Day Four – Bates State Park to Baker City, OR

Day: 4
Day Mileage: 51.4
Total Miles: 230.5

It got cold last night. I was sleeping in my tent for the first night and the temperature dipped into the 40s. I was in pants and my down jacket while mummified in my sleeping bag. I didn’t have on socks though I had them in my tent with me. I was too warm inside the sleeping bag to bother getting out to put them on. I slept much better last night than I did inside the church but it was also after my biggest climbing day.

Once up, I prepared for the day I had two big passes to climb before it was to be mostly downhill into Baker City, OR. With that in mind, I made 4 PB sandwiches for the road and two packages of ramen for breakfast. Tasted like college. I also made sure to drink the broth as I noticed I needed to increase my sodium intake a little. Once packed, I set off with James and we were climbing not a mile into the day’s ride.

Passing Tipton Summit at ~5,000 ft was not terrible being fully fueled and chatting the entire way up. I enjoyed the decent but even that was short lived as we were needing to climb the next pass, Sumpter Pass at another ~5,000 ft. James has a few days on me traveling and is a cyclist back home in England so when he takes off on climbs, he’s nice enough to wait for me a time the top. Descending into Sumpter, we stopped for lunch on the side of the road when we realized we had cell service.

With a few messages sent and phone calls made, there were 29 miles before reaching the final destination for the day. I had gone through my entire water supply on the two climbs and needed to stop and refill. There were a few campgrounds ahead though I wasn’t sure of the distances. Luckily, only 7 miles into the final push, we pulled into a park near Phillips Reservoir and topped off. A Vietnam Veteran came out to chat with us for about 10 minutes. He still been retired for some time now and travels, has speaking engagements about the war, what happened to him after and how he dealt and isn’t dealing with it all now. He was happy to share is story and we were happy to listen with full water bottles. We said good luck to one another and then we cruised alongside the Powder River to Baker City City Hall.

James had a warmshowers host set up ahead of time so I reached out asking if she had availability you host another. Turns out, she was hosting another rider heading west and has almost completed the full TransAm route. She was out to dinner so James and I made a stop at Safeway to load up for the upcoming days as towns will be few and far between. After weighing our bikes back down, we stopped off at a bar on Main Street for end of day drinks.

We then met Nancy at her house. She is a cyclists but not done a tour herself. She likes to have company so her friend suggested warmshowers. She has hosted only 3 cyclists before and now she’s hosting 3 in one night. She’s a school psychologist in town and has been in Oregon for the last 30 years.

James is taking a rest day and we’ve decided to keep riding together to Missoula as there aren’t parts of the next 6 days that preparation is key as services aren’t a readily available as they have been. That’s saying something considering services aren’t THAT readily available already. The plan is to be in Missoula by Sunday. So for me, rest day as well. My legs and butt will appreciate it.

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