Friday, September 16, 2022

Day 5 - Painted the town

What a day in Mitchell!  It’s 9:30 pm and I’m dead tired and only put in 34 miles on the bike (more on that later).  A lot to share tonight!

First of all, as a public service announcement, I am withdrawing my support of Verizon cell phone service. I’m tired of not having service when others do (not just in this trip). I had to use Jacks “hot spot” to post the blog this morning (and need to for this post too) which is frustrating. Whew, OK, had to get that off my chest.  

Now, about the day. The morning actually started great as I was getting things organized for the ride and a nice lady came to me as said “my husband and I bought an extra Americano, do you drink coffee?”  BOOM! I can tell it’s going to be a great day!  

Breakfast had the Mexican flair with Chorizo with the eggs, cheese and salsa. Don’t you think they would have sour cream?  Nope still just yogurt, but I didn’t fall for it this time. 

There were two ride choices today: 1) a short, picturesque 18 mile ride to the Painted Hills or 2) a grueling, 77 mile ride with 7000 feet of climb.  I’ll take door number 1 Monty.  

Though I’d like to say the Painted Hills were spectacular, I used that adjective yesterday, so let’s say extremely beautiful. I can’t believe I’ve lived in Oregon most of my life and not seen them before now. The only down side for a road cyclist is the 2 mile gravel road to get there (dropped the Yelp rating to a 4.5). As I think you all know, gravel and I mix like oil and water but the view was worth every extra gray hair I got from the stress.  The hills are so amazing. 

I have been downing food like a competitive eater this trip so I figured a few more miles were needed.  I added and extra 16 miles and 1500 feet of climb to the days ride on my own. 

With it only being 11:45 am when I finished, I decided to volunteer to help paint the Mitchell Community Center. Yep, that is not a typo. Even though painting and I mix like road cycling and gravel, I’m going to paint a community center.

To get there we needed a shuttle. Well of course the shuttle was late again but this time the driver was actually AT school. As it turns out, Pat, the shuttle driver, is not only the school bus driver but the school janitor, owns the local hostel and is the Pastor at the local church, so I need to cut him some slack.  Plus, he’s a great guy. 

OK, so about 20 of us volunteered to paint and stain the walls and built in buffet cabinets at the Mitchell Community Center.  Scott (a fellow rider from Portland) and I were assigned the built ins. Took a couple coats but what do you think?  

What’s ironic is that I’m a pretty good handyman but the one thing I NEVER do at home is paint, but hey, I’m a cheap hire. 

I deliberately missed Pats 2:30 pm shuttle (in lieu of the 5:00 pm) so I could continue painting (Scott and I were on a roll!) and I also wanted to check out the town.  

Mitchell is home to a very nice little brewery and pub (Tigertown) with, what I am told, is good food and beer. Problem is, 80% of the 1000 CO riders either went there or wanted to go there so it was packed all the time and I never got to see for myself (reminder: Mitchell is a town of 130 people). 

No problem, I’ll just hang out and use the WiFi. Nope, there were so many people in town that it overwhelmed Mitchell’s system so I couldn’t connect anywhere in town (reminder: Mitchell is a town of 130 people). “Hey Jack, I have Verizon, can I use your “hot spot?”  

Now its only 3:30 pm and my plan to hang out, eat, use the WiFi and catch the 5:00 pm bus is out the window. 

No problem, I’ll walk back to camp.  But first I’ll swing buy Beaver Creek Cafe for a milk shake. A cold beer will have to wait until after dinner. Though the Beaver Creek Cafe kitchen was also slammed (reminder:…..) they fit my milk shake order in quickly. It was delicious!

To end the day we were treated to The Collins Trio (never mind that there are four of them).  They were fantastic. I think they give Elwood a run for the money for best band on the trip so far.  

Tomorrows ride is the longest of the trip to Dayville. (I wonder if they have any painting that needs to be done?) Weather is supposed to be perfect. I hope my legs are up for the challenge.  

Until then….


  1. Hi Chris, fun to read about your adventure, Tom and I rode through this area a few years ago on the TransAm. Also, I know Pat Farrell really well. He and his wife are total gems! Glad you like Mitchell. It’s a fav small town!

    1. This is Ginny Sullivan from Missoula!

    2. That’s awesome that you’re familiar with Mitchell and personally know Pat. Yes he is a very nice man.