DAY 07: September 01, 2011 (Thursday)
Boulder Flat Campground to Diamond Lake, Oregon: 27 miles (170 thus far)
Rode slightly more than 4 miles up mountain from camp before I ate breakfast while waiting for Gary to arrive. We have arrived at a couple of acceptable methods of progress: At times, I ride along behind Gary as we chat while riding, and stop to rest with him along the way as needed for his knees and fitness level. Sometimes this method causes Gary to think he’s holding me up, so he tells me to proceed on ahead, which I sometimes do. Then I ride about 3 miles, pull over to the side of the highway in a nice shaded wide spot, and enjoy the wilds of nature as he catches up. These methods allow us to always be within a mile or so of each other at the outside, and we can monitor our progress and needs frequently enough to stay on top of things. After this breakfast stop, the ascent becomes serious, so our pedaling is notably slowed. Six miles from the campground, the construction zone starts. Crews are resurfacing the highway, building wide shoulders for cyclists of the future, and putting in place huge concrete retaining walls to keep boulders from rolling onto the roadway and striking vehicles. It will be very nice when completed, but for now, it’s a mess! Finally, I came to a flag-woman with a stop sign, who informed me the law requires all cyclists to place their vehicles in the rear of the pilot truck, and ride through the major construction. I told the flag-woman another triker will be here in a while, and then got the ICE Q loaded into the bed of the truck (after first rearranging some jagged pieces of metal and wood) with the help of the motorist behind me, and sat in the bed to make sure the trike doesn’t shift en route. For 8 miles, I zoomed along in the morning sun, up some of the steepest portions of the Cascade Range, which in 2009 I rode after midnight with heavy snow on the ground, under a full moon and cloudy sky. After unloading at the upper end of the construction at Stump Lake (el: 3,875’), I waited for Gary to arrive in his truck. He didn’t take well to placing his immaculate Catrike in the truck, but realized there were no other options if he wished to continue the CCTE. I really didn’t like the idea either, but, there was no sense in resisting the reality of the moment. My crankset guard got a few scratches where it was against the front of the truck bed, but I just see it as a fond reminder of the trip, and won’t even touch it up later. That was a free ride of roughly 1400 vertical feet – that part made Gary a very happy trike pilot! Arrived finally at Diamond Lake at 6:30 PM, still plenty light with high sun since it was summer. Gary wanted to get a motel room after the uphill ordeal, which had a gorgeous lake view. Put trikes in room – hard to walk around, but they fit. Gary bought us dinner. I had a Cobb salad, chicken pot pie, and a Black Butte Porter microbrew from Bend, Oregon. Gary is hurting quite a bit from today’s strenuous climb. First week of CCTE now complete!