Day 11

DAY 11: September 05, 2011 (Monday – Labor Day)

Rocky Point Lodge to Klamath Falls, Oregon: 34 miles (278 thus far)

Got a great picture of the sunrise over Upper Klamath Lake. Had 7 grain nuggets and veggie/fruit powder, and headed out for Klamath Falls. Gary in high spirits, but we had a report from a traditional bicycle tourer who camped next to us last night that we had to traverse one really steep grade between here and Klamath Falls, called Doak Mountain (el: 4,776’). The ride to this pass was relatively easy during the early morning hours, but we had to pedal through several swarms of midge bugs, thousands of tiny white insects that were brought in many years ago to rid this wet region of mosquitoes (midges eat mosquitoes). Gary and I had midges in our eyes, noses, and mouths, even at our slow speeds – glad I wasn’t on a motorcycle. You could see the swarms before getting to them, as they were cloudy looking white masses that were suspended at trike pilot head height along the road. Finally we began the Doak Mountain ascent … in full sun, very warm temps, and no relief until the top … a “spin & grin” personal test we each eventually mastered in our own ways. At the top, I had a Bear Valley bar of 440 calories while waiting for Gary, who arrived about 40 minutes later. His knees were in agony, and I helped him off his trike and over to a huge boulder to sit in the shade for a while. It was on this climb we had our first views of Mount Shasta in northern California – very impressive to see the snow-clad sentinel from Oregon. It is so big, it looked very close, even though it was many miles distant. Cooling breeze at summit fortunately. Gary reiterated his need to take his leave of the CCTE once we reached Klamath Falls. I later hailed a Klamath Falls police officer to get directions into town for a motel for Gary. He got a fancy room at the Olympic Inn once in town, a motel with a lobby that gave the impression you were in a mountain lodge. We got the trikes in the rooms, cleaned up, did laundry, and partook of their complementary dinner. Gary got his small U-Haul van all set up, which was to be delivered to his room the next morning at 8:30 AM. That evening, he watched television while I checked maintenance needs on my Q, which, other than adjusting the left front brake after all our steep downhills, were nearly nonexistent. I’ll lube the chain tomorrow morning.