Saturday, June 11, 2011

Random Camping; Random Reggae.

A little bit of rain last night detracted nothing from a glorious styrofoam coffee cup this morning.

Let me bitch about Verizon. I want my contacts. I got a new phone, but the one employee couldn't transfer contacts. She suggested that the next store on route would definitely be able to, and I should have smelled the runaround. The next store was similarly understaffed. One employee, and it took 45 minutes of gawking and squawking before I started talking. He tried and he failed to get my contacts transferred. A strong percentage of my phone contacts are people whose numbers live in the phones of nobody else who I know. I have numbers of people who I've met while horsing around who I might not talk to for years, but I might want to call them again. The contacts are more important than the phone. Verizon sold me a phone that they can't put contacts on - this literally happened. Then the employees had the audacity to paint the situation as something other than it was. The guy at the second store tried to blame it on five things other than the simple truth. These guys are professionals.

After a boring stop at the town's boring pool with terrible communal shared showers, I was back on the road. The pool was a bust. I paid $1.75 for what I thought would be a much-needed hot shower with a private stall. No doin'. There was a dirty communal shower with cold water - not conducive to private washing, and unsatisfactory to the max. There was a press-and-hold button for a cold blast, and in that way it was actually a step down from a spray out of a garden hose. I declined to ask for my money back on these grounds. I "swam" for 10 minutes in a pool stocked with kids with squirt guns. Next...

I rode on - happy to just be making space between myself and Marshfield, Missouri. It looked like a long day, but by the grace of goodness, I saw Graham about twenty miles later. I shifted to a low gear, and bombed through a grassy ditch to arrive in a pavillion where he had set up camp. I only intended to say hello, but the fortitude to continue simply didn't exist.

Graham and Wendy are the Kiwis from yesterday and before. I was in Fair Grove, Missouri, and this was the surprise end to the day's ride. My days tend to end much better than they begin.

Graham and Wendy are middle-aged Kiwis with kids. Semi-retired. They've done some serious bicycle touring, but I have yet to hear more about it. They're riding an aluminum Giant Iguana and Rincon respectively. Those are a ubiquitous mountain bicycle and hybrid respectively. Good folks, and I'm more than happy to share a sleepy grassy area for our tents.

I took a walk around town and found two scoops of strawberry ice cream. In the same place later, there would be live reggae.

I drank two cans of Tilt, and that was an early mistake. The right plan would be to quit drinking and wake up at 5am - to ride before the sun murders me. I am far from disciplined, and the rash decision to buy two tall cans of idiot-booze proves that readily. No thanks on the intervention.

Reggae! In rurah Missourah! What a treat! I sat with Graham and Wendy, and we enjoyed it. Beers and wine. Many beers for me, and they had tall glasses of wine. I was feeling the music, and I got vocal with some 'hup!' and some bird calls. It was a fun show where I least expected it. What a great situation.

I walked back, made some calls (gotta stay connected), and fumbled with my tent. Once again, I rested my head with pride in the distraction of this bicycle trip.

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