If in doubt, find a bar

Anyone who knows me knows how much I like to sleep, so as you can imagine I enjoyed the extra hour in bed without being disturbed by the cleaners. I’ve also learned to use those “Do not disturb” signs after a couple of close incidents.

I went and had my complimentary breakfast and tried the diners new Strawberry Cheesecake milkshake. It most certainly brought me to the yard, it even had a dollop of jam (jelly – crazy Americans) in the bottom of the glass.

So I ran down to the bike shop about 1, literally. I was out of breath after a little jog but I made it the two blocks without my heart failing. My spokes were all accounted for and I purchased some extra ones as a precaution if the next bike shop didn’t stock my size. I also bought and fitted handlebar extensions for a new riding position.

My right arm, around my elbow, is in a lot of pain when I try to move it after being on the bike for a little while. I’m not sure whether it’s muscle fatigue or what. I’ll keep doing my stretch routine and maybe incorporate lifting my bags to utilise the muscle. It gets serious when it affects your ability to drink a beer naturally.

Whilst fitting my new bars another tourer came into the bike shop. He was going east towards Washington DC. I gave him the down-low on the C&O Towpath and he now hopes to join that to ride back into DC. I like sharing useful knowledge – and not so useful knowledge. Did you know the “You are here” marker on maps has a name? It’s called the IDEO locater. If you’re lucky you might get a nugget of useless info in each blog post.

Back to riding, or sitting enjoying another shake. It was too hot, humid and stagnant and I thought, after looking at the weather, that I would postpone departure till 4pm. I wanted to make Wamsutter which was 40 miles away so 5 hours of light should be enough.

I also fitted my handlebar grips whilst waiting around and they wouldn’t go on at first, they were incredibly tight. As the solution to most of life’s problems, a spot of lube sorted the issue. I greased up the inner part of the grips and with a little bit of force they slipped right on over the bars. Time to set off.

I’d downloaded some Bill Hicks comedy to chuckle along to. As it turns out I’m a wassock and downloaded the Life of Bill Hicks, which only contained snippets of comedy and a lot more about his life. However, I now feel like I’m an expert on the musings of Bill Hicks so ask away if there was anything you wanted to know about him.

The wind had picked up once again but I trudged through the couple of inclines without cursing, and it was 10 miles before I stopped at a gas station for a little break. A Polish truck driver was asking me about the ride and mentioned he used to ride before he screwed his knees up. He hobbled back to his truck and bizarrely came back a few minute later with two massive bottle of Cranberry Juice and said that he had crates of it to get rid of. I left them “by accident” on top of ice box where he put them. I didn’t have any woman problems I needed fixing, although his gesture was very nice.

More riding and I was watching two separate storms either side of the road. I was equally impressed with each one as each bolt of lightning hit the ground. They were far enough away that I wasn’t in too much danger. Up ahead I could see rainfall in the distance but I also figured it would only last for about a mile since I could see clear skies ahead.

I soon hit the rain, perhaps I should say the rain soon hit me. It was bordering on hail and it swept across my path with such force that I yelled in pain. It hurt but didn’t break the skin. I do like the fact you can yell at the top of my voice and no one hears. It gives you a sense of freedom. The rain subsided after a mile and I reckon it was one of the quickest miles I’ve done on a flat surface.

I arrived in Wamsutter with the sun setting and nowhere to stay – sounds about right. I saw a neon sign a few blocks from where I got off I-80. It wasn’t long before I was saddled at the bar asking if the bartender knew of a place to pitch my tent. She asked other people at the bar and a woman offered her yard to pitch my tent in. Whoop! Result!

I followed Kerry back to her place and it was a cute little house in the middle of a bunch of static caravans. We got to the door and as I was unpacking she said that she’d be brave and let me sleep on the floor so I didn’t have to put my tent up. Even better result! Although her next words were, “I’ve got a glock under my pillow so don’t mess around”. Although said in jest, I knew she had one. I found out yesterday that in Wyoming anyone can carry a weapon without a license – scary shit.

Kerry poured a nightcap and I enjoyed conversation before she told me I could use the shower if I wanted to. I took her up on the offer and had a quick shower. The amount of dirt my legs accumulate is incredible, I keep thinking I’m tanned until I get in the shower and scrub off the grime! I unfurled my sleeping gear and was happy that I had struck a massive piece of luck in finding another roof over my head.

2 thoughts on “If in doubt, find a bar”

  1. I’m impressed by how far you have made it! Wyoming already, way to go.

    Also, I’m not sure about Americans, but did you know that here in Canada, we actually think jam and jelly are two different things?

    Good luck with the rest of the trip.

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