Posted by: twistsoffeet | July 26, 2011

I didn’t want to ride today, but sometimes…


I woke today to a cold 60 degree morning. I had been kept awake by some more teen’s partying in the park. These kids weren’t real bad at least they kept their distance so it wasn’t overly disturbing but when your whole life is in your tent or trailer you naturally are more cautious.
My arthritis so inflamed I could barely move a joint in my body and that was with great difficulty. I thought about staying in Valentine but I had to get some miles today so that I was closer to my destination, even if just barely closer. Also I am hoping that as I move further west where it is dryer then the mosquito’s will be smaller and in lesser numbers. So far I think this is beginning to be true even if barely noticeable.
It took me close to an hour to get out of my tent today, partially due to my not wanting to and partially due to so gelled up and in so much pain. Still I wasn’t going to be defeated and I worked through it and after another half hour of walking or limping around and trying to stretch and loosen up I was finally able to get started packing.
The male black cat that had either escaped from someone’s car or that someone had abandoned tried to get me to take him with me but it is all I can do to take care of myself right now and having a cat along is really not possible. So after a long discussion with him we came to terms and he agreed to let me go by myself.
I hit the road about 07:00 with pain screaming through my body with every rotation of the pedals. I was unable to ride the first hill back into town so I forced myself to walk it pushing my bike. After getting back to the highway I headed off too the west and directly into a headwind. There was a constant low angle incline and or low angle rollers that without my arthritis pain and the headwind would have been a piece of cake. Fighting these inclines and rollers with both RA and a headwind was not pleasant.
I had already made up my mind to only ride to Kilgore which was only 22 miles so I thought that it was doable even with the difficulties of the day. Upon reaching Kilgore however I discovered a town of  about 60-70 people and no store except the 2 bars/liquor stores. There also was no park to camp in or water or bathroom facilities available.
I did stop in at the bar where I was able to get my water bottles filled and asked where the next best option for camping was at. I was informed that Cody NE was 2 towns and 15 miles west and that I would find a park and camping complete water and shower facilities. I was barely able to hobble back to my bike and start riding again. Every yard I rode was painful and hot and very unpleasant.
As I rode it seemed that my bike was heavier than the headwind would account for so I inspected my brakes and bike tires and looked at my trailer tires. All was good I thought so I rode on and on and on through the headwind and pain.
Upon reaching Cody I went to the park that was only 100 yards off of the highway. As I was removing some things from my trailer to get access to my laptop I noticed my right trailer tire was flat, completely flat. I had just looked at it and it didn’t look flat but it sure was as flat as it could get. At least I am at a place where I am settled in for the day and don’t have to worry about riding right now.
I had met up with another rider earlier this morning. Alexander is tiding from Omaha too Jackson Wyoming. He is going super light and very fast. He is probably 55 miles ahead of me by now and will be in Jackson by Saturday or Sunday. I also met Travis who is from Indiana but riding from Saint Charles MO. Travis is pulling a single wheel BOB trailer and making pretty good time. Travis is sometimes following the Lewis and Clark trail and is hoping to end up in Oregon or California or Washington depending on time and other variables. Both Travis and I say that we probably won’t use a trailer on future tours. Both of talked to others who have toured and read a lot about touring. Both of us also have discovered that no matter how much you research through reading and speaking to others nothing can prepare you for touring because every tour is different and there is just so much more going on out here that you could never put it all in a book, or online.
I do not know about what tomorrow has in store for me but I think my body is telling me to take a break and just maybe I should listen to it.

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