Bikepacking from Eugene to Sun River

Maps played a much more critical role on this bike tour.

A few days ago I completed my second bike trip of the summer, a five-day, 230 mile, mostly off-road journey from Eugene to Sun River, Oregon. Instead of riding alone, as I had on my previous trip, I planned and rode this trip with Rachael's cousin Ryan, a cyclist from Minneapolis, Minnesota. I was definitely the greenhorn between the two of us, but what I lacked in physical fitness and experience Ryan made up for with good nature and plenty of patience.

Whereas my first trip around Oregon contained no major mishaps (short of being caught in the rain), this one had plenty. We ran out of water and into poison oak, spent hours pushing and carrying our bikes through unrideable trails, encountered three bears, suffered a major mechanical failure, and finished with plenty of scrapes, cuts, and sores. Key word there being finished, because I seriously wondered at several points whether I'd be able to.

The route we took from Eugene to Sun River included a trip down around Oakridge, the Aufderheide Highway, the McKenzie River Trail, the Santiam Wagon Trail, and the Deschutes River Trail.

Over the next few days I'll be posting a short blurb (transcribed from the journal I kept along the way) about each leg of our trip with a photo or two, followed by a trip report with information for other people who might want to do something similar. I couldn't find any information online about others who've taken the same route, so maybe my report will prove helpful to someone else.

This post is part of a series on my bikepacking trip from Eugene to Sun River. You can find my other posts here.