Sunday, July 24, 2011

Serene heat and record-breaking laziness.

I woke up late. Some automatic sprinklers came on in the park last night around 2am. I knew they'd come on, but I didn't know where they were. I set up in a shady spot by a tiny stream and hoped for the best. The noise of water spraying my rainfly startled me awake, but at least I didn't set up right on top of a sprinkler. All in all, it didn't hurt anything, and it was nice to not freeze my ass of for a night.

I got up late. I waited until the tent began to get truly warm and a little stuffy. I'm right back to not caring much about making good time. If I bust my ass, I might gain 2-3 days in Portland hanging out with my friends the Klopp brothers. In any case at all, we'll have time to catch up and play some music in their practice space. Fast or slow; long miles or no - it doesn't matter, yo.

I packed my tent and began to roll after 9am. I wasn't "on the road" until 10am. I had my power breakfast of yogurt and oats, a banana, and a PBJ made yesterday. And a chocholate milk. That should suffice.

I immediately climbed a long hill and began one of my favorite descents of this entire trip. There was an 8-mile long 7% grade that looked steep as hell. The scenery was amazing. I swooped past huge grassy hills. They looked great. If not for the wind facing me, I would have been braking the entire time. As it was, I hit a top speed of 40, but mostly cruised at 30mph with no need to hit the brakes. I liked it. Boom.

I felt sluggish. The temperature was high, and the sun felt hot. I decided I would get to Riggins Idaho, and probably post up there. I was ready to call it quits.

Also - notably - I felt truly happy. I'm happy! God what a wonderful thing it is to be on a bicycle - bullshiting your way along many roads. You have to put up with a lot, but the scenery and experiences always tip the scales in favor of the adventure. RVs pass too close, then you meet somebody who you will never forget. It rains, or the weather makes you uncomfortable - then you see picturesque panoramas as you fly down the side of a mountain. I won't remember the heat and dehydration today. I will remember Riggins Idaho - the capital of horsing around with rafts on the Salmon River. Beautifully situated in a canyon; sandwiched between huge grassy hills.

I got to town and I was beat. Sluggish was the right word for it - that's how it was. I leaned my bicycle on the bar and proceeded to be stupid at 1:30pm. "Charge me money, and bring me shit my body doesn't need." That's how I could have ordered.

I laid out a big piece of sil-nylon that I have and took a nap on it behind the school. I've begun yet another book, "Chunneling Through Forty," about a girl who turns 40 and deals with it. It's on my Kindle because my mom and I have Kindles on the same Amazon account until I figure out how to connect mine to my own account (which I won't ever bother to do.) I zonked out in the shade for awhile, then had to get up when I became aware of dirty flies kissing my ankles.

I went to the grocery store where I believe they thought I was looking for something to steal. I think they didn't like me because I have erratic lines of salt forming unlikely patterns in every direction on my shirt. Either that or they honestly did want to "help me find something." I claimed to be "shopping for ideas." I made good when I bought turkey and cheese to make a new kind of sandwich.

I set out to explore the other end of town, but town was just a line along the road, and all I accomplished was an exit. I don't like to double back. I had and idea that I was going to set up a tent about 8 miles outside of town at a place that probably existed and was most likely okay. I had a slight headwind and legs that felt like jelly. I low-gear cruised it, and I didn't go far. The sun was still hot at 6pm. Or 5pm. I forget.

I stopped at a store that does it all. This guy sells beer, used boats, soda, used gear for fishing, a smattering of groceries, and beer ("Yes! It's Cold!") I can see why he had the sign - it didn't look too cold to me. I bought some shit and sat on a metal folding chair out front. I looked up at the hills to see if the sun would be shutting up any time soon. I went in and bought some more bullshit. I tried to make myself reverse the dehydration that had obviously been making me feel wacky. I did that, and then I got a lemonade Blast to fuck it all up again.

I found camp within view of the store - right by the mighty Little Salmon River. I didn't go swimming, but I took a bandanna bath with a blue bandanna that I found on a trash can in Ennis Wyoming. Me and the bandanna are both clean, and I swear it. Clean enough for a backyard barbecue.

Two additional notes: It's not a roadhat, but I found a roadjacket of the yellow cycling variety that is pristine clean, and probably retails for $80. I was fucking psyched, as you can imagine. I lost my notebook sometime today. I've kept many journals, mostly when I was younger, and often I would keep near-hourly updates on all details of everything I did. If I lost one of those journals, I would be apoplectic. Absolutely. As it was, this notebook was just a placeholder for scrawled details. It doesn't hold the same value as those other journals, but it made me uneasy when I noticed that it wasn't in a ziplock bag with a pen in the spine, tucked into my right pannier. Blast! (I had one as the sun went down and sweat dripped down my chest.)

Expense Report:
$3.10  - Yogurt, chocolate milk, loaf of bread
$12.30 - Burger; Buds
$6.20  - Turkey; Cheese
$2.00  - Arizona Tea, ice cream sammich
$4.65  - Blast; Coke
Total: $28.25 (the mistakes here are obvious...)


kari said...

could you see yourself hoboing for life?

Pixy Stoneskipper said...

I can imagine it. I don't know about being a real hobo, but I will always seek to live simply in a way that I call "staying close to the earth." I will avoid society's comfortable 'trappings,' and aim towards living in a van full time. But perhaps buy a small chunk of land for parking. That's my current idea. You are welcome to join, especially if you want a veggie garden! -Chris