Old 02-07-19, 12:08 PM
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I think it's highly unlikely to happen, but I would go again if they reprised the 2002, which was the 15th anniversary and my first one. We started at Nyssa on the eastern border of the state and rode all the way to Florence on the coast. Overnights were in Ironside, John Day, Mitchell, Sisters (rest day there, then McKenzie Pass), and Coburg.

Why do I think they will never do that route again? It was a Bataan Death March. I averaged something like 90 miles/day, if not more, although part of that was self-inflicted as I did the 117 mile option to Mitchell. There was only one route to Sisters and it was a century. Also, the camping arrangements were less than ideal at Ironside and Mitchell. Both were on ranch land. The campsite at Ironside required a trip down a gravel road, and there were lots of dried cow pies on the camping field. It got down to about 28 degrees that night. Probably the only reedeming factor is that if you got out of your tent to take a leak you could see every star in sky. Mitchell featured a two-tiered approach. Most of the services like showers and food were at road level. The tenting area was down below in a deep depression. I remember pulling in late after 117 hot as hell miles, looking down at a packed tent city and thinking "Holy hell." The entire site was comprised of fine, dry dirt, and it was blowing around in the wind. I made an instant mind's eyes comparison to some refuge camp in some drought-plagued place in Africa, only with nice tents and lots of Porta-Potties. Any appreciable rain would have turned the entire place into a mud pit. A lot of the route to Sisters was chip seal. Butt cream was at a premium. The last couple of days many people became short with each other, which I attribute to the heat and fatigue. Even after crossing over to the west side of the Cascades it was still very hot in Coburg. It wasn't until the final day, when we had to cross the coastal range did we get some humidity in the air and some cloud cover.

But even with all that, I it remains the coolest supported tour I have ever done.
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