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Saturday, September 10, 2016

Days 87 - 92 /// That Hospitality Tho

A reader/friend sent a note and asked for some stats, so I'll kick it off with that...

Riding stats:  
Mile count:  4,240
Day count:  92
State count:  15
Crash count:  3
Terrible hangover count:  2
Rabid dogs nailed direct to the face w/ pepper spray:  1
Flat tires:  0 (Schwalbe FTW!)

Combined total of excessively oversized RV's, Trump signs, mouth-breathing redneck trucks, rebel flags, and other various 'Merica stereotypes:  8,435,679

Wildlife stats
Bear:  1
Foxes:  8
Deer (alive):  ~150
Deer (roadkill):  ~1000
Cows:  3,457,934
Various birds of prey:  Many

Total wildlife spotted in ALL of Yellowstone:  0

Stats out of the way, the riding in Oregon continues to impress.  The last post left off in Baker City.  From there the road has led to/through Prairie City, Dayville, and now Mitchell for a rest day.  Baker was a cool little town.  I ended up exploring the Main St historic area, ate at Bob's Burgers (do it!), went to the museum (dope), and got properly buzzed at Barley Brown's Brewery, which offers surprisingly great grog.  

After Baker we headed out for a loooong day of climbing.  There are three passes en route to Prairie City.  My pops stopped at Bates Campground, which was just before the third climb.  It was nice, but no shade, showers, and/or wifi.  We met a nice lady at the site named Christy who has a guesthouse in Mt Vernon.  She scrawled a phone number on a piece of scrap and said, "if you get up and over the next hill I have friends in Prairie City who'd be happy to host you for the night.  Plus, there's a great Mexican restaurant."  It was early in the day, sunny, and due to the rest day in Baker I was feeling great, so I decided to press on.  

I was up and over the last pass before I knew it rolling into historic Prairie City.  I grabbed a coffee and reluctantly called the number on the piece of paper.  A woman answered and I explained myself.  "Um...  hello, my name is David and I'm a bicycle tourist from..."  On the other end a man picked up and said "stop, come on up!"  I was taken aback at first, but he gave me an address and told me the doors were unlocked and to "go on in and make yourself at home".  He said they would be home in an hour or so.  

I arrived at a beautiful home overlooking Strawberry Mtn.  I let myself in and as I was unpacking my hosts arrived home.  Jimi and Karen are avid cyclists and have built a beautiful home together.  They host cyclists frequently, and were more than hospitable and generous.  Seriously, I could write for days about how honored I am to be invited into people's homes.  I've had home-cooked meals, the opportunity to utilize showers and laundry, and sleep in comfortable beds.  It still blows my mind.  Jimi and Karen were no exception and are a standout on this trip for sure.  If you are reading this, thanks guys.  And of course thanks to Christy who tipped me off to call em!

My pops met me in Prairie City the next morning and we made way to Dayville.  It's a nice little town and solid stop on the route.  There's a church in town that has hosted cyclists for years.  Rose, who runs the show, let us in and showed us around.  We had a shower, laundry, warm place to sleep, and a full kitchen.  Again, that hospitality though!  

Yesterday we made our way up and over another pass, and down into Mitchell.  We've been hearing about a new bike hostel since Missouri called Spoke'n Hostel.  I thought to myself, how good could it be?  What Jalet (pronounced Jal'ey) has done with this place is nothing short of amazing.  It's an old church they've taken over and renovated.  The generosity and friendliness is hard to explain.  The warmth and hospitality she has created will certainly make this a top 5 place to stay on the TransAm.  I'm certain of it.  She loaded her dog Lily into the vintage church van and even drove us up to check out the Painted Hills.  Seriously, a MUST stop, if only to see what she has created here.  

Finally, Hannah and Patrick showed up for the evening.  Hannah is a nice, young, aspiring dentist traveling the TransAm from Ashville, NC.  Her flag/visibility game is on point!  Seriously, I've never seen so much neon yellow.  Not poking fun, it's no joke out here and she is smart to rock that much visibility-increasing gear.  Patrick is a biology major from St Louis, rocking a Trek, with impeccable taste in music (only because it's similar to mine).  Most recently working for the zoo and a biology lab.  We met them both in Missoula and it was nice to cross paths again.  Best of luck to you both.  Safe and happy travels!  

*Update* - Also make sure to stop at Tiger Town Brewery in Mitchell for some of Eric's 'Tiger' wings.  They are EPIC!  Brewery itself should be open soon.  The combo of Spoke'n Hostel, Tiger Town, and Sidewalk Cafe (great shakes) make Mitchell a prime cyclist stop on the TransAm.  

1 comment:

  1. Great POST, It's great to see hospitality and brotherhood are alive and well in the USA. Love the log of all the great people you've met and the great small town sites, and food and spirits stops. Enjoy the rest of the journey. Cheers Bruce