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Three mountains and 69 hard miles

Editor’s note: David Freeze is biking coast to coast. His trek started June 10 in Oregon. He’s sending dispatches from the road to be published in the newspaper, at www.salisburypost.com, and on his blog, “Gotta Run” at blog.salisburypost.com/gottarun

Tuesday, June 16 (Day 9)

Today was everything that I thought it would be. The three mountains were very hard to climb, and the effort wore me completely out. One lady I met yesterday in Prairie City cautioned that there was another difficult climb after coming down off the last mountain and she was right. Best thing is that today’s climbing was completed, and I made it to Baker City, Ore. It rained a cold rain most of the afternoon, and for the first time I had a significant headwind at times. Total mileage for the day was 69, a very hard effort. Worst yet. the scenery was not particularly good either, until I got close to Baker City. I followed the beautiful Powder River for at least 15 miles coming into the city. Today I followed  Highway 26 and then Highway 7.

Baker City was a gold boom town and still appears to be doing very well. A large gold nugget totaling 84 ounces was found here in 1913. There were also lots of southern sympathizers during the Civil War.

With today’s effort, I have finished Map No. 2. There are 10 more maps, so I will be starting on No. 3 tomorrow. One more day in Oregon, then I go into Idaho. I have been traveling the last few days in a very sparsely populated area, and that is going to get worse. Today’s ride was 69 miles without a single open store and very few people the whole way. While in Idaho, there are weather issues to be aware of. The Snake River Canyon is usually very hot and there are few places to buy water. Cell coverage is sporadic at best. I am looking forward to entering a new state and immediately dropping back to Mountain time.

There is a possibility that I may not be able to transmit an update while in some of these areas. I will still compile it and send as soon as I can.

David Freeze is a Rowan County resident and freelance writer.

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