I’ve just returned from a bike trip to Reno where I visited my younger son and his fiancé. About 600 miles in 10 days of riding. The first part of the trip followed the same route I took when I biked across the country in 2016 – wonderful memories. Up the McKenzie Pass into central Oregon, then on the Oregon Outback Scenic Byway to Lakeview.

Friends, Enrique and Brent, rode with me as far as Lakeview. We camped each night, first at Coburg; then Belknap Hot Springs, Sisters, La Pine (where it was 32 degrees overnight), Summer Lake City Park, and then into Lakeview riding alongside Abert Rim.

While in Lakeview I stayed at Junipers RV Resort, located on John Shine’s beautiful 5,000 acre ranch. It’s an incredible place, well worth going out of your way to experience.  I took a day of R & R (rest and research) in Lakeview, visiting with friends and looking through old records at the Lake County Courthouse from the days when Bernard Daly was the county judge, continuing work on my retirement writing project on the Daly Scholarship.

I left Lakeview, riding south on 395, one of the least traveled roads in Oregon and northern California. After leaving Alturas, the first town on the California side, I rode through a 70 mile stretch with no services. I was fortunate to run into a road construction crew that let me fill up my water bottles. Somehow I managed to avoid fires and smoke up until my very last day of riding. Just forty miles from Reno, in the midst of smoky haze and a heat wave, I had enough sense to call my son who then met me and drove me and my bike the rest of the way.

In these truly strange times, it was especially nice for me to be out in nature, return to Lake County, and visit with my son — I’m grateful.

P.S. What a difference a week can make. I returned home to terrible fires throughout Oregon, and dangerous smoky haze in my hometown of Corvallis. Fires had broken out all along the route I had just ridden, along the McKenzie River, in central Oregon, Lake County, and northern California. While the timing of my trip was incredibly fortunate, sadly the fires have brought tragedy to so many.

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