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Day 2: Looking for Water
After a late night of partying on the lawn at the picturesque Terminal Gravity Brewery, we were up and ready for day two of Cycle Oregon. It was a cold sleep, but not nearly as cold as the 27 degree surprise we had the night before in Elgin.
Our route for the day was heading due north for 95 miles and the last 55 miles we'd be pedaling through Washington where we'd spend our evening in Clarkston, WA.
The road lifted us to 4700 feet from the get go. The 20 mile slight ascent to the 20+ mile ridge run, led to a screaming descent with perfect switchbacks that drop us into the state of WA. Hahn and i took turns with a few random Cycle Oregonians bombing the 13 mile descent and thoroughly enjoying every second of it. At the base of the descent is where we all met back up and decided against picking up water (false rumors of a water stop around the corner kept us motivated to just keep rolling along).
The main climb of the day had just begun and after realizing that the 6% grade wasn't going to ease up after 8 miles, we realized that our decision to not stop for water was setting in.
It was hot, we were exposed, and we still had 2,765 ft of climbing left before we topped out at the Rattlesnake Summit. I actually saw the desert journey scene from The Three Amigos (view it here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHVpJGXZ21o&feature=related ).
At this point we were looking for the "stop" but it never came. Instead I carried on conversations with fellow cyclists and probably said "howdy" and "on yer left" at least 400 times. I could tell we were getting close to the summit when the view opened up to a spectacular valley to the east and the treasure we had been waiting for, water, was pouring generously from orange Igloo coolers.
We regrouped, carried on, and the next 25 miles were all downhill, then it was a short 15 mile jaunt that took us into Idaho briefly for one last grunt of climb that took us into Carkston.