Monday, July 23, 2018 John Day to Sumpter
|4 hrs. 56 min. riding time|
Temperature was good for sleeping last night but I still woke up in the middle of the night – I think because my hips were hurting. It was nice to wake up to a comfortable temperature in the morning.
I was more organized today and got on the road around 7:30.
Most of today’s ride was the same as my cross country ride last year. I got to see the giant Conestoga wagon again. I remembered most of the climbing but the heat made it tough.
Ended the ride with Don again today.
Went to see the Sumpter Dredge. Heard the park ranger presentation and got to go onto the dredge. Went into town for ice cream but got there too late. The store had already closed. (sad face)
It is supposed to be 96 degrees tomorrow but the night will be in the 50s.
From BRNW Oregon 2018:
On the route
We’re starting off on the Old West Scenic Bikeway today, all the way to Austin Junction.
It’s not like you’ll miss it, but the giant covered wagon on the left as you’re climbing up after Prairie City is worth a look/photo.
Whether it’s for a tour or just a casual look, the Sumpter Valley Dredge State Heritage Area is a must‐see. The dredge, and the tailings piles it created for miles around, are an integral and enlightening part of Oregon’s history.
Established shortly after the city of John Day, Sumpter quickly became a mining boomtown in the 1890s and early 1900s. A rock as round as a cannonball provided the inspiration for the city’s name, which references Fort Sumter in the American Civil War (no, we don’t know why they’re spelled differently).
The Sumpter Valley Railway bolstered the town’s economy and population, which grew to more than 2,000 when the gold mines were still rich and full. In a short time the bustling town held churches, saloons, a brewery, opera house and three newspapers. But the boom was met with an early bust when a fire destroyed 12 city blocks in 1917.
The historic dredge and excursion train running along a part of the former SVR offer a view into the heart of Sumpter during its busiest time.