By Jim Kruse
By Samuel Kimzey
By Tony Drake
This morning we were up by 4:30 a.m. in anticipation of today’s 3,845-foot elevation gain from Dubois, WY into the Absaroka mountain range and up to the summit of the Togwotee Pass to 9,655 feet, located on the Continental Divide, on our way down through the Teton National Park into Jackson, WY.
A long-time resident of Ohio, I have always enjoyed visiting or seeing mountains. During the big climbs on my bicycle in recent days, my thoughts about mountains have been more blended. I have experienced both the usual awe at their natural beauty and inspirational majesty, and simultaneously wondered why they have to be so darn tall!
Our first rest day after eight straight days of cycling is in the booming metropolis of Port Orford, OR. Population 954 as of 2019. We began the day worshipping with the wonderful folks of Port Orford Christian Center. The pastor reminded us that the church runs, or in our case rides, on the love Christ for all. A number of folks headed to The Crazy Norwegian for clam chowder, fish and chips, shakes and Marionberry Pie. The marionberry was developed by the US Dept. of Agricultural researcher George F. Waldo in the 1940s at Oregon State University. It is a cross between the Olallie berry and a high producing Chehalem berry.
I’ve got that Fuller Feeling! It comes from a day spent on my bike with like minded comrades that want to change the world one mile at a time. Today we spent the day riding from North Bend to Port Orford, conquering the Seven Devils and following the gorgeous Oregon coastline for many miles, with rolling hills and serene mountain views, all to raise funds to end poverty housing worldwide. Challenging, yet rewarding in so many ways.
Today was day 7 of riding. We have ridden a total of 400+ miles so far and it has been both amazing and very difficult. This is my first time on a big bike trip and I am definitely not very experienced. We have been going pretty hard basically from day one and it has been quite a struggle to keep up with both physically and mentally. Amazingly yesterday and today were both sub-50 mile days. It’s a wonder how far I have come in such a short amount of time. When I came on this trip the longest bike ride I had been on was 50 miles, after which I was usually pretty exhausted. After doing a couple 80+ mile days, 50 miles feels like a cake-walk.
I’m amazed at how wonderful Fuller Center Bike Adventure trips continue to be for me even after logging more than 12,000 miles on them. The people are wonderful and it feels like a mixture of a family and class reunion with the added interest and excitement brought by the first timers.