SEA TO SHINING SEA: Up and over the pass

Oregon's Department of Transportation - ODot - closes the upper reaches of Route 242, the McKenzie Highway, when snow season beings and doesn't reopen it to automobile traffic until mid-June.  Too much snow and it doesn't want to keep it plowed.  But it does allow bicyclists and walkers use the road over an 11-mile stretch that crosses the pass.  Cyclists love it and take full advantage of it. That's the good news.  The bad news is that without plowing you run the risk of finding your route covered in snow.  There's Becky slogging through about five inches of snow up around the 4,000 foot mark.  We had about two miles of snow to fishtail and crunch our way through. BY DENNIS FORNEY
May 26, 2013

DAY 12 - Snowshoeing across America.  Memorial Day weekend for God's sake and we're bicycling over the Cascade Mountains in five inches of snow.  Totally spectacular.  We logged 39 miles today, the first 22 of that uphill to McKenzie Pass to cross over from the wet side of the mountains to the dry side.  Of course it's raining here now.  It seems to be following us.  Today our average speed ended at 7.8 but when we were walking it was as low as two and when we came down the other side of the pass I hit 29.  All in all I was happy with the speed and happy to get over the first major pass.

Tonight we're tenting in a city park in Sisters, Oregon.  Lots of bicycling families surrounding us in their tents and pop-ups.  Nice people.

Oh yeah. Today our total ascent was 5,942 feet. Feeling pretty good and now that we're off the wet side of the Cascades my head is starting to dry up.  Bill says there's not much to see east of the Cascades. "Just a bunch of sage bush and Ponderosa pines." I have a feeling Bill might not appreciate the Delaware marshes very much either.

Here are a bunch of photos from today. Soon it will be Sunday.  Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

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