Today I’ve had a minute to write a couple of my experiences.

Sunday 9/8/19 Haines, Oregon

I drifted into the tiny town of Haines, Oregon, found a picnic table in a parking lot next to the Frontier Saloon, chained my bike to a split-rail fence adjoining the tavern, and began eating my lunch I’d brought from La Grande. Patrons going in and out of the Frontier were intrigued with the bike. 

“What is it?” one asked.

“It looks like a buggy,” another guessed.

“That’s the coolest thing I ever saw,” someone else exclaimed.

No one had noticed me yet sitting quietly to myself at the table 15 yards away. Out came a tall slender man in cowboy attire, jeans, boots, wide belt and buckle.

“What do you make of this thing?” one of the ladies asked the man.

Climbing up on the first rung of the fence, the man was tall enough to see the top of Sunride.

“It’s a solar panel,” he announced.

“Oh,”said one of the ladies, “so it’s a solar bicycle?”

“Yes,” said the man, “see, there’s the battery; it’s an electric bike with a solar panel.”

Looking all around, the small group spotted me at the table in my biking attire.

“Is this your bike?” one of the ladies asked.

“Yes” I replied.

“It’s so cool. Is that a solar panel that powers the bike?”

“Yes,” I said. “You’re doing a great job of figuring it out.”

“Did you build it yourself?” someone asked.

I explained that I purchased the bike but added the solar panel, racking, and electric controls.

“Well it’s just amazing,” she complimented.

The bartender had been summoned to come out and see the bike. She was impressed but didn’t stay long. She had to get right back to tend. She invited me in saying, “You don’t have to sit out here, hon, come on in and watch the Seahawks game.”

The invite was most welcomed. I sat for more than an hour watching the Hawks manage a one-point win over the Bengals.

“They always do this,” one of the Sunride admirers remarked as the game progressed, “pull off a one-point win at the last second.”

While watching the football game people kept asking about Sunride. They helped me plan my destination for the night, noting places to camp and towns along the way with hotels. The bartender let me charge one of my batteries while I waited and refused to accept payment for the electricity. I had metered 200 watt-hours, 1/5thof a kilowatt-hour, or about 2 cents, but she wouldn’t have accepted payment if it were 20 cents. I didn’t buy beer or food. This is simply and purely small town hospitality. They were proud to have Sunride and me, and we were proud to be there.

“Well it’s just amazing” she complimented.

The bartender had been summoned to come out and see the bike. She was impressed but didn’t stay long – she had to get right back to tend. She invited me in saying, “You don’t have to sit out here, hon, come on in and watch the Seahawk game.”

The invite to watch the game was most welcome. I sat for more than an hour watching the Hawks manage a one-point win over the Bengals.  

“They always do this,” one of the Sunride admirers remarked, “pull off a one-point win at the last second.”  

While watching the game people kept asking about Sunride. They helped me plan my destination for the night, noting places to camp and towns along the way with hotels. The bartender let me charge one of my batteries while I waited and refused to accept payment for the electricity.  I had metered 200 watt-hours, 1/5thof a kilowatt-hour, or about 2 cents, but she wouldn’t have accepted payment if it were 20 cents. I didn’t buy beer or food. This is simply and purely small town hospitality. They were proud to have Sunride and me, and we were proud to be there.

9/21/19 – Day 18 – Salt Lake City, UT – Tales of the Road Part 1 – Haines, Oregon

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