Day 74 – Next time I’m riding a bike

Last night, and upon delivery of the Subway sandwich, I agreed to meeting my biker friends for breakfast at 7:30. Awesome, but a little late in the morning for us walking folk! The weather was supposed to be HOT today. Which means, whenever possible, get walking before the break of dawn.

I met them at their campground and they were finishing up packing their camping equipment from the night before. To save time and without dilly-dallying, I told them I would start walking the 2 miles down the road and meet them at Subway for breakfast.

Speaking of dilly-dallying, I’m thinking that this is the same type of terminology that the traffic-cop in Deadwood would have used. I’m just saying…

I arrived at the Subway before my cycling comrades and hoped for some air-conditioning. Nope, warm inside and the employees were still preparing for the start of their business day. I went back outside and waited for my slow-moving, low-gear liaisons. After 10-minutes, still no sign and I decided to walk a bit further down the road. I figured they would eventually pass me and we could catch-up then. I made it another couple of miles to the very outskirts of town, and where I would have breakfast and wait for Larry, Mo and Curly.

Side note: I am having too much fun giving my friends a hard time for being such slow pokes on their bikes. 🙂

After 2 bottles of Gatorade and 2 Breakfast sandwiches…there was still no sign of the tardy trio. My only guess is that they somehow got on I-90 and bypass my little gas station perch. No matter, it was officially hot outside and I needed to get walking. Today’s destination was another re-route of my previous days re-route. I am walking 28 miles to the Devils Tower monument today.

Why? Well, the short story, is I thought it would be good content for my loyal blog following. 🙂 My buddy Aaron told me that there is a campground just below the tower that shows ‘Close Encounters of the third kind’ each night. How cheesy and great is that!?

At some point today though, the cheesy and greatness of the side-trip started eating at me though. I kept thinking “Why in the hell are you beating your body up and adding 60-miles to your trip”? I knew the answer, but it didn’t seem to reassure my feet and body that they would feel any better. After the walk today, it was then, that I knew I couldn’t walk any extra miles the rest of the way home. Nope, this cat will get in a car and drive back if he wants to see something so darn badly…

In addition to the heat, what could only add more resistence to today’s walk? You guessed it, frigging hills for the first 10-miles. Don’t get me wrong, it was beautiful countryside, just lots of hills. At the 10 miles mark ( and the top of a hill), I could see my destination for the day. Nice! I do think though, that it might have been some of the longest miles of my trip so far. Ugh!!

I really miss Georgia and all the places you can find shade to rest. Today, I actually layed down on the gravel on the side of the road and wrapped myself in my tarp for protection from the sun. Another time I bounded off the side of the road into some 3-foot high grass. In the grass, I layed down my tarp and jumped on. Again, the tarp wrapped me up. Fortunately this time I was under a large tree and a speck of shade was present.

At the 22 mile mark today, I felt like I had walked 40 miles. It was hot and my body was just tired of going through the motions. I had reach the junction to Devils Tower and believe it or not, there was a diner there. Nothing else, but a diner, where I was now the sole customer! I went inside to cool down, get something cold to drink and even have some food.

I was greeted by a very friendly young lady who also just happened to be the owner. I ordered a pitcher of ice water and a taco salad. Not sure why I ordered a taco salad? It just seemed somewhat less filling, but packed with meaty goodness. Something I soon regretted…

I stayed an hour, cleaned my plate, and of course, emptied my pitcher of water! Before leaving, other members of her family joined her. With husband, son, and I assume Dad, you could tell the place was a real family affair.

Note to self: Jack, you are a real Jack-Ass! You left the place without tipping her for the service. Now, no matter what, you will be driving back in the future to tip her and apologize!

Walking away from the place, I felt like the next 5 miles wouldn’t be that bad. This feeling soon passed. The sun was absolutely brutal! Not only that, there was a flat segment of the road all the way to the tower. It was a constant climb almost all the way, followed by a 1-mile steep decline. In short, the walk sucked!!! Did I mention that I started getting sick on the way?

Oh yes I did! A couple of miles into the walk I was already thirsty. What did I have to drink? Lots of HOT red Gatorade! MMMMMM, MMMMMM, MMMMM! That stuff goes well with the lovely Taco Salad from the diner. So well, that it allows you to tasty the culinary combo a second time as I threw-up walking down the roadway. Several times…

I don’t even want to know what the people passing me thought as I they observed the red, meaty combo projectile across the road-way. I will digress…but you should get the point.

TO BE CONTINUED

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