Zen On Dirt

Hot Sisters Hot Springs – Day 15 – Escaping the town vortex, soaking in a hot spring

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We really were planning on leaving Oakridge sometime mid-day and making it some distance down the road. But, the best laid plans…are often thwarted by meeting interesting people, last-minute Trackleaders.com issues for Scott, and the general futzing that accompanies getting bounce boxes shipped, food on board, and ducks in a row.

We went back to Lion Mountain Bakery for breakfast. We’d fallen in love with their potato/onion/egg/other goodies scramble, plus they had good coffee. And truthfully, they were closer to the motel than the other breakfast place, which was equally as good.

As we were bussing our plates and cups, another couple walk in, and asked, ‘Shouldn’t you guys be out bikepacking? Or did Oakridge draw you in like it does so many others.’

Turned out, it was Marcelo and Heidi, who we’d been told to meet while in Oakridge. It was good timing and we sat down to talk bikes, the semi-vagabond lifestyle, and the benefits of bike tourism on faltering small-town economies. If I were into that sort of thing, I’d buy real estate in Oakridge right now.


Eventually, we hurried back to our motel room to pack up before the 11am check out. But, work wasn’t done for Scott, something about a bunch of big races going on this weekend, so we went back to the bakery and got a milkshake and mini-pizza.

Finally, across the street to the post office to ship our box of computery stuff back to Bend. Then down the hill to the grocery store for two nights and three days of food, then to the bike shop to get Scott a new light to replace the one that had been flooded out by the rains earlier this trip.

Then Trackleaders exploded. We ended up on the back porch of the shop while Scott frantically tried to do something. I meanwhile succumbed to my consumeristic tendencies and bought the cutest hat. I’d been searching for a new favorite hat since my Kep’s Balls one flew off on the ferry ride earlier this summer.

We also got to talking to three 13 year olds who’d taken the bus up from Eugene, ridden in Oakridge, and were waiting to take the bus back. That’s so cool.

Finally, we were riding. But only after a stop at the taco cart. Never leave town even remotely hungry.


First stop, the warm springs 10 miles out of town. At 97 degrees, body temperature, they felt neither warm nor cold once you got used to the water, but perfect. We were joined by a somewhat odd gay couple who seemed to know a lot about hot springs in the area.


Once wrinkly, we moved on and started climbing. We passed by one campsite that didn’t have a view. One that had too many sticks. One that wasn’t flat enough. One that wasn’t big enough. One that was too weedy. Eventually, being maximizers got exhausting and we found a campsite with sticks, weeds, a somewhat uneven surface, and a view of a bank of trees. At least it’s big.

I’m not too worried. I think we’ll sleep well tonight.


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