the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, about 35 miles west of the city.
At 284 miles, the un‐dammed John Day River is the longest free‐flowing river in Oregon, and third longest in the United States, making it a rich ecosystem for fish, including Chinook salmon and endangered steelhead.
Kam Wah Chung & Co. Museum: This unique state park museum captures a time in Oregon’s history with exceptional clarity and detail.