Zombie Grasshoppers and Crossing Into Oregon – Day 68

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Well Young Man, when you get to the coast you’ll be disappointed – Day 67
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Killin It In Baker City, Oregon! – Day 69

 Day 68
 Cambridge, ID To Richland, ID
July 30, 2016
70 Miles for the day
3,750.0 Total miles for trip
6:28 Ride Time

Photo Jul 30, 6 55 52 AM

Last night I slept pretty good on top of a picnic table in the park. I couldn’t figure out a way to turn off the lights, so I ended up unscrewed all the light bulbs and fixed them in the morning.


When I was packing up a bunch of people showed up and said there was going to be a Farmers Market there in a few hours. The nice man who runs the Farmer’s Market bought me an apple strudel from one of the Ladies and wished me well on the rest of my journey.


It was hard finding food for breakfast. I got some intel not to eat in the restaurant I would have typically gone to. 2 east bounders I met got food poisoning there. I ended up getting a breakfast burrito at the coffee shop and sat there for a while talking to everyone who was there.

My plan today was to cross into Oregon and ride as far as I possibly could. Riding into Baker City would be amazing, but that is 125 miles away. Making it to Baker City would mean a 1,500’ climb in the beginning of the day and a 1,000’ climb at the end of the day. Kind of ambitious, but ya never know.


Today’s stretch of road is through Hells Canyon and is extremely hot. At home I do a lot of hot yoga. I feel like my obcession with hot yoga in some ways trained me for all the insane days of cycling through the heat.

The first time I learned I like the heat, was in 2005 actually when I did this exact ride. It was one of my best days of cycling on that trip. When I was just outside Baker City, the chip seal was laid on so thick that I couldn’t even stay on my bike and got picked up by a local a few miles outside of town.


What is this thing?!????? A giant shuttle cock?!?

It’s the cold that fucks me up. I’m the biggest pussy in the cold. Im going to work on that once this trip is over. My body has been through so many weird changes on this trip. I miss my yoga practice. I kind of can’t wait to get back to Portland. I miss my dog a lot.

But Anyways…..

I can ramble all day. Riding out of Cambridge was interesting. There were giant black grasshoppers all over the road. They kept jumping around as I got close and there were a bunch of them smushed on the road by cars. I realized at one point that all of these black grasshoppers seemed to be feeding off the dead smushed ones. Kinda weird. I think that technically makes them Cannibal or zombie grasshoppers.

The climb today was right at the beginning of the day and it wasn’t that hard at all, on the downhill I dropped into Hells Canyon. There was only one store around. I didn’t need anything except to get my bottles filled. They told me they charged me $.25 to fill up my water bottles with ice, so I had them break a $20 bill and they gave me back $19.75.


I met another bike tourist named Wolfgang from Germany. He told me to stay at the hostel in Mitchell, Oregon when I get there.


Photo Jul 30, 12 28 03 PM

I love cycling through Hells Canyon the views are unbelievable. I rode along the top of the mountain for awhile overlooking the beautiful lake. After about an hour of unbelievable cycling, the trails drops down to the dam. AND FINALLY I CROSS INTO MY BEAUTIFUL HOME STATE OF OREGON!!


I stopped at the only store in Oxbow. I was starving and the guy that runs the store told me he couldn’t make me a sandwich until 4 pm when the restaurant opened. So I had a lame bag of smart food for lunch. The heat was starting to get really bad so I hung out on the porch and rehydrated.


I chatted up a bunch of people from Seattle who were headed out on their annual rafting trip through Hells Canyon.


When I left the store, I saw there was a restaurant on the other side of the building that was open, but the Dude at the store conveniently decided not to tell me about after I told him I was starving. I wasted too much time hanging out, so I just kept riding.


Leaving Oxbow the wind was getting really tough to ride through. I stopped in a town called Richland just 40 miles shy of Baker City. There is no way I’m making it. I was exhausted from riding into a headwind all day long. I had a burger and a few beers there, while I spent a few hours working on blogposts at the bar. They closed the bar at 9pm, so I brought a 6 pack back to the park and finished everything I was working on.

Leaving the bar, I had 2 flat tires, WTF. I pushed my bike 2 blocks down the street to the town park and decided to deal with them in the morning.

Photo Jul 30, 10 34 33 PM
The stars tonight were unbelievable. I wished I had my tripod. Every attempt I made at photographing the stars failed miserably. I need to learn to photograph the night sky.

Click Here to Visit The Table of Contents
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Well Young Man, when you get to the coast you’ll be disappointed – Day 67
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Killin It In Baker City, Oregon! – Day 69

About the author

Michael Riscica

Hey, I’m Michael Riscica and I live in Portland, Oregon with my Labrador Retriever. When I’m off the bike, I make my living as a Licensed Architect and also write a architecture blog at YoungArchitect.com.

I took my first bike tour in 2003 when I rode from Boston to New York City, and at that time I learned about cycling across America. My life was forever changed. I have successfully ridden and blogged about Coast2Coast bike rides during the summers of 2005, 2007and now 2016.

Thanks for following along. I would love to connect with you on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Linked In! Also check out my new project Young Architect Gear, designing architecturally themed gifts and products.

Jeremy E - August 22, 2016

I kept going that night and made it into Baker City just before midnight.

Terry Smith - August 22, 2016

Mike – I was informed when I went plowing down into Cambridge in ’09 heading east that those were Mormon Crickets that you were running over. And they do eat each other!

Sebastien P. - August 25, 2016

The shuttlecock was an installation at one of the first Burning Man events, can’t remember the year.

Kidding, actually it is an incinerator for mill scraps. All the mills used to have them. The smoke was very unOK by today’s standards especially since they were burning a lot of garbage, wet scraps, bark and sawdust.

Nice of you to help out Aaron and Brock with some content for their show.

    Michael Riscica - August 25, 2016

    AWESOME!!! Thank you sooo much! Aaron and Brock are pretty rad! Looking forward to connecting with them further!!!

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