Our next destination is Lakeview, OR where Jonathan will be joining us! He will not be getting in until July 1 however, so the next few days we have the luxury of relaxing our pace. We set off with the goal of making it the 100ish miles to Lakeview, while spending one night in between camping in the Fremont National Forest.
We started off on the OC&E Woods Line State Trail which is a 100 mile "linear Oregon state park". Unfortunately only 8 miles from Klamath Falls to Olene is paved. This trail is the old OC&E (Oregon, California and Eastern) and Weyerhaeuser railroads that transported timber before becoming no longer cost-effective in the 1980s.
Passing through Dairy, OR we recognized that we would not see much food for the next two days and stopped in an Irish restaurant/bar for large breakfasts as the Netherlands vs. Mexico game finished up. We were told we'd need the energy from our meals to tackle the 1000 ft mountain climb facing us, just east of Dairy.
Leaving the mountains we were once again in dry farmland covered by hay fields and crazing cattle. Shade was sparse, at one point we traveled 7 miles from tree shade to a convenience store in Beatty, OR with no options for shade in between.
Rehydrating at a picnic table we had a Klamath native sit down and strike up conversation. He was heading 40 miles northeast to check out his hunting land. Riding his motorcycle there he had become thirsty and stopped in for a 24oz Miller can. He told stories of riding his bike 120 miles a day when he was 19. Upon hearing our route he became determined to help us find a "better" route. After explaining each option he would remember that his "shortcut" added mileage and/or used unpaved roads.
After an hour break we headed out and 13 miles down the road were pleasantly surprised to find that the town of Bly had multiple open businesses. Having decided on a general store, we set about deciding which frozen burrito we wished to microwave for lunch/dinner. After we finished our "meals" we asked the owner for advice on camping in the National Forest. He and his family enthusiastically told us about a great camping spot "right by the river" near mile marker 58. Knowing we only had 4 miles ahead of us, we rested outside and waited for the sun's intensity to diminish.
Arriving at the "campsite" we were concerned to see that it was a day use picnic site with signs forbidding camping. Using the surprisingly available 4G internet, I determined the nearest official campground was 18 miles away. With that knowledge, we committed to "stealth" camping in the picnic area behind some bushes. Once the local families packed up from dinner and stopped swimming in the river, we set up camp at a site hidden from the road and hoped for the best.