Sam’s Two-Wheeled Wanderings, Day Four: Prosser to Pendelton

Hello from Pendelton, Oregon. 

I’m pleased as punch to be here.
 Today was challenging, mentally and physically. 

90 miles is a long way to bike.
 After my all-too-brief sojourn at Wine Country RV Park (a.k.a. Paradise-on-earth), I mounted my bike this morning and departed the Yakima Valley. Because valleys are, by definition, lower than the surrounding landscape, my morning mileage included some climbing on the menu. 

Toodle-ooo Prosser. I’ll be back!
 I wish that I could wax poetic about a pastoral passage through the agricultural heart of Eastern Washington. Unfortunately, I’d be lying through my teeth. This morning’s ride was majorly monotonous, and hellaciously hot. I battled a headwind from the East, and my google maps app tried to send me down a gnarly dirt road, clearly unsuited for cycling. 

Dear google: are you high? I’m NOT going that way.
 By the time I reached the Columbia River I was well-ready to say goodbye and good riddance (for now) to the state of Washington. 

TA TA! I need to love you from a distance for a little bit.
 Once I made it across the river, I was rewarded with…hotter temperatures. 

Umatilla has a pretty sweet dam, though.
 I started feeling pretty dispirited and depleted so I pulled over for some lunch at a truly upscale establishment. 

Who am I kidding? I fit right in.
 I reapplied some much needed S.P.F. while I waited for my food, and chatted up the waitress about the best route for my afternoon. 

Stay classy, cyclist
 My sandwich was merely O.K. 

Maybe I should start a spinoff blog called ‘Sandwiching Across America by Bike?’
 The thirty five miles that followed lunch were hard. The landscape between Umatilla and Prosser offers minimal variety; the road winds gradually, yet relentlessly uphill; and the afternoon heat had me sweating like a whore in church. 

Whole lotta this to look at.
 I passed the time by counting mile markers, and making up rhymes each time I passed another number. 

Mile Eight! Feeling Great! That fact might be up for debate!
 I must admit that some seriously negative thoughts started to bubble to the surface as I struggled along alone. I began to question my physical strength, mental fortitude, capabilities, and whether I could even make it around the next corner…let alone to Colorado.  

WHY am I doing this!?
 Then I remembered a few key facts:

1) I LIKE doing hard things.

2) I’m insanely lucky that I have the priveledge and the wherewithal to take a crazy multi-day bike tour. 

3) Being on a bike, even when it sucks a whole lot, STILL is FAR more fun than being at work.

4) I biked UP the cotton-pickin’ Cascade Mountains on Wednesday, I’ve run a marathon, and gotten a Ph.D…I can do anything if I work hard enough.

5) Most things seem overwhelming and awful until you’re actually doing them, and then they usually aren’t so bad.

6) Attitude is everything: if you tell yourself that you’re miserable you probably will be.

After giving myself a much-needed pep talk, I realized that my glycogen stores were running dangerously low. I brought a few creepy-magic gels and fuel-potions with me in case of emergency, so I busted out a sample pack of “Untapped:” an all natural athlete energy source, made from maple syrup.

Really.
 In case you were wondering, hot maple syrup from a plastic pouch is exactly as appetizing as it sounds.

Mentally and physically rejuvenated, I limped my way into Pendelton. This seems like a cool town, but unfortunately I’m camping outside the city limits and I’m too exhausted to do any exploring. Luckily, however, my delightful campground has showers! 

Time to wash off the road grime and hit the hay, another day of adventure awaits tomorrow!

Hallelujah!

2 thoughts on “Sam’s Two-Wheeled Wanderings, Day Four: Prosser to Pendelton

  1. Please use zinc oxcide (the opaque stuff often white) on your beautiful nose. Also the skies of eastern Wash are BLUE!!! Amazing colors everywhere!!! ALSO also eat more icecream and other high calorie foods, you are lean (skinny!) enough already. I think you are a hero of accomplishment, press on but rest wether you think you need it or not. Love & Light your every confidence in you Mom

    Like

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