Saturday, July 21, 2018
After repacking last night, I was almost organized for the ride but not quite. A relaxed morning and then I headed north on 95 out of Winnemucca. Kept my eye out for 78 and made that transition. Next was 205 or 395. Based on what I’d seen on Google maps, I would hit that just before Burns. At sign for 205, I turned left. Wrong! Took me 20 miles to figure out that mistake. Reality was – go through Burns onto 395. No 205 involved at all.
Still arrived in Seneca in plenty of time for the community lunch provided at the only store in town. Overcooked burger with no toppings other than ketchup. Bleh. Still, met Kim from Vancouver and Pam from Tuscon when I sat down to eat. Kim invited me to camp near her since we’re both “single” for the ride.
After camp was set up, I walked back to car to drop off stuff. Heard, “Nikki! I recognize that braid.” It was Mary Lou with John. My friends from Fremont Freewheelers Bicycle Club. Funny thing is, none of us live in Fremont area any more. Got the news: Vanessa and her hubby cancelled but Don and Wendy are still coming.
Wandered around. Made several trips back to the car. Last one was to leave jewelry in trunk and get my cycling shoes. Yes, I missed them on all the other trips back and forth.
Saw Don and Wendy around five. They’d just arrived so they sat with John, Mary Lou and I at dinner. Also met Dan and Kathy from Bend. He’d worked for Shell at various locations around the country during his career. (Spent 14 years in Huntington Beach). Decided to head back to “state of origin” when they retired. Kathy was wearing earrings with same design as mine.
I think I may have miscalculated for night temperatures. Will know more in the morning…
Seneca history (from BRNW Oregon 2018):
Nestled in the Blue Mountains, at the lowest part of the Bear Valley, the small logging town of Seneca borders the Malheur Forest and has been recognized as one of the coldest places in the United States. At 4,666 feet above sea level, it can be 15‐20 degrees cooler than the neighboring town of John Day—the lowest recorded temperature here was ‐54°F in 1933.
First settled by the Paiute, homesteaders and trappers came to the Bear Valley in the late 1800s, and in 1895 the city of Seneca was named after prominent Portland judge Seneca Smith. Seneca experienced its biggest boom in the 1920s and ’30s, when it became a logging outpost for the former Oregon and Northwestern Railroad, owned by the Edward Hines Lumber Company. The town became essentially a company town, housing lumber mill and railroad shop workers. Since the decline of logging in the area, the population of Seneca has also diminished, hovering around 200.
Situated at the confluence of Bear Creek and the Silvies River, Seneca offers sweeping views of Bear Valley and the Strawberry Mountain Range.