Weather: 100% chance it has misted all day
Terrain: rolling and so beautiful
Roads: rough surface, little to no shoulder. Come ON, Texas! You're so cool in many other ways.
Rainy day music of choice: Crooked Jades and Huckleberry Flint
Number of times I wanted to ride to the airport and board a plane home: just once today. Don't even inquire about yesterday
Hey there. Waking up today was hard. Real hard. All I wanted to do was sleep all day again but I dragged my heavy feet down to the continental breakfast at 7:20, where I downed as much orange juice as I could hold while the voodoo box told me more than I wanted to know about people bombing each other in various locations around the world. And then I went back to bed ("just five more minutes!"). After a few pep talks, I did it. I started packing up! I was on the road by a little after 8:30.
I made my way to downtown Navasota and found the post office, where I finally (and this is a big deal for me and my pack rat tendencies) mailed some stuff home, including my golden anvil, the broken stove! Don't worry, I have a new one now. My pump broke this morning.
Ok, now I actually hit the road. It was almost 9. As I wound my way through ranches and up and down and around small hills, a very fine mist began to fall. It was actually really nice. I'll take misty Texas over oppressively hot Texas any day. But that's probably just the Humboldt in me talking.
I rode right through Washington, the birthplace of Texas. It's where they declared independence from Mexico in 1836. I tried to stop in the visitors center but it didn't open for another 30 minutes and, you know me, I hate waiting around when there's still a lot of riding to be done.
Pedal, pedal, pedal, pedal. I started thinking about some funny things, for example, what it would be like if George W. Bush suddenly pulled up along side me and offered to house me on his ranch for a night. I was imagining a lot of mesquite trees for some reason and maybe a bobble head Jesus doll on the dashboard of his truck, and some very poor explanations of how ranching works. I'm not gonna lie to you, I secretly wanted it to happen. There's still a lot more Texas to ride through. Fingers crossed!
About that same time I realized I spend a lot of time smiling when cars pass me going the opposite direction. I decided this probably elicits one of two responses: One, these motorists see me grinning like I've just won the lottery and think to themselves, "oh jeeze, look at that nice girl and how happy she is on that bicycle. Maybe I should get a bike, too!" or, more likely, they think, "that girl is absolutely out of her mind." then they scream at me inside to get a job and get off the road. I prefer the former. But to each his own.
It was getting about that time and granola bars, yet again, were failing to properly fuel me for more than 30 minutes at a time. I stopped to eat at a real cool place called the Pig 'n Whistle in Burton.
I had some fancy chicken and pasta I can't remember the name of and a Bass Ale. It was delicious. There I met Nolan. He's been working there for two months and was nice enough to keep me company while I ate and ask me questions about my tour. He even went outside to meet Ida. (She said he's very handsome!). Thanks for the company, Mr. Nolan! Also, apologies if I spelled your name wrong. Well, it's always hard to leave those kind of places and get back on the road. But I finally pried myself away and got motivated to finish up the day.
I didn't make it too much farther before I started looking for some place to camp. Since I'm still under the weather, I figured I ought not push it. My original plan was a campground in Carmine (pronounced car-mean) but I lacked the proper paper money and the ATM I found didn't like my card. I stopped to look up nearby banks but didn't really find any that weren't far away. While I was stopped, a woodcarver came up and talked to me. His name is Nathan and he did a huge bike tour back in 1981 from Missouri to Nashville and on down through Texas, where he's been ever since. He gave me his card and told me to call him if I got into any trouble and he'd come get me no matter how far. What a nice guy! It's these encounters that have been restoring my faith in mankind throughout this whole trip. He also pointed me toward some camping on down the road. So I pedaled on and ended up in the middle of a gigantic antique fair, which has stretched on for a few miles now. Nolan said it's the largest in the US. Well, there were some RVs behind just about every building I passed and I figured there's no harm in asking, so.....
Yeah, I'm camped out in a field with some RVs behind a building full of old junk for the nominal fee of my driver's license number (in case I leave trash behind). Score! I need quite a few nights of this kind of lodging to make up for last night and my trip to California. But it's supposed to storm kinda hard tonight so we'll see how it works out.
Some old bikes at the antique fair
In other news, aside from being sick, I felt pretty good riding today. I've already gotten used to being alone all day again and am enjoying it. All in all, it was a great day on the bike, even with the steady mist. Texas is great. I'm glad I don't have to worry about it changing on me. Haha. Welp, my battree (say it with an English accent - it's fun!) is low and I'm not sure I can charge it tonight so i best be moving along. Take care!