On tour: The Old West Scenic Bikeway

Riding the range

Donnie and I biked three and a half days through the John Day area of Eastern Oregon, along the 184-mile Old West Scenic Bikeway loop. I'll be writing more about the trip later so I won't give too much away — but I wanted to share a few pictures in the meantime.

touring rigs

 Bikes loaded with the essentials: tent, sleeping bags and pads, warm clothes, bars and goos, coffee.

Morning coffee

Morning brew at Bates State Park as the sprinklers whirred and hummed.

Scenic bikeway

The signs we followed.

Picture Gorge bike

On this trip, I finally learned how to snap photos WHILE STILL RIDING MY BIKE. This is a huge development; in the past, I've had to stop and firmly plant my feet before pressing the shutter.

Not what you think

Donnie demonstrates how to stay cool while riding in high temps (for those still unclear: by soaking your shirt with water).


Another principle of happy, healthy riding: apply chamois cream to below-the-belt hot spots! 


 Trail treats: Bud Light and Freezie.

water for riders

Finding water is difficult on several long stretches of road. We always carried extra in our paniers. Heavy, but a good safeguard.

Big Bend hello

Under the juniper tree at the BLM's Big Bend campground. Several hours later, sitting on the ground by the camp stove, I looked down in the dark to see A SCORPION 6 INCHES FROM MY LEG. I backed away in time and developed a new paranoia.



J Dot RanchAlong the way: ranches, barns, cows, fields of hay.

cant ranch

Cathedral Rock

Oh and crazy geologic formations.

John Day Fossil beds rider

John Day Fossil

Bald eagle

Watched by a bald eagle.

Forest fire

When we rode by this wildfire in the morning, it was tiny. When we looked back hours later (and took this picture), its smoke had taken over the sky.


Despite what our instincts told us, we rode INTO this lightning storm in an attempt to get to our campsite by dark. When the strikes got too close for comfort, we ducked into barns on the side of the road and waited.

thunderstorm cover

The following day, we got caught in ANOTHER lightning storm. Seconds before the sheet of rain drenched us, we hunkered down under our tent fly on the side of the road and watched as everything around us got soaked. 

Out of the rain

We survived.

Rider on the crest