A Monologue with the Æther

A Bicycle Odyssey

Day Sixty-eight: Tuesday 4 September 1990

Vale, OR to Burns, OR

Since posting yesterday, I had more time to look at Vale, Oregon. I am fairly certain that I lodged at the Bates Motel or whatever preceeded it. It is in the approximate location that I remember on the western edge of the town.

Vale sits in a valley that the Malheur River runs through. I follow the Malheur River west into the mountains. Much of the route wends its way through canyons with the river adjacent. I remember that at some point in the canyon meeting another cyclist heading east from Astoria. He is following the TransAmerica Trail but planning to end in Virginia Beach, Virginia. I also eat my first American bison burger at a little dinner tucked away on the road through the canyon.

This day marks my longest time in the saddle, more than 13 hours, thanks to the climbing once the highway diverges from the river. I remember hitting very high speeds on one of the downhill sections, so fast that my front tire felt like it was barely in contact with the road surface.

I reach Burns, Oregon at twilight.