Saturday, June 27, 1981

6. McKenzie Pass, Oregon

Day 6:  Saturday, June 27, 1981

Springfield to McKenzie Pass:  63 miles

It was a long day today.  Since I'm writing this two days later, I can't remember everything that happened, but I do know that we gained about 4000' elevation in 63 miles of riding.

We followed the McKenzie River valley through numerous small towns.  The McKenzie is a beautiful river, crystal-clear, with many rapids and good fishing.  Raft trips down the McKenzie are a popular pastime.  One of the hatcheries which stock the river and many of the mountain lakes is near Leaburg.  We stopped for an hour for a tour of the hatchery before continuing along the river road.

Covered bridge
Covered bridge across the McKenzie River

McKenzie River
The McKenzie River

Shortly after McKenzie Bridge, the road to the pass turns off from the main route and starts a climb of 4000' in 21 miles.  We had cycled about six miles past McKenzie Bridge when I looked at the map and discovered that there would be no food available until Sisters, 35 miles away and on the other side of the mountain!  Jack didn't want to go back, so we forged ahead, planning to make do with the little food we had.

4000 feet
4000 feet!

McKenzie Pass view
The view from McKenzie Pass

The climb was steep but beautiful.  We were in low gear much of the time, and I was hopping off my bike every few miles to take a picture.  We stopped at Alder Springs campground, about 3000', to fix supper.  All we had with us was some Bisquick and raisins, so I made raisin pancakes.  We had no shortening for the frying pan, so Jack scrounged some pork fat from fellow campers and we had cracklin's that weren't very crackly.

Jack jots in his journal
Jack jots in his journal

As we were washing dishes, two cyclists came buzzing down the mountain, and stopped at the campground for water.  They were from Vermont, and had left Yorktown, Virginia in March.  After finishing their transcontinental ride, they were planning on heading up to Vancouver, then back across Canada.  We asked them about the next campground up the road, which was almost at the top of the mountain, and they told us it would take about two hours to get there.

Since it was only about 5:00, we decided to try it.  Although it was only five miles, the rise in elevation was about 2000'.  Surprisingly, it took us only an hour.

The mosquitoes were thick at Frog campground.  There were more than a dozen cars there, but since Frog is a trailhead, almost everyone was out on the trail.  In spite of the mosquitoes, we took dishpan baths - the first we had had since Dallas.

And since there was nothing to do but dodge bugs, we made it an early night.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to leave a comment. Note that I screen all comments before they will appear here.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.