Route Talk With Ken Chichester
DAY 7 Tygh Valley to The Dalles
If possible, the last day should be relatively short and easy, so everyone can finish early and those who don’t live too far away can get home by evening. At only 41 miles, today fits the bill nicely. It’s also easy, if you don’t count that 5-mile hill – but it’s at the beginning of the day, and only a 6 percent grade. By the end of this week, you’ll hardly even notice.
The direct route to The Dalles follows U.S. Highway 197, but of course that is not our route. We use nearly every available paved county road to avoid the main highway. After finishing the big hill, the route crosses the main highway once, and then we only have to ride on Highway 97 twice for a total of less than 4 miles. As everyone has come to expect during the week, these county roads are almost void of traffic.
Just before the top of the big climb, the route turns left onto a county road at the summit of Tygh Ridge, and then it’s nearly all downhill for more than 30 miles to the finish. We’ll be traveling through wheat fields for most of the way, skirting Dufur, the town that hosted us at the end of the second day. There are some great mountain views before dropping down into the canyons of Eightmile Creek and Fifteenmile Creek. The latter canyon is heavily shaded and ends just before reaching The Dalles, where the route travels through cherry orchards into the city.
Rather than returning to Sorosis Park and climbing another big hill at the end of the week, we’ll again stop at Riverfront Park (the lunch site on Day 2) for the finish celebration and lunch. After lunch, those who parked their car for the week will ride their bike for 4.5 miles (mostly on the Riverfront Trail) to Long-Term Parking, where baggage will be waiting for the return home.
Sine Die – and see y’all next year.