The kindness of others

I promised there would be a post about Spoke’n Hostel, and here it is. Perhaps the pictures will describe it better than I could with words.

The whole place is filled with cycling memorabilia, and downstairs, not pictured, was a full kitchen, with beautiful hand-written signs saying things like “Please help yourself” and “everything on the counter is for guest use” and “please take anything in fridge.” Starving from the harsh ride in, we availed ourselves of every opportunity: coffee, toast, peanut butter, ice cream, cereal, frozen burritos.

A few hours later, our wonderful hosts, Jalet and Pat, arrived to make sure we had found everything: Coffee is here – we already made a pot, feel free to throw stuff in the dryer – oh we already did – at every turn, they seemed delighted that we’d discovered where things were and how stuff worked. They were kind and generous with everything.

In the morning Michael made more coffee and a massive pancake breakfast. Chase made enough scrambled eggs to sink a boat. I slept in luxuriously until 9am, and we didn’t hit the road until almost 11.

We started the day today with a long but shallow climb out of Mitchell, which was followed by an even longer breath-taking descent. At every corner I wished I could stop and take a new photo; the views were stunning. The sun was out when we started, but by early afternoon the wind and rain had come back out to play. What’s going on, Oregon? Thankfully I’d kept my long layers handy, and I bundled up for the rest of the descent into the fossil museum.

That’s right, at the Thomas Condon Visitor Center we stopped just two miles off the trail to see the fossil museum. As it turns out, this region of Oregon is the biggest deposit of fossils in North America, making it a hotbed for paleontologists. It’s certainly worth a stop if you ever find yourself coming along route 26 between Mitchell and Dayville.

Were now comfortably spread out at the Dayville Community Church, where the pastor, whom Emma met yesterday, said we’d be welcome to stay. And indeed, as we came into town, just below the sign for the church was a small sign for “Bike hostel.” The place was open so we wheeled our bikes in and bedded down. It’s nice to know you can rely on strangers you’ll never see. Good night.

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