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The majestic Strawberry Mountains beckoning us into their beauty.

A Note From Ellee: This is a guest post written by Tori Bortman of Gracie’s Wrench, one of my touring companions on this journey.


We’d arrived in John Day to our first quality meal (and quality beers) of the trip. The next morning was another ridiculously perfect day to hit the road– 66 degrees and sunny with our friend, a lovely little tailwind, giving us a push up the climbs. We were looking forward to a day of riding without our load, our legs free to spin a loop circumnavigating the Strawberry Mountain Range.

This tour is all about gratitude. Being grateful for our bodies to sustain us and make touring possible. For the stunning scenery around every corner. For the seemingly never ending tailwind that nudged us uphill. For the change of plans that landed us in Eastern Oregon in the height of spring– which would normally be long past if we had not had such a horribly long, drug out winter.

Ellee, the mountains, and fields of wild daisies.

Beyond the snow capped peaks and fields of wildflowers, there were raging creeks and rivers, swollen with record snow melt, green valleys of grasslands, mating birds and the bursting energy of spring all around us.

I’ve toured many years and places, but this is one of those magic times where the location is almost surreal with color and beauty, the weather is a gift, and the riding companions are perfectly matched in pace and enjoyment. Our day is punctuated by whispers, shouts and giggles of thanks and surprise, not to mention the ultimate “air hump,” a gesture that goes beyond words but signifies our team stamp of awesomeness.

Stephanie at the summit. Boo. Yeah.

I’m also grateful to be on a small part of this book journey with Ellee. I was already excited for a touring book of Oregon to come out, but if this snippet is any indication, she’s forging a new path for cyclists from Oregon and beyond to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of our state. I,  for one, can not wait to explore more and if fates align maybe ride with these lovely ladies again.

(left to right) Stephanie, Ellee, and Tori: Three Lucky Ladies

No Responses to “The Sweet, Sweet Strawberries”

  1. Julia

    Ellee, thanks for the inspiration! 2012 is going to be The Year of Cycle Touring for us. Thanks for motivating us through the stories of your adventures, can’t wait for your book to become available. Looking forward to your next post!



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