Saturday, January 24, 2009


I am in Chico, California for a musical reason (Kathy is a piano teacher and she is here to see and visit with some piano teachers). I am the driver. I am from a family of drivers (my Dad was a truck driver). I am also a human GPS (according to Brig). Kathy was worried about the snow and I figured California has got to be warmer than Bend. I brought my mountain bike because there is a great park in town called Bidwell Park. It is one of the largest municipal parks in the USA. It is large. I rode over 20 miles from downtown to the end of the park and back with no loops sidetracking or getting lost (human GPS you know). The bad news -the trails were closed to mountain bikes. It had rained all night, I expected that. So up a dirt/gravel road I went. It was misting and looked and smelled like California. Now my secret. I was born in  Montana, I have lived in Central Oregon on and off since 1969, but those years between were spent in California. That is where I learned to ride a bike, where I first raced a bike, where I went on my first bike tour etc. It is a great place to ride a bike. The weather is right, the terrain is right and it even smells right. I have never had any problem with Californians moving to Oregon. Maybe too many off them have, but that is how I got here. But what I am really saying is , if you are in Oregon go to California for a short bike holiday. There are Palm trees in Redding (4 1/2 hours from Bend). Palm trees is a hint. Another great place to visit is Death Valley. That is about an 11 hour drive from Bend. You can actually fly there for $69 (Las Vegas). In March and April it is a great getaway. So instead of complaining about Californians in Oregon go be an Oregonian in California. 

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