As expected the shifting doesn't work in the freezing morning. Back in the sun also Klaus warms up again and I have a nice ride through the valley of Middle Fork John Day River. I see lots of deer [also the last couple of days]. They seem to have a massive population here. I see some funny looking ones with a very long white fluffy tail, too [Columbian White Tail Deer, I later learn].
I also encounter a little cattle family on the road [bull, cow and a calf]. Again, they seem more like they have been forgotten out here. Unfortunately the road is quite narrow and they don't understand that they could only go to the side and I would pass them friendly. They run and run and run just about 20m in front of me. The little one in the front. When I stop to give them a break, they stop, too. This goes on for about 3km. At one point I take my courage and overtake them running next to me [don't want to be between cow and calf]. They seem pretty exhausted after that chasing scene...
After 60km I reach the end of Middle Fork Road. It doesn't really warm up today [3 degree at max]. I am still slowely climbing and in the shade the road remains icy and incredibly slippery.
The way up to Summit pass is a sheer nightmare. It is so slippery and since I cannot crank a proper speed I also get terribly cold. My worrying thoughts wander first to the downhill [which will be even worse than the uphill on the ice] and also further into the future to my desired [partial] Rocky Mountains crossing about two weeks ahead. Hmmm... Far from optimal. BUT I chose this way. I knew that this might happen. Deal with it! [whining off].
Luckily only half the downhill is slippery. The sun dried off the eastern facing parts of the road. [whining on] Still beeing unable to crank out speed to get warm and facing the ice cold wind below freezing on the downhill I feel like deep frozen by now.
Call me a douche but so far I had 3 ocassions where I hatched the thought "if the next town has a Motel, I am in!". So far the next reachable town never had one and I had to stay out [in my misery].
Today, I am lucky. The small town of Unity [population 71, looks like less] has a Motel. It's affordable [still overpriced for what you get, I'd say, but I would have paid any price]. I remain the only guest and watch a beautiful sunset [from inside].