Zen On Dirt

Hot Sisters Bikepack – Day 1

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Well, here we are again. Bikepacking.

Our plan for the summer was to thru-ride the Pacific Northwest trail from Glacier National Park to the Pacific Ocean. And somewhere along the line, I lost motivation for it. I didn’t want to spend six weeks just riding. I didn’t want to hike my bike up non-existent trail. I didn’t particularly want to worry about bears.

I hemmed and hawed about the trip in the days leading up to our planned departure date until I came right out and said it, ‘I’m not sure if I want to ride the PNT.’ I didn’t say, ‘I don’t want to do the trip’ or ‘I’m not doing the trip’, but just a acknowledgement of the fact that if my motivator didn’t kick back into gear, well, it was a notice of I might be looking for something different to do.

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Instead of making a hasty decision, we cruised from SLC up to Logan to hang with Alexis for what we thought would be an evening ride, a night of wine drinking, a morning ride, and then departure to somewhere.

Morning rides turned into all day rides. One night of wine turned into three. Lots of dogs were played with. And a smoke and fire warning for all of northern Montana and Washington sealed the deal – we need to find something else to do.

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Hot springs bikepacking in Oregon? Scott suggested.

Climb mountains in Oregon? I countered.

And thus, a plan was hatched.

Scott gathered the coordinates for eight hot springs in central Oregon. I made a wish list of hills and mountains to hike. The magic wand was waved at Topofusion and a route was born.

At least I like to think that’s what happens, when in reality Scott puts together a route while Alexis and I try not to burn the house down while grilling chicken and corn on the cob.

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So yesterday we finally left Logan and drove to our Horseshoe Bend hot springs in Oregon where we camped the night and soaked for a while.

Today we drove the rest of the way to Bend, dropped the van off at a friends house, and rode south out of town.

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It felt weird. We haven’t bikepacked in months. I really haven’t ridden that much as of late. Rural Bend wouldn’t end, but as soon as we entered National Forest, anxiety melted away. A mile of dirt road led to trail and two hours of completely, as in no hike-a-bike, rideable trail brought us to our current camp site.

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Tomorrow, we soak in potentially two hot springs in the Newberry Crater, which is actually a caldera. I think there’s some hiking to be done, reports of a good restaurant, and a little store, so we can hang out as long as we want.

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Bikepacking…the first mile really is the hardest.

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