Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Through a canyon and into Oregon.
I woke up and was relieved to feel alright after a busy night imbibing. I hoped I wasn't too outrageous at the bar, but reasoned that it clearly wasn't a problem if I was waking up in my tent. If I got too silly, I wouldn't be coming back here anyway. This will probably be my last trip through Council.
I checked my iPod to see what song it was that I'd wanted to hear so bad. It was Daedelus; "I Car(ry) Us." Yeah, I need to hear that song several times. I need to spin pedals and roll these wheels as a breeze of strangeness whisps into every possible crevice.
I was able to arrive in Cambridge Idaho about fifteen miles after I didn't feel like riding much anymore. I called Shelly from a cute little park in town. I could have been on the bench forever. I had my fun little coffee, and I wanted to freeze time while I ate my spotty banana in the shade. I am having a great time. Still, I'm ready to be somewhere for awhile. Portland, Philadelphia... I'm ready for a break. As if I'm not being lazy enough.
As I continued, one thought prevailed: boy do I not feel like climbing another stupid mountain right now. But then I found relief. It's hard to find fault with a 7-mile descent.
The road has been bountiful today. I have been provided with wonderful decorations. First came a blue pine-tree air freshner in "new car smell." And now my rear fender sports an Idaho boat inspection sticker. My eyes are peeled, and I'm always scanning for roadside treasure.
Oregon! I reached Oregon after riding through Hell's Canyon. My legs were gelatenous as I rolled into the suggested campground in my guidebook. $10 is a fair price for this nicely maintained campground with hot showers. But my pride and sense of adventure will not allow it. I took the shower for free, ignoring the advice of signs claiming they were for overnight guests only. I would recommend this approach to a friend. I showered. Then I washed the salt out of my riding clothes in the shower. Then I washed my socks in the sink using the foamy soap from the dispenser. After wringing them out many times, they finally stopped pouring out dirt. As I air dried and ate a sandwich, I felt clean. I was refreshed and ready to find free camping. I had plenty of sunlight, and my guidebook hinted at free camping in a town park in another 18 miles.
Halfway Oregon is a nice town. I was happy to get there and cut some challenging miles out of the next day. I was happy to get to a place with cell phone service. There was also a bar. If you want a cheeseburger, fries, and two pints of Bud, expect to pay $17. Once again I realize the economic advantage of secret sodas.
I went to the Lions Club park where free camping was available in 1996. Not today, it seems. There was a sign claiming that overnight camping was not allowed. Hardly concerned, I turned back to town to resolve the matter. The first local who I talked to offered to let me camp right where I stood. He owned the Halfway Mercantile store, and he pointed out the boundaries of his property. I could find a spot that suited me, and I was welcome to set up a tent.
The night was ideal. The temperature was ideal, and there seem to be few if any mosquitoes around here. I had a couple bedtime beers, and played with my phone.
$2.44 - Yogurt, Chocolate milk, banana
$1.37 - Mocha caffiene coffee
$0.50 - Non-working air compressor that eats quarters
$1.46 - Dr. Pepper, oatmeal pie snack
$4.65 - Four, Clamato, Coke
$17.00 - Burger, fries, 2x pint of Bud
Total = $27.42