"I Spy Cycle Oregon", by me.

 Long story on this quilt.  In 2015 I got to ride in Cycle Oregon.  The route was "Hell on Wheels" because we went to Hell's Canyon among other locales.  GREAT time with all of my newest 2500 best cycling buddies.
Long before the ride, I got online and started to look up quilt shops in the cities/towns that we'd either visit on the ride, or on the way to the ride.  There were quite a few, I'm happy to say!  Also, supportive travel companions who only whined a little when I wanted to stop to visit the local quilt shop.
As a quilter, you have your "stash".  Fabric that you buy just because.  I think the original plan was to do that, but then my best biking buddy, Xande and I got it into our heads that we'd each make a Cycle Oregon quilt to remind us of our travels.  So, we started to look for fabrics representative of what we saw on the ride.  You'll see those below.
First giggle.  We arrived for day Zero in Baker City, OR.  There's a quilt shop!  We got there at 3:15, and they closed at 3pm that day.  Sadness!  Oh well, we'll be back here at the end of the ride, so will still get to visit this shop.

In addition to all the fun visual memories of the fabrics, the quilt is made up of Sawtooth Star blocks.  For the first time, CO traveled into Idaho (briefly), and the Sawtooth Mountains are in Idaho!  Perfect!
The quilt is quilted with a pantograph of road bikes.  Perfect for this quilt!

 Chip seal roads.  A little rough, but when you are traveling through the wilds of Oregon, you can't expect ice smooth pavement.
 The volunteers on CO are too numerous to count, but so very vital to the smooth running of the ride.  One of the volunteer jobs is to drive the sag wagon.  To pick up people who are broken down, or just can't continue.  In addition to driving the van, this woman found a stray kitten on the way, and after checking it for tags, chips at the local vet etc, decided to keep it.  I walked into a rest stop, and here's this adorable little black kitten with a piece of yellow "Caution" tape around it's neck for a leash.  Lucky little cat to get to go home with that lady.
 "Goat Heads".  I had never heard of them, but they are this weed that grows in the desert, and leaves seed pods behind that are incredibly sharp! I picked up 2 in the sole of my shoe one day, and they hurt!  Every time we stopped if you stopped on grass, you made sure to carry your bike, or you'd probably have goat heads in the tires and flats when you were ready to ride again.  They are called "Goat Heads" because the seed pods look much like the head of a goat.  (Yes, I had to ask)  While we didn't find fabric with specific goat heads, this one above looked much like the plants that produced them.
 Sunflowers.  Lots and lots of fields of sunflowers!
 The dead salmon in the road.  Truly, we were riding along, and it appeared that some raptor had snagged a salmon out the stream and was quietly enjoying their lunch alongside the road when all these crazy people in lycra came swooping by, right through the birds table! How rude!  I think this is probably a trout, but I purposefully cut it with the head half showing.  That's what we saw.

 Police.  I love the police who rode with us.  They were so supportive, and funny!  Cyclists should be paying attention, but one of us wasn't.  The officer gets on his PA and says something to the effect of "You in the green coat.  There's a cattle truck coming.  Get out of the road."   Pause, the cyclist in the green coat doesn't listen.  Officer says "Fine.  Get run over then."  We all laughed.  This was the last CO ride for this officer, he was retiring after this week.
 Corndogs.  We didn't eat corndogs on CO, but they are pretty much a staple on summer rids with Joe and Xande.  The scarier the store they come from, the better!
 Lots of cowboys in boots
 Cows and more cows.  The cow standing in the river cooling her feet was a fun sight to see.
 When we returned from CO, the fabric wholesaler had a new line of fabric called "Cycles Of Life."  I had to go back and get some of this with chain rings to use as setting squares for the quilt.  It was too perfect.

Hard to tell, but the fabric in the top border is of maps.  Gotta have cue sheets and Dan Henry's (the arrows that tell you where to go on the ride)  The bottom border is green to represent the fields of alfalfa that we rode past quite a bit.  I always thought of our dad and how he'd say "Aren't you glad we don't have to unload that?" every time we passed trucks loaded with alfalfa.  Yes, I'm still glad to be riding and not bucking hay.

We dropped the quilts off at the Cycle Oregon headquarters today, and Chris and Allison seemed quite pleased with them  Either that or they are great actors.  We suggested that they could be raffled off as a fund raiser, but that's up to them.  I hope that they raise lots of money for CO, and that someone gets to enjoy them as much as I did making them.

No comments: