We leave Hood River with record-breaking lateness – at 11 am, with 70 miles to go! Thankfully, the historic 30 highway is some of the nicest biking of the trip. There are 5 scary miles on the 84, but then we get miles and miles of separated bike path that parallels the highway. Our Warm Showers host, Mike, hopes that they’ll finish building the bike friendly path soon.
Every sign along the 30 warns us about a steep staircase after Eagle Creek. When we get there, we see they are not wrong. Three flights of stairs separate us from the next 40 miles. They are concrete, mossy, and there’s a mysterious groove carved into the right side. We use the groove to push the bikes up the staircase, two on a bike. When we get to the top, we both think that the other did most of the work. Thank you, groove!
To celebrate, we make a waystation. I sing a little solo, after Connie Converse’s version of the English folk song “The Ash Grove.”
Down yonder green valley where streamlets meander,
When twilight is fading, I pensively moan,
And at the bright noontide in solitude wander,
Amid the dark shades of the lonely Ash-grove.
’Twas there while the blackbird is joyfully singing,
I first met my dear one, the joy of my heart;
Around us for gladness the bluebells were ringing,
Oh then little thought I how soon we should part.