Sunday, July 30, 2006

How to Train, Get Filthy, and Have a Good Time

A friend and I have been planning a week's camping trip to the area around the John Day Fossil beds with our kids for months now, and we finally got the time to do it. The kids had a blast digging thundereggs and finding fossils, and we all got very dirty, dusty, hot, and tired. It would have to be the hottest week of the year (106 in the shade, of which there is not much in the desert).

But, like the faithful triathlete I am, I took my bike, wetsuit, and running shoes along. Unfortunately, I didn't take into consideration how many gravel roads we'd be traveling on. My bike got more than filthy, and there just aren't that many bike shops in the middle of nowhere. Or, 50 gravel road miles from the middle of nowhere, which is where we were. I did stop in a small store and get some WD-40 and clean up my chain and cogs as best I could. The nice part is that I got to swim in the John Day river and in beautiful Walton Lake, at the top of the Ochoco mountains (4500 feet of elevation does something to your breathing in your stroke though!). I had also forgotten the wonderful hospitality of Central Oregon drivers. Almost everyone who passed me gave me a wide berth on the road, and most waved or tipped their hats to boot. I got to run by all of the fire crews and helicopters (much to my husband's distress, since we were out of cell phone range, we were camped in the middle of several big fires), and take a bike ride to the Ochoco summit. It doesn't get much better than that (even if I was beyond filthy by the time I got home).

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