If you’re not from Central Oregon and you know where Hampton Station is, I think you probably have too much time on your hands. Or a photographic memory. Or… I don’t know. It is an old cafe, that to almost all visible indications, has not been open in somewhere between 20 & 30 years. The only reason we know it’s been open is because a hand-painted sign out front says, “Home of the Eclipse Burger”. That appears to be the newest thing for nearly 100 miles.
The ride from Moss Solar Farm (south of Prineville) to Hampton Station was only about 45 miles. It was rolling hills all the way – never enough of a fall to make the climb effortless, and never enough flat at the top to make it possible to completely catch my breath before the downhill. The sun was incredible, though. It would peek out from behind the hill I was climbing and be the most incredible red – think Tattooine Sun in Star Wars – and the greatest part is that it stays pretty cool out. We left Prineville at roughly 4:45 AM, and I didn’t get finished with 45 miles until almost 11:30. It’s only just starting to get warm at almost noon with the minimal cloud cover and the smoke, but that’s a long time to be on a bicycle. My feet were okay, with the Aleve and a new technique where I focus my “push” on my big toes while I climb instead of how the clips normally have my feet angled toward the center of my foot. For whatever reason that takes off just enough pressure to make climbing bearable when they start swelling.
It’s going well and we’re learning a lot about what works – and what doesn’t. The body is holding up, and I’m more than halfway done with this “leg”. Since there is quite literally nothing out here, (including cell service) we are driving an hour to Burns, where we will stay two nights in a lovely AirBnb, and where tomorrow’s ride finishes.