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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Bikepacking…the first mile really is the hardest.


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