(September 13 – written by Dave)
First order of business is a shout out to the good folks of Fossil. I know this sounds like a repeat and it some ways it is. Fossil is quite large (compared to Monument) with 495 people. The good folks here put on a great show for us. And they did it for two nights in a row as we had a layover day here. Well done to the good folks of Eastern Oregon.
Being a layover day, we had a late start in the coffee stand. We got to sleep until 5AM, not serving until 6AM. Wow, what a luxury that was. Best news from today was the very light rain that started last night just as the band was kicking off. That put a damper on the crowd and we think the band knocked off early – we wouldn’t have known as we were sleeping through everything on night four. It rained very little but enough that tent was slightly damp this morning – that’s something for Eastern Oregon.
Today we rode an out and back ride from Fossil to Clarno. Well, we rode to the river at a location that may have once upon a time been Clarno. Today it is just a bridge over the John Day River. The ride took us up 6 miles to a summit then 14 miles of mostly down river cruising through the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.
The last part down by the river was most spectacular. The rock formations at Clarno almost looked manmade from a Disney movie scene. We stopped for a lot of photos and enjoyed the ride down the river bottom rest stop.
We were both a little apprehensive about the 14 miles climb back up but it was not too bad. We found a couple folks to talk to on the way up, rode easy and barely noticed the first 11 miles. The last 3 miles it was a bit pitchy and conversations pretty much ceased but we got there in the end. On the climb I got snaps of elderberries and juniper berries – think elderberry wine and gin if you’re inclined.
Today I finally got snaps of the whole Nossa Crew. By day four, all the men are in the need of a shave and the ladies are going with “hats for camp hair.” I think the latter said that it was because it was cool this morning but I’m not judging. The coffee booth has been going great. It’s been pretty hot in the afternoons and the iced coffees are moving well. We worked this morning until 10:30 and were just about last leaving camp. In fact, several ride marshals told us that the route was closed. I was also scolded for trying to get brekkie at 8:34, they closed at 8:30. We pulled out the “we’re volunteers” card and passed without further issue – phew.
I think we ride to Mitchell tomorrow but to be honest, I’m not sure. As expected the days are blurring into one another. And if you’ve made it this far reading, thank you. Nancy felt it was important to point out that she is working too hard to edit my blogs – thus the higher than normal number of typos and general grammatical errors – sorry, we’ll fix this up when we get home.