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We rejoined 395 for a short bit since the Scenic Bikeway follows the highway before splitting off again. This is where it got really fun! This stretch was about 40 miles with nary a straight stretch. It follows the Middle Fork of the John Day River and the little valley is lush and green. Much nicer than the earlier section through the desert. I played tail-end-charlie on this leg so I could film everyone in front of me. Of course they were moving so fast that I only really caught Dave in the camera and with the GoPro he looks much further away than he really was.

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After that we headed east on 26 until we got to highway 245 which takes us past the Unity Reservoir. Past the reservoir we rode along Burnt River for a bit until the road pealed off away and we had this interesting ride where there was barren hills to our left and nice farmland to our right. When it turns north is where the fun begins. I described this on the Memorial Day 2012 trip and the difference this time is that there was no rain, the road was clean, and we had our GoPro cameras to record the fun. And fun it was! After running that and getting pictures of everyone in the corners, click to enlarge click to enlarge we continued on into Baker City where we stopped for an early dinner at the El Erradero mexican restaurant where we had a great dinner. We had inadvertently skipped lunch, so 3:30pm was going to be an early dinner or very late lunch depending on your point of view. After that around 5pm we took off on highway 86 east to Halfway, Oregon where we camped for the night. The 60 or so miles was pretty nice actually - gently sweeping corners and then a couple of zigzags as we turned north from Richland on up to Halfway.

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Now when we got into town we were expecting it to be as quiet as all the others, but Halfway was having its Labor Day rodeo that day and the whole town was packed. I had reservations at the Halfway Motel and RV Park, but where we camped was basically in front of the owner's barn. Which was okay because there was nothing bad to camp on, if you know what I mean. And since it's a small town it got quiet pretty much right away - no loud cowboys running up and down the streets. We didn't have a campfire, but we still had a nice time sitting in our chairs and having a nice conversation into the night as the temperature dropped into a more comfortable range.

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Tom Clark
I'm Chief Technical Overlord for Behind The Gavel, living in Spokane, Washington. I also do a little development work on the side. And I love riding my bikes all over the country with my friends.

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