Posted by: bikedave | June 17, 2010

June 17, Rainbow, OR to Sisters, OR

After leaving Rainbow, my last view of the Mckenzie was as I crossed over the river at Mckenzie Bridge.

The Mckenzie River from the bridge at Mckenzie Bridge, OR

another 5 miles on Hwy 126 and I turned onto the old Mckenzie Pass Rd, Hwy 242.

The western beginning of Hwy 242

The old Mckenzie pass Hwy is only open during the summer months.  Every year, in the late spring, ODOT opens the old highway to bicycles and pedestrians for a few weeks before it opens to motorized vehicles.  I’ve been wanting to ride this road for the past 4 years during it’s early opening.  The last two years road construction has prevented the early opening to bicycles.  This year I was in luck.  The road was opened to bicycles last week, and remains closed to motor vehicles.

Oregon Hwy 242

Dogwoods along Hwy 242

The ride was great.  It starts at about 1700 feet in elevation, and summits at just over 5300 feet.  The scenery is incredible. The road climbs up out of the forest to an area of lava flows.  When you get to the summit it feels like you are on top of the world.

The road is quite curvy

Looking down at the switchbacks

Snow on the shoulder at about 4500 feet elevation

Looking across a lava field towards Belknap Crater (obscured by clouds)

Near the top I stopped to photograph the highest snowbank of the trip.


At the summit

The road has only been open to bikes and pedestrians for a week, and these little guys have either learned quickly to beg for food, or they have really good memories from last fall.

Feed Me!

Of course I didn’t feed him.  I don’t carry squirrel food and I understand typical human snacks are unhealthy for these critters.

On the way down the east slope I stopped to photograph Mt. Washington poking out of the cloud bank.

Mt Washington

The ride into Sisters was almost all downhill, and not so steep that I needed to brake much.  That’s the kind of downhill I like!

Vicki was waiting for me in Sisters, enjoying some reading.  She loves the fresh air and slow pace.

In the evening we had the privilege of visiting with Carrolyn and Lindy.  They are cerebrating their 40th wedding anniversary with a cross country, self supported bicycle trip, eastbound along the ACA transamerica route.

Carrolyn and Lindy

Miles today: 46    Total Miles: 197



  1. Just read your updates…..
    AWESOME !!!!!!!!!!
    Hope the trip is everything you have been looking forward to and more..

    • Happy birthday Steph!

  2. What a beautiful trip you’re having. I love the pictures. Sounds like Vicki is having a good time also. Love Mom

  3. Great pics Dave. Keep ’em coming.

  4. When you are by Arizona, may you please come to our house and take pictures around Arizona so you can show them on the internet. And tell us about your great adventure and thank you in advance. And if you come to our house after Halloween we will give you some of our candy. And tell us if you like candy!

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