But the exact tour has changed a bit. Originally I had planned to take the train down to Klamath Falls and ride around that part of Eastern Oregon, ultimately ending up in Eugene.* But since I took the tour out to the coast a couple weeks ago, I had second thoughts with that plan. I just felt that it was a bit more daunting, a bit too much for me right now. I still want to do some touring down that way, just not at this moment.
But I still wanted to do a tour, and I still had the hankering to see the “dry side” of Oregon. I just wanted to do something a little closer to home. What about heading through the Gorge and doing stuff east of The Dalles? It’s been awhile since I had been out that way, and there’s still a bunch of stuff I want to explore. But…aren’t I going into the Gorge at the end of the month as part of Pedalpalooza? Well, yes, but I’m only going as far east as Ainsworth, which is not really far. I’d blow past there pretty fast, then off to Hood River and The Dalles.
At The Dalles I’m getting out of the Gorge and doing a loop up the Columbia Plateau, something I had thought about four years ago but never acted upon. This loop would take me southeast through Cottonwood Canyon on the John Day River, a very new state park, then through Condon and Fossil. I’d cross the John Day again at the Clarno Unit of the John Day Fossil Beds. I’ve seen the Painted Hills and Sheep Rock, but not this part of the Fossil Beds! From there, west to Shaniko then north back to the Columbia, mostly following the last segment of the Oregon Outback.
That brings me to Friday night. On Saturday I meet up with a group tour of a few friends who are doing a Hood River-The Dalles-Dufur loop. We’ll end up in Hood River on Sunday afternoon, and I’ll catch a ride with someone back to Portland.
Okay, off for adventure!
*I even booked the train tickets.