Total Miles: 1500
Rider: Michael Lampi; 19 years old, Software engineer, Non-Member.
Summary: The Chieftain Trail started at the Oregon coast and headed eastward over the Cascades, through the eastern OR deserts, up Hell's Canyon through to the Sawtooth Mountains and ended in Missoula, MT. This was a fantastic trip with great companions! I continued onward to Spokane, WA alone.; Commercial Trip
How did ACA Help? This was one of the BikeCentennial Bike-Inn tours, with lodging prearranged, a ride leader and bus transportation from Eugene, OR to Reedsport, OR.
Health Issues: The biggest problem I had was a minor cold I had about midway through the trip.
Motivation: A wanderlust and desire for adventure exploring the fabled land of Oregon was what motivated me to do this trip.
Most Challenging Aspect:As a Midwesterner I found that climbing my first mountains ever was quite daunting, and having my brake pads melt on the downhill stretch was quite unnerving. Topping it off I ran out of drinking water well before the end of what was quite a warm day! The time I had to ride up Hell's Canyon with almost the entire day's ride ahead of me, starting well after lunch, was also quite a challenge. I spent the morning taking a jet boat tour in the canyon. By the time I got back to my bike it was already pretty late - and I had no cycling lights! With a supreme effort I managed to make it to our stop for the night in the next town some 45+ miles away just as dusk fell. Whew!
Favorite Experience: I took along a WPA Writers' Project book covering Oregon. It was a wonderful treasure trove of history and nifty things to see and do along the byways. I saw so many sights located at most a couple of miles off the route that were absolutely spectacular that it was like a treasure hunt that provided new riches each day. It was fun sharing them with my fellow riders.
Least Favorite: Riding in a chilly drizzle up and over the Cascades was probably the least pleasant part of the whole trip.
Tips: Give yourself time to explore. While it can be fun to race on occasion it is more fulfilling to take the time to experience the world more fully. This means you *can* take a hike, soak in the hot pools, sample the local cuisine, and climb those rocks!
Online Journal: Click Here
Date Entered: May, 2006
Photo by Dennis Coello