The Substance of Faith

The Substance of Faith

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Willamette Valley Cycling Trip – Travel Day

Our cycling vacation started at 6:00 AM on Friday morning when Dan Greason, Ed Watters, and I met at Ed Hines’s house to ride to the airport together. Whoever controls traffic on I 75 did a fine job that day and we arrived a park and fly in 90 minutes.   If I am going on a long flight and have the time, I enjoy walking to the concourse for my gate. One by one the others caved to peer pressure and decided to join me on the hike to Concourse F in the Atlanta airport. Ed H noted that the time from Rome to parking was the same as from the car to the gate. At Concourse E we ran into Norris Broyles, who is also on our trip, after riding with us on the Montreal trip last year.

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Our flight was 30 minutes late leaving, but had no problems.. We arrived in Portland, found the hotel shuttle, and arrived at the Raddison in very quick time. Jeff and Tamara Smathers, who had arrived on Wednesday. We deposited our main suitcases, only taking day bags for the extra excursion to Crater. Lake.   We met Steve, our guide from Lizard Head. He was late because the rental shop did not have our bike ready. After an hour and a half delay, we departed for Crater Lake in the thick of Portland’s Friday afternoon traffic.

We spent the next six and a half hours enjoying the camaraderie, retelling old stories of trips past and ribbing one another.   The change in scenery was dramatic. Leaving Portland, the area was flat and highly agricultural. We say lots of heavy farm equipment in the process of tilling. For some late season crop. The tilling and the wind combined to create huge clouds of dust. Past Eugene, we turned into the Cascade Mountains. Immediately we found the air less arid and the fir trees enourmous.

Near Oakridge (“Welcome to Smokerigde,” said one man), we witnessed the US Forest Service fighting wildfires. We caught a glimpse of a helicopter dipping its bucket in the river beside us and pulling away with its load to drop it on the fire just over the ridge.

National Forest Service trucks parked as worker take a break.  Smoke pours into Oakridge.

National Forest Service trucks parked as worker take a break. Smoke pours into Oakridge.

At 8:30 (PDT) we arrived at the Union Resort, about 25 miles form Crater Lake. Here’s an idea how remote it is. We had a good dinner and everyone was ready for bed, after taking turns with the bathroom on the hall.

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