Saturday, August 1, 2009

“Saturday in the Park” (trailer park) – Day 22

Well it’s Saturday August 1st. We are in beautiful Bend, Oregon at the US National Cycling Championships. Getting here was a little bit of a driving marathon. But with the exception of running out of fuel once and a little vehicle trouble out of Fargo, ND we made the journey unscathed, except for a few million bugs who sacrificed their lives top decorate the front of the view with myriad colors of guts. Regarding the running out of fuel, let me say how grateful we are for small miracles. It happened in Oregon, and fortunately we were able to coast into a closed truck weigh station, that took us out of harms way. A few minutes after stopping two women pulled in and were kind enough to take me to and from a gas station about 8 miles away and we were back on the road again in less than an hour.

Bend is a former lumber town, now tourist destination with the beautiful Deschutes River winding through the center of the city. It is HOT, in fact record setting heat. While driving along the Columbia River Gorge to get here it was 89 degrees at midnight, so the Northwest is experiencing a record setting heat wave. We arrived Wednesday morning early and did some housekeeping. Julie brushed up on her Spanish at the laundamat while I had the oil changed and attempted to de-bug the view with very limited success. We then stocked up on groceries as we were soon to have Connor and his friend Winston Hawkins (they drove up from Salt Lake) join our excursion.

After getting settled at our temporary home, the Scandia RV Park the boys and I took a ride to see the road course Connor would race the following day, the U 23 riders were on the course and it was so hot and the race so spread out that the ended the race early with less than a 1/3 of the participants finishing the race. Fortunately Connor started at 8:00 AM, but it was already hot and by the time they finished it was blazing. Connor wound up in 6th place out of 124 riders. Later that day, as everyone slept, I crept off to fish the Tumalo River. It was a beautiful stretch of water and I caught plenty of small fish and gave quite a bit of blood to the resident mosquitoes.

Friday was the Time Trial and it was REALLY HOT. Connor went off at 12:29 and had a respectable result at 29th. We actually believe he was 16th (based on my timing) and the officials messed up his time by a minute as he finished at the same time as another rider. One of his teammates from Canada won the event. We took a drive in the afternoon to Mt. Bachelor that it is really just a ski resort with NO summer activities. Our return trip was through Sunriver where we used to vacation when we lived in Seattle. It brought back a lot of memories to Julie and me of 4 little girls on bikes, trips to the ice cream parlor and just how much time has passed. This was the place Katie learned to ride the little pink bike, where Jennie was pulled around in the Burley Trailer (in fact where we bought it) and where Sarah and Annie found independence going places on their own. It is hard to believe how quickly life is passing, and makes me more appreciative of every minute.

Last night we had dinner with the Huffman’s. We met Lorry Huffman last year in Val d’Or and have kept in touch at other cycling events and through email. Her son Evan raced with Connor last year in Canada and has been racing for the U23 team in Europe this year. We had a very nice time and met her husband Frank, who cooked steak and chicken on the grill.

Today is an off day and we will find something enjoyable to do. I am recovering from whatever Julie had and hope to be healthy in the next couple of days.

Tomorrow is the Criterium and then it is on the road home (temporarily) until the next leg begins.

PHOTO NOTES - New meaning to the term Shoe Tree. Seeing a flag on a barn stirs gratitued for the great land in which we live. Our home at Scandia RV Park.

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