I spent my third Memorial Day in a row in the cycling paradise of Pendleton, Oregon. Can’t say too much more about the ride itself that hasn’t already been said.
On the way there, I stopped in Ellensburg to do an art walk multi-cache. This one was pretty cool.
The statue one at the public library favorite, squashing the stereotype that wolves are illiterate and poor dressers:
After Ellensburg, I stopped by the Lahars earth cache to the north:
There were a couple more across the Columbia River, slightly off track. But before those, I stopped to see the I-90 Wild Stallions up close. This was a great view that few hiked up to see:
The Earth Cache at Gingko Petrified Forest won “Cache of the Month” in April, and merited a visit since I was mostly in the neighborhood. This sculpture is one of those recurring cycling nightmares I’ve had:
Clouseau: Does your dinosaur bite?
Hotel Clerk: No.
Clouseau: [bowing down to pet the dinosaur ] Nice dinosaur [dinosaur barks and bites Clouseau in the hand]
Clouseau: I thought you said your dinosaur did not bite!
Hotel Clerk: That is not my dinosaur .
— with apologies to The Pink Panther Strikes Again
The earthcache had us finding four exhibits and noting which type of wood was petrified. Sadly, each has to be barricaded by cages to prevent souvenir-seekers from chipping off a bit and hocking it on eBay. So, no pictures.
After checking in for the ride packet, I walked around downtown Pendleton to work on some puzzle caches. This one involved visiting one of several murals:
Day One of CROC was a reversal of the previous years’ route. Instead of ending the day with dead, rotting coyotes, we toured the scenic Old Pendleton River Road. They also offered a 70-mile loop, bypassing Hat Rock State Park and the Oreo Cows. Since I’m way off on my cycling this year, I chose to do this.
Day Two and I have a “history.” Last year, it was miserably cold and rainy. While the wiser went to Walla Walla for Wine Wine, some idiots rode up to the pass, freezing both ways. This year, it was ideal weather, but I am so far off my riding for this year that I had doubts.
This was the first time I’ve brought my iPod with me on a ride. I figured if I was going to grind up a long hill, I’d need some aural distraction. Thank you, Van Halen, for being Hot For Teacher and Right Now. Neil Diamond also assisted with his Crunchy Granola Suite.
I went to Meacham before realizing I’d hiked all of this back in September. I stopped to admire the wonderful landscape. (Janet, if you’re reading this, we really ought to take a vacation here!)
Apologies to the CRoC sag wagon who thought I was in need of assistance. I’m just slow, prone to deliberately wandering off course to take photos of stuff:
This year’s dry weather descent was awesome, I didn’t need my usual litany of electronic data devices to distract me. Much.
Before leaving town Monday, I revisited Old Pendleton River road to make a hike to a geocache that was unreachable while wearing biking shoes. It was a delightful trek. I’d love to come wander along the longer trails.
On the way home, I visited several geocache locations. This one is a virtual cache, an historic gas station originally built along US 12, but since moved to I-84 where the city of Zillah hopes to raise funds to turn it into a museum.