Perry had suggested on the phone to take SR-10 out to their place instead of the official Southern Tier route. That would cut off some mileage making it a much easier day and swing me through a decent sized town where I might be able to get online instead of being out in the sticks all day where the towns were so small there was no population number listed next to their names.
Someone had decided it was time to do maintenance on their three wheeler 25 feet away from my tent the night before, revving the engine at 1am and banging tools around. Even so I was up early and it warmed up fast. I was sweating early and my clothes were already ringed with salt stains. Lost in my head I’m supposed to be paying attention to the road, looking for the turn off to head down to SR-10, instead I’m just floating along enjoying the ride. It isn’t until I come to a road crossing and realize that my body somehow automatically rode me to 10 long before ‘I’ knew what was going on, I had been off the ACA route for more than 2 miles.
Autopilot for real.
That’s when the shoulder disappeared on the road and I started to get worried. Traffic was fast and becoming more frequent the later it got. Only a few miles down the road, just outside Clinton, the shoulder widened up, really widened up, like car width wide.
I stopped into the gas station in Clinton and felt stupid asking, “Is there a McDonald’s in town?” What was the population requirements for a McDonald’s or a Walmart anyway? Sadly it’s another McDonald’s without an outlet or I would have stayed and wasted more of my time online and inside when I should have been outside riding.
Perry’s was only another 13 miles away and it wasn’t even noon.
Perry’s was one of those ‘Do Not Miss’ suggestions of stops on the Southern Tier, and I’m glad I did. For far more than the hot outdoor shower or the ability to do laundry or even the fact that she cooked dinner for both myself and another touring cyclist that showed up that night. Perry is a great person and meeting people like her always makes me think that maybe we aren’t living in the apocalypse, that maybe the world isn’t doomed to a long downward spiral of…
Well, you get the idea.
She suggests I take a zero day, and hell, with her wifi and an outdoor outlet I could catch up on the blog and come damn close to finishing the rough draft of that other manuscript… So yeah, I’ll stay.
That’s when the other cyclist showed up from Michigan. He had started riding with another guy who had to get off because of knee problems and now was looking to celebrate Thanksgiving in New Orleans. Thanksgiving?
When is Thanksgiving?