Day 3, Welches to Madras, Oregon

80 miles, 5315 feet climbed

For the third day, I began the ride wearing leg warmers, arm warmers and a jacket. I shed the jacket towards the end of the day, only to be caught in a light rain for a couple of miles near Madras.

This ride has changed from past years. Previously we would stay at the Kah-Nee-Tah Indian Casino Resort. It recently closed in favor of a new Casino in Warm Springs, right on the highway. That meant the climb out of Warm Springs on Hwy 26 was on today’s menu, not tomorrow’s.

After riding to breakfast at the Whistle Stop, we climbed up to Government Camp, on the southern flank of Mt. Hood. Still no sighting, however, and the best I got was a partial, shown in the photos below. The climb began as a very gradual 1 percent slope, then 2, then 3, 4, and 5 percent. There was a false flat near the top that looked flat but was showing 3 and 4 percent on my computer and in my legs.

Past Government Camp, Hwy 26 doesn’t have the widest shoulders and many times they were partially or completely covered in gravel. That made for close contact with the many big rigs that were going our way. (And in one case, the other way–a big rig passing other traffic passed right by me chugging up a hill.) Anyway, no casualties.

There was a nice downhill into Warm Springs. I tried to get aero but the best I could do was about 32 mph.

Once we climbed out of Warm Springs, we exited Hwy 26 at the earliest opportunity and skirted around the Madras airport before dropping into Madras on another nice, though shorter downhill.

Dinner was at the Black Bear Diner, known for its ample portions. Just the onion rig “side” dish was listed at 1500 calories or so. Even our riders don’t need that much fuel!

How we got there
Along the climb to Government Camp

The best I have–a partial view of Mt. Hood
Mt. Jefferson

The Deschutes River just south of Warm Springs looking south. Our climb out was on the left (east) side of the river.