Tuesday, July 17, 2007

After Paul left the library in Umatilla yesterday, he walked back to the RV/campground and had ice tea with 2 GTE retirees (small world!) from Corbett. He decided that he needed to be riding earlier when it was cooler – so he took to the road this morning at 5 am (sunrise). Between the cooler morning temperatures, the slight headwind/crosswinds and a few drops of rain, it was a more comfortable day than most of the past week. He saw and, even with HIS nose, smelled the sweet onions being harvested into countless semis over miles and miles. Guess there are lots of onions and wheat in this part of the county (like Ohio corn and soybeans). There were also hundreds of wind turbines generating electricity.

He stopped at a mission that was a national historical site and met a couple in a RV from California. He later saw them parked along the side of the road and joined them foraging wild blackberries. Paul said the berries were big and sweet; he certainly got his fruit servings for the day…or week! He passed a deer/car accident just after it happened (dead deer, disabled car) and saw a couple on bicycles doing the cross country ride east to west. He covered the 64 miles to the Super 8 in Walla Walla, WA by mid-day, in time to catch today’s mountain stage in the Tour de France. They put him in a handicapped room, and he wonders how they knew that his Achilles tendon was bothering him ;>) He says it is nothing to worry about; it is only sore when he’s pedaling, probably from pushing too hard in the heat. So he’s taking ibuprofen and going to keep his riding earlier in the day and in the 60 mile range for the next couple of days.

He has some mechanical work to do tonight – thinks he’s going to need a new middle chain ring when he can find one – and is headed to the casino for dinner. Last night’s campground owner won $900 playing penny slots there and her daughter won $200 doing the same thing, so he hopes he’s lucky! Ann

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