Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Aug 12 (Day 224) Washington arrival, legs are tired.

Yesterday was 118 miles. Today was 78. That's nearly 200 miles in 2 days! My legs feel like Jell-O at the moment, so a shorter day tomorrow will certainly be in order. I am hoping to stay in Richland which is only about 54 miles from where I am now (just west of Walla Walla, WA). From the elevation graphic below, it is easy to see that today was really split into a very hard morning and a very easy afternoon. The uphill bits early really took their toll after yesterday. The bike seemed to weight 20 pounds more than usual. On days like this you just put the bike in the lowest gear and keep pedaling. Luckily the scenery was beautiful, the roads were very quiet, and the company of my host from last night, Charlie, was welcomed. Charlie is a very avid cyclist so he decided to accompany me for the first ~50 miles of the ride today. This means he'd ride almost 100 by the time he returned home. Pretty impressive for a guy who's 66 years old! We ate lunch together in Weston before I headed north into Washington and he again claimed the big hill to head home.

Charlie moving so fast I couldn't get him in focus!

Scenery leaving La Grande, OR

Climbing the east side of the Blue Mountains
on Tollgate road

View from top of Tollgate in Blue Mountains

The scenery dried out as I descended to the west

Washington arrival

There were a few roadside birds today. Along the road in the mountains I had Red-breasted nuthatch, Mountain chickadee, Townsend's warbler, Orange-crowned warbler, MacGillivray's warbler, and Ruby-crowned kinglet. I thought I might get lucky and pick up White-headed woodpecker today, but it was not to be. I am sure I will get this bird at some point. 

I have been putting a lot of thought this evening into how I want to handle the next week or so. As always, I have a number of options, and each has advantages and disadvantages. I feel that I really have a lot of time to work with right now. With time come options, and options require research and planning before a final decision is made. It will be a fantastic feeling to actually start birding again after such a long stretch of riding and logistics. Its been 8 days since I last did any real birding and added a bird to the year list. My host saw a Vaux's swift down the street from her house today. Maybe I'll get one tomorrow to break the streak of day without a year bird. 

Stick with me, there will be more birding and new birds coming soon!


  1. Hey, that was 61 miles to Weston. A flipping 80 year old could have the 50 and back : }