Eastern Oregon Bikepacking: Day 7 – On Making Plans and Letting Them Go

Our final day had us up early with the knowledge that we not only had to bike almost 60 miles, but had to make the 6-hour drive home that day. What we didn’t know about this final day was that we would actually descend more than we’d gain in elevation; a seemingly rare occurrence on this trip.

The day itself was a breeze. We started off with some cloudy skies and got some intermittent sections of rain on the ride, but by midday, the sun was out and both Trish and I were feeling great. We stopped at a little café in a small town along the way and grabbed a scone (mostly because we both had to pee). The small town atmosphere was something we’d both grown to appreciate, and it was fun just sitting in the corner of this provincial little coffee shop listening to the locals talk about town happenings while chatting about some of the highlights of our trip.

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A misty morning in Joseph is still a beautiful morning.
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Here is a showcase of some of the unique architecture we saw on our way to Elgin: #1
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#2
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And #3
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Our overcast morning soon acquiesced to a mostly sunny afternoon.
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The roads towards Elgin were beautiful, but frequently trafficked by logging trucks. Hearing a jake brake engage as a loaded logging truck comes barreling up behind you is a little disconcerting, even after a week of bike travel on busy roads.
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Our only pass of the day: a four mile climb.
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After the pass, it was mostly downhill into Elgin.

Things didn’t always work out the way we’d envisioned on our tour of Eastern Oregon, but I think that that is part of what makes bikepacking so memorable. Whether it was road construction, goliath hills between us and our final destination, overnight plans falling through, side-aches or saddle sores slowing us down, or a combination of factors, with bikepacking, these are the experiences I’ll remember and talk about for years with Trish, who shared all of these experiences and emotions with me, or with others interested in tackling an adventure like this on their own. Making plans is a necessary step in the development of a successful bike tour, but letting those plans go is also a necessary step in truly enjoying the journey. Trish and I both had an incredible experience, and we learned that our flexibility with things out of our control was part of the adventure’s thrill.

Anyone interested in the details of our trip, feel free to check out Cycle Oregon’s route descriptions found in the link below, which we unashamedly used in its entirety for our trip.

http://www.cycleoregon.com/week-ride/past-rides/cycle-oregon-21/

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