Day 16: [insert peace sign, again]

Today: 0.0 miles                         Total: 845.1  miles                              9.20.10

Where do I start?  I just accomplished…so much today.

Goodrich, N.D.

Psych.

It was really, really WIINNNDDDYYYY last night.  It rattled my tent all night.  Extremely windy, very cloudy, and generally tough weather this morning made my heart sink.  It wasn’t looking promising.  Wind was gusting 30mph+.  Mentally, I kept going back and forth between biking and not.  I sought advice from people at the bank (on main street, which, besides the Post Office, is the only building with a person in it–but, of course, zero customers).  Whenever I was in my tent, laying there resting and bored, I’d think, “I’ll go outside and just battle the wind for a while, and at least get 10 miles or so,” but as soon as I’d get out of my tent and endure the wind, my course of action would immediately change, and I’d realize how mentally and physically exhausting it’d be to bike in the weather.  It was quite a mental challenge, actually, because I was weighing the costs and benefits of biking versus staying stagnant.

If I biked, I could…..……………………………. If I stayed in my tent, I could…

  • Get somewhere
  • Get something accomplished
  • Get a bit closer to my destination
  • Become more fit
  • Be satisfied with my day’s efforts
  • Not lose my mind sitting in a ghost town, in my tent, all day.

  • Rest very well
  • Prepare for a big day tomorrow
  • Do something relaxing
  • Read
  • Catch up on email
  • Not get super frustrated by biking into a ridiculous headwind
  • Actually be able to hear my music, since the wind wouldn’t allow me to hear my headphones if I rode.

I talked to lots of people on the phone.  The temperatures were mild, albeit with 80% humidity and strong winds.  There was this odd rain/mist that was invisible and moved horizontally, but still managed to moisten clothes.  I listened to music on my little speaker.  I slept a bunch and started Paul Farmer’s biography, Mountains Beyond Mountains.  I was supposed to read it before freshmen orientation.  Four years later, I started it again with the intention of actually finishing it this time.

View outside my tent.

I found the town’s “school” and, once in the office, asked to use a computer.  I suppose one room schoolhouse secretaries are the same everywhere–hesitant to let a beardy stranger into a building full of letter people and hall passes (and innocent farmer children)–but, with some sweet talking, she let me use a computer in the one-book-shelf-library.  Graced with the technology of Windows 95, I didn’t get much accomplished in the couple of hours I spent there.  The computers were too old to have the essential USB plugs to charge my phone and iPod.  As I walked back to the park, I talked to a nice old lady on the street.  She told me the only place to eat in town would have been at the school, which, she informed me, “has a hot lunch every day!  Today, we had chicken fajitas!”  I wasn’t under the impression she worked there, but that she simply knew what the school’s lunch was today.  And every other day, I presume.

I talked to the men in the trailer that I shared the park camping with.  It was 3 hunters from Minnesota.  They told me that, through their annual trip here, they’ve managed to watch the town shrivel to its present state of almost nothing.

One view of what I'll call "Town Square."

It sounds like Chelsea is serious about joining me, so we talked about what she’d need if she were to bike with me for a week or 2.  Her, Uncle Ron, and Aunt Nettie may be coming to join me as soon as next week!  Uncle Ron wants to ride with me for a while but decided he doesn’t want to carry his own stuff and camp every night.  To make it happen, then, he’s going to rent an RV, and Aunt Nettie and Chelsea are going to drive out with him and meet me.  We will ride every day, sleep in the RV, Aunt Nettie will cook meals for us and drive the RV as we bike, and when they are ready to leave, Chelsea will decide if she wants to stay and finish the ride with me!  I can’t even imagine having people to ride with right now.  It seems like such a foreign concept.  I don’t think I’ll mind the company, and it’ll be great to see family.

Town square.

It’s 5:25pm.  It’s really, really weird to be in the same place as I was 24 hours ago.  I don’t like the feeling.  The wind has finally started to shift more westerly.  It’s too late to ride, now, though.  I was originally thinking I could ride a bit this evening, but that isn’t going to happen.  I finished the granola, 3lbs, that I bought in Hazen.  Was that yesterday?  I don’t even know.

Looks like the wind is going to shift behind me tomorrow.  I’m fine with strong winds, tailwinds, because I’ve got some serious catching up to do.  My friend Mr. Mileage and I need to get back on the same page.

Oh yeah, I took a shower here at the campground.  It was pretty nice.  Check the pictures of the bathroom out.

 

It looks more like a target than a detractor to me. And that toilet water is the same water I was drinking...but I wasn't drinking it from the toilet.

 

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About @brodyleven

tourist.
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