2016 was a time of transition and reflection for me. After 35 years at OSU, I was retiring. My last five years were especially enjoyable as I returned to teaching and research after having served as dean of the OSU College of Education from 2002 – 2011. It was during those years that I began to research the impact of the Daly Fund and also began biking. Having a little more time and flexibility than I did as dean, I began commuting to and from work, took occasional longer rides on the weekend and, with the encouragement of friends, joined the local bike club in the summer of 2014 for a week-long camping bike trip from Central Oregon to the Willamette Valley and back, up and over both the Santiam and Willamette passes. I loved both the research on the Daly Fund and the long-distance biking — they’ve both become a big part of my retirement.
My route roughly followed the Adventure Cycling Association TransAmerica Trail which starts in either Astoria or Florence and goes to Yorktown, Virginia, through two national parks (Yellowstone and Grand Tetons) along bike-friendly roads. I started in Florence and rode to Eugene, Belknap Springs, and beautiful MacKenzie Pass into Sisters. Leaving Sisters, I made my first detour as I headed southeast on the Outback Scenic Byway to Lakeview, planning to arrive in time for the Trustee’s annual meeting. I did make it in time but, as Dave Vandenberg warned me, I fought quite a head wind going into Lakeview along Abert Rim.
Had a nice couple of rest days in Lakeview (my first since leaving Florence six days earlier) before heading north on 395, Oregon’s most desolate road. While in Lakeview, I met with Daly recipients at a local coffee shop and attended the annual Daly Fund Trustee meeting. The Trustee meeting was well attended with representatives from all of Oregon’s public colleges and the community college system, and several guests. One of the factors that has led to the long term success of the Daly Fund is the transparency and larger engagement that is facilitated by the composition and operation of the Trustee meetings. The Lakeview community members and campus representatives all have equal votes and together arrive at really good decisions.
Along the way, I stopped to visit with Anne (Barry) Kness (Lakeview H.S., 1974) in Burns; Erin (Harlan) Taggart (Lakeview H.S., 2004) in Baker City; and Gary and Sidney (Harlan) Reynolds (both Lakeview H.S., 1962) in Missoula. It was a wonderful trip for me, a total of 4,681 miles in 91 days (77 riding days).
Looking forward to many more bike trips and opportunities to meet more people from Lake County.