Next Stop - Bend, Oregon

Thursday, June 24
Well, for better or worse, I am “branching out” having just stood for four hours this afternoon on a Sisters, Oregon sidewalk. Given the choice, my feet would vote to walk a great distance rather than to simply stand four hours in old style leather shoes. Anyway, I can now say that the “Son of Liberty” has ventured beyond the Willamette Valley, crossed the Cascades, and is heading east in the morning.
Until today, I was yet unsure of which route I would be taking to the Idaho border. There are but two choices from here - Highway 20 or Highway 26. Why undecided? It is because each has its own advantages and disadvantages. The more northern Highway 26 has some population along its route (and that is stretching it by a long shot) and more scenic wonder. The negative is that is gains much more in elevation with corresponding twists and turns as it passes through the southern foothills of the Wallowa Mountains. Highway 20 on the other hand, is more southern, more hot, and has less people. The positive is that it is easier to walk if you have the water. My choice was decided after a conversation with an Oregon State Patrolman - I’m taking Highway 20. He assured me that water would be available at key points and it really is easier traveling. So there it is. I will walk the 22 miles to Bend tomorrow, then continue on Highway 20 toward Brothers (see if you can find that on a map!). Then I’m looking forward to Saturday and a rendezvous my wife Cynthia. She is driving from Eugene so that we might be together once more before I get too far out of range. I am making a small list of a few items she might bring as well as some she might take back. I am really trying to streamline my packing style and this will be my last chance to make any changes. I am lucky to live in Oregon and be able to work out the early wrinkles.

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