Jasper

July 7, 1973

It’s only 13 miles from the SEHS parking lot to Jasper. But three bicyclists rolled 42 miles to reach the heart of quiet downtown Jasper. It was an almost perfect example of the “you can’t get there from here” idea. With leader on sturdy Raleigh Sports 3-speed, followed by two impatient 10-speeders, the three-some departed from 19th and Patterson at 8:15 under grey skies in cool weather. Billed somewhat misleading as a “roughly 40-mile tour of park and recreation sites”, the cyclists visited such places, all after the sun burned through overcast at 10:30 to heat up the clear country air.

After an 11 a.m. stop for extra goodies in a Fall Creek grocery, we made an “optional” 10-mile round-trip on an excellent road to Little Fall Creek Picnic area.

During our entire noon hour sojurn, we ate lunch on a steep sunlit bank of the creek, watched white water foam by and walked through much of the area (a pleasant picnic on grounds or tables await in uncrowded sites). During lunch and enroute Unity Park the trip, each trained in a different branch of technology (chemistry electrical engineering and physics) tried to rehash school days teachings of the three basic laws of, appropriately, the science of heat transfer (thermodynamics).

About 2 p.m. we sheltered from midday heat, in Unity Park along Fall Creek. We rested at one of several picnic tables set on green grass carpet in shade cast by huge, old maples whose green leaves filtered out the hot, bright sunlight. Somewhat rested from hot sun and soothed by lush shady surroundings, we headed for Unity, past a commune and rolled over (or under) the covered bridge to the Fall Creek Dam enclosure for a good view of the spillway west of Unity.

We returned to Unity and stopped for a high priced bottle of soda pop in the Unity Market and pedalled west for Jasper. Enroute past irrigated pastures with grazing herds of steers, cows and some horses, we picked up the pace to suit the ten-speeders, who suddenly grew anxious to return home. In the process we chased a long SP freight train up a mild grade for a mile making a contest of the race until the laboring engines fore and aft reached level ground and pulled away (or was it we held our own on the level and lost out on the grade).

After logging 42 miles, we split up in Jasper at 4 p.m. Slow leader on his 3-speed headed into Jasper Park for a 1½ hour siesta while two 10-speeders, despite looking tired, red faced and breathless, sped for Eugene. Fearless leader left Jasper Park at 5:30 and arrived home by 8, by way of Baker Bike Path and Autzen Footbridge to end a 52 mile ride. Amen. 10-speeders were Glen Fortner (an E.E for EWEB) and Jack Sjolseth (physicist turned computer man for IBM) following and leading was Dave Cohen.


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