Bike Trip around Strawberry Mountain

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Beautiful scenery, no cars, paved roads made for a perfect trip

Strawberry Mountains Biking Trip June 2006

Our bike route began in Seneca, a small town 20 miles south of John Day. After a six hour bus ride from Portland, we were happy to set off on our adventure that would take us 80 miles around the beautiful Strawberry Mountains. Given the late hour of the day, we biked ten miles or so across the flat, grassy plains to Parish Cabin, where we spent the night.

The next day, we began our uphill climb, leaving the long grassy fields behind until midday. We rode across Logan Valley, an idyllic valley set against the Strawberry Mountain Wilderness Area. We rested and ate lunch at Summit Prairie. After catching our breath, we rode on to our new destination, Little Crane Creek campground. We had biked about 25 miles that day and gained about 1000 feet. At camp we relaxed, played cards, went swimming, and played ultimate frisbee. We even had the honor of being some of the first users of the new portapotty.

The next day we prepared ourselves for what we thought was to be an 8 mile, 1600-foot uphill climb, our hardest yet. To our relief, the climb was not so bad, as the incline was shallow. We reached the summit at around noon. There, we played lots of card games and shaded ourselves from the sun. While many relaxed, Ben Dair sprinted to the top of a large, steep hill from which he could see across the plains to John Day. Upon his return, we started our 2500-foot descent that would take us to Prairie City. As we descended, the environment dramatically changed from dense forest to open, grass-laden plains. We arrived at Prairie City, completing our 35-mile day. After perusing the town, we relaxed back at camp and enjoyed a refreshing dose of rootbeer. Later in the night, we took a pleasant walk through the graveyard and played another great game of ultimate frisbee under the stars.

We awoke early on the final day, packed up our gear, and ate Spam (tastes like cat food mixed with dog food) for our third day in a row. We left around 7:00 AM on our final 13-mile ride from Prairie City to John Day, where our bus (and another six hour, muggy bus ride) awaited. We were happy to avoid the heat of the day, but were sad to leave the Strawberry Mountains. Overall, we had a wonderful time at one of the most gorgeous locations in Oregon.