Monday, June 3, 2013

Cambridge, ID

Day 16: Monday, June 3, 2013
Halfway to Cambridge: 60 miles

Today's run finally put the state of Oregon behind. Perhaps now there'll be good weather. Or maybe I'll find something else to complain about.

The north wind was still there, although not nearly so fierce as yesterday. And the ride from Halfway to Oxbow was northeasterly and downhill, so quite enjoyable. Idaho Power & Light have several dams on the Snake River, which forms the border between Oregon and Idaho. In 1981, we camped at Oxbow Dam. This time, I just cruised through, and then up a short steep dam hill to get to the height of the reservoir. An eleven-mile cruise down the shore to Brownlee Dam was aided by that north wind and the occasional smell of mock orange drifting on the breeze.

mock orange
Mock orange bush along the Oxbow reservoir

We couldn't see much of Oxbow Dam. Brownlee is a behemoth, an earthen dam stretching across the valley and rising over four hundred feet.

Brownlee Dam
Brownlee Dam

Brownlee Dam from above
Brownlee Dam from above

The hot climb up the dam hill is the start of a 2000-foot climb to a pass in the Hell's Canyon area. The drop from the pass brought a welcome sight: the water tower at Cambridge. Water Tower Park has been a landmark stop for TransAmerica cyclists for almost 40 years. (In 1981, we stopped at the park for lunch. Go read about it and about the errant sheep.) The park is marked by a sculpture of a bicycle. You'll notice (if you reverse the image) that the bicycle frame resembles the state of Oregon, and the wheels spell out CO, for Cycle Oregon.

Cycle Oregon
Water Tower Park has been marked as a destination point
by Cycle Oregon

The most common signs seen on fences and gates are "No Trespassing. No Hunting. No Fishing." And sometimes I think people put these up because they have the least amount of stuff to protect. But you do occasionally find private lands open to public use. The sign below specifies that hunters are welcome, but access is to be by foot or horse only. I think it would be wonderful (though probably impractical) to have a system of access in this country that works like the the English Country Code.

public access
Public access to private lands seems rare

The locals recommended dining at Mrs. G's Ranch House, so I did that, rather than fire up the campstove; then headed back to the water tower for a night's rest.

Water Tower Park
Cambridge's famous Water Tower Park

1 comment:

  1. Hi Bret. I've been enjoying the posts and following along on Google maps. It took a bit of searching to find the Water Tower Park in Cambridge. Had I been looking at the shadows, I would have found it sooner. I also enjoy your photos as they are much better than Google. Keep the post and pics coming.



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