Welcome to Oregon

22 Sep

What a welcome! Highway 86 into Hells Canyon on the scenic byway (All American Road) through the deepest river gorge in North America, and then into Baker City after another long day. Lots of distance today and so many pictures; a typical day of 264 pictures and 494km or 307 miles. I could ride further if I didn’t spend so much time stopping. The average during my first five days was 627 kilometers or 391 miles but of course there isn’t as much scenery. The only slight mistake in my routing plans today was ending the day late riding west with dazling blinding sun in my eyes interspersed with dark shaded corners; the posted 55mph was a scary challenge. Saw only one deer and one fox, I guess I missed a few others that I didn’t see, nor did I hit any rocks on the roadway. But what a perfect time of day to do some magic hour photography.
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I took advice from a young guy at the gas station in Baker City and think that I may have lucked out staying inexpensively at the Oregon Trail Motel which has everything I need. The complimentary breakfast at their motel was very good. I could hear water running all night and didn’t realize that the Powder River tributary was only about 25ft from my back motel window. Although I have no real schedule I think that I’m ahead of myself. Even though I do have a route it’s hard to figure out when I don’t really know what’s ahead. Anyway I’m staying over two nights here in Baker City and will probably walk a bit to give my arse a break, do laundry and find a museum to learn some history.

Wonderful historic downtown and everyone’s so friendly. At Kicks Sports Wear, Ryan showed me around the old vault from the historic days when the building was a jewelry store. Just a block away I got my watch repaired by J. Tabor Clarke one of the few experienced watch makers still employed. He is a collector of mecanical watches and interested in my two old Mido wristwatches. He apparently fixed the old town clock so my Timex battery replacement was simple.
I stopped to have coffee at the Geiser Grand Hotel on main street and use the WiFi.
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Great strong real coffee, perfect. What a treat from the normal roadside diner dishwater blend.
Funny thing …. I’ve noticed that where ever I walk this morning a smell like dirty running shoes follows me. Hmmm, maybe I should have tossed my shoes into the washing machine last night with my clothes. My Icebreaker Merino wool socks are surviving well and boots sort of ok, but my shoes are gross. I feel a bit out of place. Sammy, you would enjoy this place.
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Oregon is good. I wonder if visitors to my home town feel as welcome. After coffee I met these guys, who had been just hanging around for a while and they suggested that I visit the Baker Heritage Museum,
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and so I did.
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It is a heritage museum so I expected to learn history but I got sidetracked in one section and could have spent most of the afternoon looking at rocks, minerals and gemstones.
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Like me, Mamie Cabin ended up with more rocks than marbles.
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It’s an impressive personal collection with many local specimens, others from all over the world. Of course some rocks have gold while other are florescent under the proper lighting
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I’ve just confirmed that I have a service appointment in Bend, Oregon for new tires and an oil and filter change at Pro Caliber Motorsports. From Baker City to Bend is only 180 miles as the crow flies and I’m leaving tomorrow (Thursday) morning but I’m sure to find some circuitous twisted roads to keep me occupied. The weather forecast is excellent for camping.

Not many people home in Sumpter
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I stopped at a mining equipment museum and the ghosts were eying my Suzuki technology while I took some pictures of theirs.
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I met photographer Ron in Granite
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