Thanks to Spencer’s sister Emily we were fortunate to have a gorgeous place to stay for a week at Black Butte Ranch outside of Sisters and Bend. Here’s a brief summary of our getaway.

We drove down to Central Oregon on Tuesday, July 20. It took 6 hours instead of 5 on US-20 due to all the long delays for work on the burned trees they were removing. After we arrived at Black Butte and settled in we enjoyed a much needed rest in the hammock. Check out the view of the trees. Wednesday morning we met my favorite yoga teacher in the world at the nearby Riley Ranch Nature Reserve for a 7 AM walk and visit. It turned out to be a day of visiting in Bend. We had a lovely house tour and visit followed by lunch with old tandeming friends Tamara & Michael. Then we stopped for an unexpected visit with one of Spencer’s cousins who happened to be in town. Thursday, we met Tamara in Sisters and rode up McKenzie Pass together. It wasn’t too hot and there wasn’t much traffic AND there were amazing views of lava beds and mountains. We summited at 5325 feet, took some photos and zoomed back down. We won’t go into the mechanical issues we had to stop for. So far a lovely vacation with more to come.

July 23: Today we drove to Redmond, OR to meet Jill & Bob who live in Bend and will be on our Utah tour in October. It seemed like our riding styles were compatible. We did 31 miles RT to Smith Rock. Another perfect day.

July 24: Today was an off-bike day. We’d planned to do a hike around Suttle Lake but about half way to the trailhead there was a wreck with a very long traffic backup. We turned around and went toward Sisters and did the Peterson Ridge Trail instead. It features an interesting ladder system that enables you to choose your distance and cross over to turn back at any time. The trail is open to bikes, dogs, and hikers. We saw lots of bikes but only one dog. It was a mostly flat walk with a somewhat sandy path. I was fascinated by the twisty spiraling of the downed trees. I think we’ve identified it as the Utah Juniper.

July 25: We realized when we rode alone today that the last two rides were the first rides we’ve done with anyone since we were in Tucson last March, 2020, when Covid hit! WOW. Today we drove to Prineville and parked downtown by a small community water park. We rode the Crooked River Canyon Scenic Bikeway 20 miles up to the reservoir and then back to the car. Since it was 90+ degrees, even starting early, it was a big boon to be able to walk into the water park to cool off. Very little automotive traffic and we only saw 2 single bikes in the entire 40 miles. We saw lots of fly fishers on the river.

July 26: Our last day in Oregon. We rose early to beat the heat. We met Tamara at her home in Bend and did one of her regular routes, Twin Bridges. It’s part of the recent Tour des Chutes event we missed by a couple of weeks. It featured 1700 ft of elevation gain over 34 miles with lots of ups, downs and curves. FUN! Speaking of fun, check out this Cyclist Rest Stop which includes all essentials even a bike stand workstation in the middle of a country road! Post ride we enjoyed lunch and a visit, admiring this handcrafted origami lamp and the fact that the Little Free Library across the street includes a seed exchange!

Back in the saddle - Making up for lost time