Contact Storie: 503-704-4631
Taking a satellite view of our John Day River Valley (Google Satellite Map) will show how unique is Prairie City's setting. At state wide magnification our long east-west reach of valley, situated almost exactly in the middle of the State, can be seen as a trough sequestered by mountains to the north and south that come together at the east end in the shape of a U laid on its side. Prairie City is indicated by a small white dot snugged up close within the embrace of the U head.
Given this view, veteran cyclists can easily recognize what wonderful route potential such landscape offers, as has been proven by how popular for years has been our valley to bicycle excursion and tour companies.
The original Bike Centennial route of 1976 (part of our nation's celebration of its 200th year since founding) was charted through Prairie City. To this day that cross continent route map remains the most chosen among those offered by Bicycle Adventures. Cycle Oregon, one of the nation's preeminent annual bicycle extravaganzas, has been routed through Prairie City twice, and once had its beginning and ending here.
As the satellite view shows by coloration, our area is diverse for greened areas of forested mountain wilderness and pastoral grazing/farm land, contrasted by areas of semi-arid expanse just a mountain pass away. This variety of scenic landscape is on first glimpse startling to many from the "wet side" of the Cascade Mountains; giving lie to the common reference to our side as "the dry side".
Obvious from the satellite too is the fact that Prairie City is distant from any major population center, almost equal distance from Bend (162 miles) as from Boise (164 miles). To the majority American population - two generations now metropolitan/suburban dwellers - this might suggest isolation from accustomed modern conveniences, comforts and essential services.
But those who've been adventurous enough to visit our valley have been disabused of this urban provincialism, finding instead that escape from the frenetic distractions of metropolitan existence doesn't necessarily involve personal peril or discomfort. Travel time to cover the distance between Prairie City and John Day (13 miles) where is a new, thoroughly modern, full service hospital is probably less than that required for most to get to a hospital in a major metropolitan area.
No disclaiming though that our routes do offer true adventure, by definition of roads that are traffic free for mile after mile coursing through landscapes of breathtaking variety and beauty.
Statistically, you probably "surfed" to this site as an urban dweller that is relatively new to cycling. Probable because 90% of Americans live in metropolitan areas and only in the past ten years has bicycling risen from sub-culture quirkiness to national obsession - now being the 1st choice recreation and still growing at near exponential rate.
If you are an Oregon resident the likelihood is that you are a "newbie" to the state with only vague experience of what lies east of the Cascades. In any case, you found your way here because you know how bicycle travel gives you much more intimate sense of connection with the landscape, the culture and the people of the areas you travel through.
Maybe too, like much of America, you are experiencing a shift of consciousness about environment, modes of travel and renewal of deeper connection to nature beyond what city life ordinarily permits. Our routes give opportunity to serve all those values. Our ultimate hope though in offering them is to bridge the gap in understanding that has been caused to develop between the majority urban dwellers and the rural populations "living on the land", so that can be realized how our future is irrevocably entwined.
Contact Storie: 503-704-4631
Bicycle Tour Routes (Download PDF's for viewing and printing):