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 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 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.
|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 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.
|Cambridge's famous Water Tower Park