In other respects, the weather was not quite as welcoming. The sky was getting darker and the air was getting cooler as the clouds thickened. Rain threatened, but never amounted to more than a few drops here and there -- not enough for any of the oncoming drivers to bother to switch on their wipers. We finally reached the intersection of US 12 and US 730, the latter being our route west along the south bank of the Columbia.
|First look at the great and historic Columbia River. Note the heavy, gray sky.|
In addition to the traffic, we now had the Columbia's prevailing west wind in our faces, so our pace fell from the effortless 17 MPH of the earlier part of the day, to 12 or less. We finally made our turn off 730 onto Diagonal Road, which runs, well, diagonally inland toward Hermiston, our destination for tonight. After seven or eight more miles we were at the Oak Tree Inn, which turned out to be quite nice and to have decent food choices, a supermarket, and a Dollar Tree nearby. By the way, it did start raining about ten minutes after we checked in at our hotel! Pretty good timing.
All in all, it was a satisfying day. Although one of our longer days, it was not overly tiring and it gives us confidence for our longest day tomorrow. The weather is forecast to take a dramatic turn, though, becoming clear and hot. As a result, our plan is to be riding no later than 7:30. I will be glad to switch to my normal Florida biking kit, and every indication is that we can put away our rain gear and cold weather stuff for the remainder of the trip. Fred is not quite as enthusiastic, but if we can just get through the long day tomorrow, the shorter days that follow should be manageable.
Today we rode 85 miles in 5 and 3/4 hours, climbing 1,600 feet along the way.