Friday, July 27, 2018 Bates State Park to Mt. Vernon
|4 hrs 56min riding time|
Cold night, no rest. Started ride at 7:30am.
First 40 miles were on downhill slope. Cold but bearable. Shady. So glad for that. We were on the Old West Scenic Bikeway – all the way to Long Creek.
After first rest stop, we continued a slow descent until a left turn took us onto US-395 S. Then the climbing began. Although the grade was reasonable, it was hot, hot, hot with no shade.
At the second rest stop, in Long Creek, I tried to recover in the shade with food, water and rest. As I left the rest stop, I could see smoke in the air from yet another fire, could see no shade for miles, knew there would be five more miles of climbing and it was hot. I turned around and went back to Long Creek. Caught the next available SAG to camp at Clyde Holliday Recreation Site outside of Mt. Vernon. Arrived just before 3. By the way, I had to wait for a second SAG vehicle as the first one was full. The one I used was full too. So, it wasn’t just me…
This was actually a very pretty camp ground. I paid for a camp site instead of staying with the rest of the group. It was cheap, there was green grass, and it wasn’t as far to lug my gear.
After lunch with Wendy (and then Don), set up tent and took a shower. My bum is so sore, I should have showered first. Managed to get a half hour nap outside my tent (in the shade, on the green grass).
Kevin M called to see how Dan and I were doing with the Ferguson fire so close to home. Had a fun, short conversation. He is a good friend.
Dinner with Mary Lou and John.
From BRNW Oregon 2018:
Mt. Vernon history
Established beside the John Day River and minutes from the John Day Fossil Beds, the small Mount Vernon community offers a lot from a deceptively unassuming small place. Established in 1877, Mount Vernon became a ranching community. Named after a stallion belonging to settler David Jenkins, the horse’s stone stable still stands on the north side of Highway 26, east of town.
Things to do/see in Mount Vernon
- The David Hamilton Winery at the corner of US 395 & US 26 specializes in homemade fruit wines, with flavors like Camas Creek Elderberry and Hells Canyon Wild Plum.
- Swing by the Silver Spur Cafe for a slice of homemade pie.
- The Mount Vernon hot springs aren’t too far away—just three miles up 395 and onto Warm Springs Creek Road.
Culture and entertainment in Mt. Vernon
- Local History: Peggy Murphy, the new curator of the Grant County Museum, will come to camp to give a presentation on the local history of the area, which included some unexpected events.
- Tramp Central and the Baggage Boys: Our own talented crew‐duo of Wes Yurovchak and Tosch Roy will be back by popular demand, for a set of crowd‐pleasing favorite after dinner.
(I missed out on all the activities since I didn’t ride through Mt. Vernon – took the SAG – and I didn’t camp in the area arranged for by BRNW. I included the info here just as a reminder of what could have been.)