About a month ago my SO was driving to coach an equestrian student at the Sherman Co. Fair, so I caught a car ride with her to Moro, Or....On Hwy 97, between Bend and the Columbia River Gorge.
I saddled-up in the early morning chill. This is high plateau country, cut by deep Coulees. Few people and few vehicles. Great country for bicycles. My route took me south on Hwy 97 to Grass Valley. Here you leave the main highway and head west toward Mt. Hood, with all the other volcano peaks of the Cascade range visible as well.
For the next appx. 25 miles, along Hwy 216, I saw no vehicles. High wheat and sagebrush country..with a great descent into the Deschutes River canyon at Sherar's Bridge...where an enterprising pioneer had a toll bridge for immigrant wagons in years past. Now it is on the Warm Springs Reservation and the tribes have dip net fishing platforms at the falls for Steelies and Salmon.
From Sherar's Bridge it's a climb up to Tygh Valley, a part of a couple of the RAO's various Ultra courses during the racing season. Still no cars encountered until I reached Hwy 197 and turned N again, headed toward The Dalles, Or
A short respite from climbing, through Tygh Valley and then another substantial climb to Tygh Ridge Summit..perhaps 1600' of 6-8% grade. At Tygh Summit, I took the old highway down through Dufur Gap, another car-less 10 miles. At downtown Dufur I got water then after a few miles on the highway again, I cut off down Eight Mile Road...another section of the old highway.
Ended my ride in The Dalles, Or...after.about 75-85 very enjoyable miles..my Garmin battery was dead so I can't post a map or profile, but most of the route is written up in the Race Across Oregon's various event course descriptions in the link below..BTW, in a couple of weeks they (the RAO organizers, George and Terri) are doing a double century in this same area...Not affiliated with them but I have always really enjoyed their various events.
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