Today was 60 miles from Kah-Nee-Ta to Pineville. Total climb just under 3,000 ft. The route was gorgeous–as I previously mentioned, once you pass over the Cascade Mountains, much of the eastern part of the state is high desert. I’m not sure this is what people think about when they picture Oregon. Temperatures started a bit chilly, but quickly went toward 90 degrees and dry. The scenery was a mixture of some farmlands, and some massive vistas going going on for miles of the desert.

I am calling this a “recovery” ride even though it is only 5 miles shorter than yesterday because it felt easy. The climbing was a lot less in total, and a lot less steep when we were climbing. Tomorrow is supposed to be an “epic” day, but no comment on that until we see if it is.

We are starting to get to know each other and some stats were read out (in a contest to see which riders could answer the questions):
-males range in age from 46-69. There is someone in his 80s, but he is only riding for a week. I would say 80% are in their 60s, which makes sense. Retired or flexible enough to do this because of family commitments.
-females range from 34 to about the same, but they wouldn’t divulge oldest female out of “courtesy.”
-from 22 states and 4 foreign countries (UK, Germany, Australia, New Zealand).

As we become familiar, I have been slowly taking some questions and talking about Freedom to Marry with people in the group. Those that broach the subject are supportive, which is great. But talking about adverse effects of DOMA, for example, are not fluidly known by marriage equality supporters, and so it’s good to talk about the impact of DOMA on military same sex married couples, e.g.

And a really nice couple from San Diego said “thank God that’s what you are supporting. At first we thought you were some right wing nut job for the other side.” It’s early, but really heartening to see the response of my fellow riders!

Oregon high desert, with a Cascade volcano in background