Oregon To Maine On A Bicycle Day 4 Burns to Ontario

To start at the beginning of this trip click here.

I was still pondering my luck of meeting that nice couple who gave me the suggestion of attending the bike convention in South Dakota. Everyone that I had met to date was super friendly and all wanting to offer me assistance in anyway they could. People really are good natured.

Source: Jeff Cunha

First order of the day was of course food. Rolling into Burns I saw the golden arches and was soon filling up on all that wonderfully healthy breakfast food. While I was sitting there eating at a booth, a gentlemen approached and asked where I was going. Turns out he was recreational cyclist and had seen many people come through town on a similar cross country journey. He said I looked like someone that might actually make it. He said that he would be coming back from work around the time I would be near Ontario and if he saw me on the freeway he would stop and say hello.

Source: Jeff Cunha

The pavement was new and smooth to start the day. Flat even downhill was the terrain and no wind to speak of so ground was covered quickly for at least the first 4 hours.

Source: Jeff Cunha

Apparently they were still working on the road as at the end of the new pavement came the gravel. Roughly 2 hours of that.

Source: Jeff Cunha

When the pavement finally improved the road started winding through a valley canyon alongside a river. With temps back into the 100’s again, I did stop and soak my feet in the river after around 8 hours in the saddle. I refilled my bottles and continued winding through the canyon.

Source: flattestroute.com

I stopped in Vale to get yet more food. Then into the home stretch to Ontario. About 20 miles later just outside of Ontario a Pickup passed me and then pulled over in front of me blocking my way. It was the gentlemen from earlier in the day, he wanted to know where I was going to spend the night. I said that usually about this time of day I start looking for a place to camp. He said there was nothing for a long ways but that he knew a good spot and would happily give me a lift there. I said no that would be cheating, he said oh no it is back the other ways just a bit so I would have actually more distance to ride not less. In the future I would learn that everyone has a slightly different definition of little. I agreed as the prospects for camping were getting slimmer the closer I got to civilization. After loading my bike into a fork clamp style carrier in the bed of his pickup he drove me to a campground 20 miles back from where I had just came. It was a campground used by the migrant workers for the nearby farms. It was a little sketchy for my taste but I really didn’t have a choice at this point. When we unloaded my bicycle it had fallen over in the bed of his truck and bent the front left eyelet of the fork dropout.

I went into a slight panic. He said he would go home and get some tools to try and fix it. While he was gone, I got out my handy little pair of vice grips and simply straightened the fork eye enough to get the front wheel clamped back in. Disaster averted, but I wouldn’t be taking chances with bike racks in the future.

Source: Jeff Cunha

It was a restless night. Not that I have anything against migrant workers it’s just that the inequalities in this country were very clear. I slept with the bicycle in the tent all night as usual but kept my swiss army knife handy just in case. I was being irrational as usual, nothing terrible happened and I’m sure if we had spoken the same language they would have greeted me the same as everyone else on the trip.

Next Up Day 5 Ontario Oregon to Mountain Home Idaho