June 18, 2018
Eugene to Sisters
162 km (101 miles)
1780 m (5840 feet) elevation
8:18 moving time
546 km (339 miles) total
Woke up early after a fantastic sleep and had a great breakfast with Jack and Pam who also gave us sandwiches, almonds and Gatorade for the road. Thanks again for being such lovely hosts. Let us know if you need a place to stay in Iceland 🙂
The weather forecast indicated high temperatures so we started out wearing shorts and short sleeves but soon started putting on more clothes as the morning was very cool (around 12°C / 54 F). Max temperature for the day was around 25°C (77F). The tempareture was perfect for a long day of riding.
Didn’t plan on a big day but boy did it turn out differently. Rode away from Eugene up along the McKenzie highway and along the McKenzie river. The scenery was often amazing but early on we were riding in rather heavy traffic, sometimes with narrow shoulder.
Had a great lunch at Takoda after around 90 km. Decided we would push on a bit further and see how far up to McKenzie pass we should make it. If we should feel tired we could always camp. On and on the mountain road went and on and on we pedaled. The view was great and when we finally reached the lava field on top we felt like home 🙂
Halfway up the mountain we were stopped to hydrate when a nice old lady stopped her car and asked us if we needed more water. Such a lovely gesture!
With just a few kilometers left to the top we came up on three young guys from Californa who are also riding across the country, finishing in NY. They are raising money and awareness for human trafficking. Looked like nice guys but they did look tired. Hope they got over the pass and into Sisters safely.
Getting over McKenzie pass was an achievement for us. We had been worried about the elevation and the grades but were relieved to find we could pass the test. Happy to have completed our first pass. Happy that Saemi had installed smaller chainrings in the front and a larger cassette (50-34 and 11-32). Anything larger than that would have been very difficult.
When we had showered and were ready for a huge dinner we realized that all the restaurants nearby were closed so we ended up at McDonalds. Note to self: finish riding earlier in the day!
Looking at the maps and what is ahead of us it is somewhat difficult to decide how far we should ride the next couple of days. More mountains are coming up and long distances between towns.
Our bodies feel good apart from slightly sore sitbones. Thighs, backs, necks and hands are in good shape.