Total Elevation Gain (ft): 1457
Weather: Sunny, Warm
Hillbilly Insults: 0
Roadkill: 2 (Skunk, Fox)
Bugs Swallowed: 0
"Prevailing winds" can kiss my chafed bum!
I used to think that all rivers ran North to South because im an idiot. They go "down," right? When I found I was mistaken, I was dumbfounded. Of course, now I know better. The Columbia runs East to West.
Similarly dumb, I believed that the prevailing winds out of the Great White North swoop down over America in a Southeasterly fashion. See the pic above. My theory for going West to East was that the winds would carry me like a dainty leaf to the Great Lakes. I had a reality check today.
After a climb and dreamy descent down to The Dalles, the mercury rose and I was hit by a windy blast furnace coming off the river through the Indian reservations on my way to Biggs Junction, OR. It slowed me down considerably. so did my gawking at all the salmon I could have scooped up by hand along random spillover ponds along I-84.
I took a look at the map and didn't feel like climbing Hwy 14 up the mountain this evening, so I stopped to camp, shower and hand wash some seriously foul bike clothing. There ere limited services for the next 84 miles in the high desert. I'm hoping to make it that far, but I've got to be realistic upon my heaviest jealous mistress, the fully loaded, Reubenesque Salsa Fargo. I'll stealth camp somewhere if I must.
It's quite extraordinary to see the massive forests abruptly turn barren as soon as the river bends into the Dalles. Verdant to arid, lickety-split.
Why would I leave my handsomely stunning and generous wife to ride my bike for three months?!
Because I'm tired of sharing a toothbrush and being told how great I all the time!
It's wearing me out--being cherished and nurtured day after day. The blazing sun, hillbilly truckers and filthy camping stalls of the great Northwest call out like irresistible sirens. I've untethered myself from my Ulysses mast and now I'm missing Kathleen's birthday.
I admit that I'm a lucky SOB. Very few spouses would allow their husbands the freedom I've been granted to do all the crazy shit I set out to do. Yes, only expletives will do when describing what Katy puts up with. Even fewer spouses are encouraged to pursue their dreams. I've got that benefit too.
So, Katy takes on summer looking after with my adorable little devils while I subject them to a diet of government cheese, camping intermittently woth me amongst wild animals and a hiatus from client cash flow. The benefit to her? My happiness. Truly, truly an amazing woman.
I know I'm gushing, so all you haters can step off and wait until my next churlish post about gear; the route or toilets. For now, I just want to say that I love you Schatz. Happy birthday. You'll always look perpetually 29 as I turn into the real picture of Dorian Gray. Thanks for sticking it out and making our nearly two decade old relationship thrive. It's emerged as the nicest thing in my life, again and again. Mwaa!