There are mornings in this valley that can literally send all of your senses into hyperdrive. This was definitely one of those mornings.
I headed out early, pointing the bike toward the Buena Vista Ferry. In the entire 11 miles to the ferry, I encountered 3 cars.
I pedaled hard through a delightful interplay of morning light and shadows, through the fresh sweet air you only get out in the country.
The new Buena Vista Ferry just resumed operation last week after a several-months-long “extreme makeover:” new boat, towers, cable, ramps. The whole nine yards. There was an osprey in its nest high above the east ramp, calling out when I arrived. Right on cue, the ferry operator responded and came across to get me, his single, non-paying passenger. The ferry crossing took all of two minutes!
When friends come to visit, I will take them on this ride. Cyclists are still riding for free, until August 5th. Then we’ll have to pay a whole buck. Reminder: cash or check only!
On the west side of the river, I was literally riding under spacious skies, through amber waves of grain, looking out at the mountain majesties, above the fruited plain! And it was on the 4th of July weekend! Heading into a town named--yep, you guessed it-- “Independence!”
Stopping in Independence to eat a bar and drink some water, I noticed they were getting ready for a big 4th of July weekend celebration at Riverview Park. Couldn’t ask for a better day for that! If you’re nearby and want to get a dose of Americana on the 4th, this is the place to be.
Clicking back into my pedals, it was time for me to get serious. The ride from Independence into Salem gets progressively more car traffic, and I let all the whizzing cars inspire my pedaling cadence the whole way back.
A 40-mile loop, a feast for the senses. The roads could not be more ideal for riding on the big chainring, breathing in the air, and taking in the best of what this valley offers.