Burns, Oregon

Burns is a lovely small town.  We had a great lunch on Wednesday at the, “Ye Olde Castle Family Dining” restaurant and antique emporium while we waited for our “Small House” to be ready to check in.  If you’ve just been on a bike for almost 6.5 hours, I highly recommend the Custom Burger with onion rings.  If you haven’t, then split it with someone you love.  Or maybe two someones you love.  It was massive.  We liked it so much we went there for lunch Thursday, too!  (although I had the Surf Burger on Thursday so I could have room for pie)

Our server, Debbie, was there both days.  She was great.  On our way out on Thursday I was telling Debbie about the ride, and she said I should tell the story to Rosie, the owner.  What a great lady this is!  If you ever get into Burns, you must stop here for breakfast or lunch.  Here’s the fun part – when I was telling Rosie about the ride, Debbie opened up a back room where they must have banquets or company parties for the locals or something, because it isn’t open generally.  Hanging high on the walls are close to 20 antique bicycles.  I am not ashamed to admit I was geeking out like crazy in this room.  (pix to be added below, as soon as I can get them actually uploaded – internet is a little bit sketchy out here)

But the ride was even better than the meals, and that is saying something, because I loved the meals.  We woke up at 2:15 Thursday morning and had an hour drive to get back to Hampton Station, so we got ready and headed west.  I was on the bike by 4:00.  Randy follows pretty closely at that time of day, partly to keep me being able to see, and partly to keep people able to see me.  So that was almost three hours – yes, my husband is a saint.

The AirBnb is 68 miles from Hampton Station, so when I was deciding where to stop, just chose to ride “home”.  The first 20 miles was pretty quick, and it was evident that Thursday was going to be a much different ride than the previous two days.  It was still dark and I was almost 30% finished.  By 7:20 I was halfway through and charging ahead.  The climbs were easier. I had much more energy and didn’t need as much distraction.  At 43.56 miles in, I hit a series of climbs that, when driving them on Wednesday, I fully believed I would have to walk at least one of them.  They were brutally steep, and I was starting to get tired.  Randy had just headed back “home”, after filling both my water bottles.  He texted (no cell signal, but texts make it through – weird) to let me know that a string of several unusual and similar cars were headed my way. I was about halfway up the first (and most brutal) climb, and I saw the first – a convertible; I think it must have been a Fiat or some similar foreign car and was definitely was not built in the past 50 years – come flying over the top of that hill, followed by several more.  I would guess 15 of them, though not all were convertibles.  Each one beeped their horns and waved, and for a moment I thought I’d gone back in time.  I hadn’t made it to the top of the hill before they were past me, but they were a pleasant distraction, and their beeping horns felt like encouragement as I conquered the beast.  I didn’t end up needing to walk up a single climb in the past three days’ ride and that is new for me.  I’m getting stronger.

Would have been finished by 10:30 AM, but the stoplight in Burns was red when I got to it, so it was 10:31.  68 miles in 5:43 of riding.  Two days left in Oregon – 49 miles tomorrow, and then 57 Saturday.  On Saturday I will have completed all the miles in three states – Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.  1024 miles all told on the route.

Coincidentally, as of today I have 26.9% of this leg left.  On Saturday I will have 26.9% of the total ride complete.


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