Sunday, 9 July 2017

Bates State Park, OR

As usual now a very early start and early finish. I left Sumpter and climbed over Sumpter Pass. Nice and forest-y. I descended to a strange little ghost town called Whitney, you can read about it in the photo below. Note the wild sage growing round the sign - the place smelt like a roast chicken dinner.

It was another 7 mile climb to Tipton pass but the grade was gentle and it was still cool and shaded. The tang of smoke was in the air as I descended. Luckily a road sign informed me that this was a controlled burn so I didn't need to worry about riding into a forest fire.

The forest opened out to yellow-green meadows with happy cows in it. I enjoyed the riding knowing I was finishing before the heat. From around 10am or 11am it is in the mid to late-30s till nightfall.

I camped at Bates State Park. Bates was once a thriving town built to serve a large lumber mill. When the mill closed in 1975, the residents demolished the town, keeping any useful material and moving on. Now you would never know the place was ever lived in. Wildlife spot today is the gopher - I had to keep my food away from him.

The park has a lake, shade and plenty of hiker/biker sites. No showers but plenty of sprinklers. It was a long, hot afternoon. Several east bound cyclists also stayed, arriving around the same time as me. We are all frustrated by the debilitating heat as you really can't do anything in it. We are glad the nights and early mornings remain cool. The lake unfortunately has leeches so I didn't swim!

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