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My Journey- October 2010 Empty My Journey- October 2010

Post  ChasingSanity on Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:37 am

Friday, October 1st, 2010
I walked outside the Burger King and saw my rear tire was flat. I took the wheel off and checked the inner tube. I patched this one a while back, the patch was leakiing now. Time for another inner tube. I had four spare tubes a few days ago, I am down to two. That was fast. Seeing as the wheel was off the bike I should check the spokes too. Many we3re loose. Is that normal with a broken spoke? I bet it is. I tightened the loose ones and another spoke broke! I did not over tighten it, don't even suggest that!

I asked if I could camp the night in those woods over there. He said Do not camp in those woods, they cook crystal meth in there. I agreed, terrible idea. He said wait here (A to Z Muffler and Brake), I will get back to you in a bit. Soon as he pulled away, a guy pulls up in a Jeep Rubicon and sternly asks me what I am doing there. I figure he is a meth dealer/runner/cooker. I said My bike is broke down. I just asked the police where I could camp the night around here. He said Wait here, he'd be right back.

The guy in the Jeep, Chris Porter, said I own this shop, you can camp the night here. I asked for a business card to give to the police as proof. Traded cards, that started up a conversation. Smile When he went h ome he got on my blog and read until he woke up in the morning. Smile I tired to be up before 6:45 when he showed up for work but my alarm, the sun is coming up later and later each day. We talked some more and then parted ways.

I tried hitchhiking for several hours then walked across the Indiana/Illinois border and asked a couple I saw on their porch if I could camp the night somewhere nearby without anybody getting upset. The guy said anyplace in my yard. I found a couple trees to hang my hammock and headed out in the morning.

I got to Dub's CB Shop outside of Marshall, IL. KC9PHP They are asking over the CB radio for a ride for me to St. Louis. Smile I am updating my blog on their WIFI.

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010
Friday afternoon, I walked into Marshall, IL with a cardboard sign on my back, “St. Louis” A man gave me a ride to the Wal-Mart next to I-70. I bought food and was stuffing my face in front of the Wal-Mart with my sign prominently displayed on my bike next to me. A lady gave me a ride to “her” bike shop 30 miles away. I paid $30 for two spokes and truing both wheels. I replaced my slowly leaking front inner tube myself, if I bought an inner tube and had them 'install' it, that would have cost me $6 for the tube and $10 for the install! I agree they have to charge enough to stay in business...

The lady, Ellen, let me sleep the night in her barn and drove me to the west side of Effingham, IL in the morning. She gave me a hug and told me I am an inspiration to her. She is a 65 year old grandmother who runs 26 mile marathons and week long bicycle rides. She carried the Olympic torch in 2002. Who inspires who? :happy tears:

This morning, a man was riding his bicycle into Mulberry Grove, IL to buy his habitual newspaper. As we passed ans waved, I said "BikeToAustralia is one word on the internet!" He turned around and we talked for a bit, on the side of the road. Charlie worked in a prison for many years but finally quit, it was too hard to work there. He is full of life, he glows with enthusiasm and smiles. To me, he is an Angel that worked in Hell, bringing Light to the Darkness.

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My Journey- October 2010 Empty Oct 3

Post  MrTRieke on Tue Oct 05, 2010 6:00 pm

Sunday afternoon Oct 3, my Aunt was worried she saw a biker (motorcycle) or a man on a 4-wheeler at her house down the lane at the yard sale she was watching over. So, my cousin and I went to see what was going on. I saw a man with his bike. He seemed friendly he waved to me as if he knew me for years and I waved back. At that time I knew I was safe and my cousin asked me if I knew him… so I thought it’s likely for me to meet strange people and to know them so I wasn’t surprised at all when he asked. The man walked his bike up to me and started to talk. We both said “Hi” He told me his name, but I was involved so much with looking at his bike I had to ask him again. I shook his hand to properly greet him. I said his name so I wouldn’t forget it then he told me to read his sign.

What? He has a sign I thought to myself. He knew I didn’t read all of it like I was scared to read it so he gave me his card. I was so amazed by the characteristic of Ari Gold that I could only think he was sent to me like an angel to boost my spirit and to know that I’m being watched by God because a random man that travels the country just ends up at my house talking to me about a dance hall that is down the road. The dance hall he was referring to was an old church they turned in to a dance hall. It took me 4 days to figure out what dance hall he was talking about, well a just figured it out as I was typing and I lived in the town my whole life. The dance hall has a nice size parking lot and has white siding he told me that it would be a great place for a drive-in movie theater like the one in the 50’s. I thought about it and thought to myself that it would be a great idea that I would bring it up later once I had gotten back to my Aunt.

As he left I told him bye and God bless him because I know that God is with him traveling and keeping his spirit high. I started to wonder where is Ari Gold from, what did he do in his past, was he a professor at one time, is he the man who would cook over a fire and sleep outside, was he an artist looking for inspiration, or was he just a friend waiting to be found by the random people the run in to him or that he runs into. I had so many thoughts because I one road my bike only 35 miles and Ari Gold was ready for a trip it made me want to finish my goal to walk over 100 miles and rest at a church in the town I get to I know it take mind, body, and spirit to travel like Ari does or even to accomplish a small personal goal that I have.

One day I wouldn’t mind running into Ari Gold again and maybe ride bikes together or see him while I walked or rode my bike. One day I can only hope to be that random person that you could run into and see how a cover of a book can be dusty, but when you open it up it’s filled with adventure and joy through good times with a twist of riding your on bike as you read.
Thank you Ari Gold for stopping at my house and scaring my Aunt I hope you seen many inspiring things in the town of Highland and meet other strange people like myself.
T. Rieke


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My Journey- October 2010 Empty Re: My Journey- October 2010

Post  ChasingSanity on Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:19 am

Thursday, October 14th, 2010
First, thank you T. Rieke for the light and warmth you brought to my life and my story. I feel so humbled and proud of the life, light and goodness I bring to the people whose lives I touch.

Wow has it only been 10-ish days? I am now in Melvern, Kansas on the grounds of the True Grace Community Church camping out. There is no internet but they left me electricity! So, what's my excuse for not updating my blog this time? I have no excuse. Smile

Catching up with my story where I left off: I rode the rest of the way through Illinois noticing country folk don't wave back as often as I am used to. Maybe they are friendlier in Missouri. No, come to think, not particularly, not that I remember anyways. Some people wave back, even in big cities. “I believe in fairies, I do I do!”

I have no clue what path I took to get to Lawrence, KS. I'll have to look on a map when I get internet. I went to Sunflower Bike Shop and got some spoke nuts, they are really called spoke nipples. Nuts is kinky enough, you'd think but no. Anyways, Sunflower does not have free camping for bicyclists like Doug said. Ellen's sister, Vicki, who I was planning to stay the night with, would not be back in town until Tuesday, four days... I rode around town a bit trying to figure out what to do. I found out I could get a free shower at the Community Center (public gym) a few blocks away. The local homeless shelter puts you on a list during the day and has a lottery at 7:30PM to see who gets to sleep there. Getting a rejection an hour after dark would nto work for me. The guys at Sunflower suggested Clinton Lake campground. I called the park rangers; not free but they said Woodridge Park had free camping and it was only 4 miles down the road.

I left downtown Lawrence at 6PM. I saw a HyVee grocery store and stopped in to see if they had grind-your-own peanut butter. On the way in, I got to talking with a Knight of Columbus guy taking donations for... I forget what. He donated to my cause. Smile No such luck on the peanut butterdoes not in HyVee. When I got outside and was ready to ride off, the Knight of Columbus guy said “You got a flat.” Sure enough. Sad

I went over to the gas station in the same parking lot and got to work next to their air pump. It was free air too! I decided free air and a flat tire was a sign it was time for me to change out all my stripped spoke nipples. That was a much bigger project than I thought. I came to that realization quite a ways after the point of no return. I decided it was as good as I could make it at 2AM. I had an alibi – one of my spokes was too long, it was poking into the inner tube. Not that the long spoke was causing a problem... yet... but my ability to true my wheel were never that good and after a long, eventful day and eight hours of tinkering they had not improved. I pray for the day when I am satisfied with my wheel truing skills, at the same time, I pray the opportunity to absolutely HAVE to true my wheel does not present itself.

So, I rode on down the road towards Woodridge Park hoping for a church along the way I could camp at. I got my wish three blocks later. There was the First Southern Baptist Church and it was big, in a big lot. I hid behind one of their buildings, the one they use to hide their sports net – baseball or soccer. That was Thursday. I woke in the morning, packed and rode back to Sunflower Bike Shop. I hoped my rear wheel would not give out on the way.

Sunflower charged me $15 for truing the wheel, told me there were three sizes of spoke nipples on my wheel. That was why I had so many stripped nipples! They charged me $.50 for each of the spare spokes I asked for, cheap! Smile I went to the Community Center to investigate this free shower and celebrate. I needed to use my own towel. The last towel I had was in the back of Ellen's van back in Marshall, Illinois. I forgot to retrieve the towel when I threw all my stuff in the back on the way to the bike shop. OK, so where were the thrift stores in Lawrence? I went to Salvation Army, closer than Goodwill, got a towel and went back for my celebratory shower. What was I celebrating? I forgot by then.

It was 6PM when I got out of the shower, time for the Community Center to close for the night. I rode on to Woodridge Park, properly known as Woodridge Public Land Use. I had directions, it turned out to be 18 miles away, not 4 miles and there were a lot of hills and narrow, non-existent shoulders on the side of the road. I pushed my bike up one side of so many hills and slid down the other side into the darkness. I got into Woodridge about 2AM. I was not a happy camper and my tent was not even up yet.

Coming in to the tiny campgrounds, I passed by a group encircling a big bonfire. Was this some Pagan ritual? I got as far away as I could from their event without being directly under trees (birds shit on my tent recently) and started setting up my tent in the dark. The group was just being really loud and silly. I went over and told them I could hear them clearly from further away then I could see their bonfire. I asked them to be quieter for an hour - until I was asleep. I told them everybody in the campgrounds could hear them. One young woman said “Oh, sorry.” She sounded sincere and she was cute. I was not impressed. Their volume fluctuated wildly until they left.

That was Friday. I had to wait until Tuesday if I wanted to meet Ellen's sister, Vicki and her husband Pat. What was I going to do? I had called them on the way into the campground to ask them how enthusiastic they were about meeting me. If they were just being polite about meeting Ellen's find (me), then we would all be better off without expending the effort of meeting. Vicki did want to meet me. I sewed together replacement straps for my hammock. I moved my campsite to a far corner, away from the noise of the rest of the campers, particularly the family with a pack of loud, racing little kids. The thought of them grabbing that far corner had me moving pretty quickly. Smile They left; it was just a bluff, not a real threat. Smile

I started sewing a homemade rainbow flag patch (it takes all kinds to make the world go round) onto my homemade cell phone bag. There had been no wind for days. The wind picked up, blowing leaves off the trees like falling rain. Less than a minute later, the sky got dark, turning sun into gloom. That was a clear sign; I raced to pack my stuff for the gathering storm. I had about 15 minutes before the rain got serious enough.

I found out my waterproofing was not at all waterproof, not even a little water-resistant. It rained for 2 and a half days. I kept on grumbling “this sucks” and asking myself why “sucks” is a bad thing. I hear things like that and wonder at them; “Don't give a rat's ass”, how much is a rat's ass worth? (Quite a bit if you ask the rat) Where would you get a rat's ass, where would you keep it, why would you give it and who would you give it to or not give it to? “OH, Ari! It's just an expression!” That is supposed to justify and explain the whole thing? I am not impressed, not even when I am a happy camper.

I was not a happy camper peering out from my hammock under my tarp wondering how much of my stuff was how badly damaged but the rain clouds were finally tapped. I knew the land needed the water, the ground was crumbly, like granola, for four inches down. My tent stakes did not have much of a grip before the rain started.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010
In the morning, I started packing. It started raining again. I went back to peering out of my tarp and muttering. Finally, the rain clouds were drained. I finished packing about noon and rode back to Lawrence to meet Vicki and Pat. I prayed they would let me have a shower and do laundry. I stopped off at a coffee shop for the WIFI. There were so m79781any things to do with WIFI; check email, where I was going, the weather...

I noticed it was time to call Vicki and see what their plans were. She came to pick me up and took me to their house. On the way, she gave me a bit of a tour of Lawrence. They got my laundry started, got dinner going and invited a neighbor over. After dinner, at about 8PM, I asked if I was spending the night. Pat said “No. When you are done packing you're leaving.” That was a shock, then he acted eager to get me out of the house. Why visit with me? Maybe Pat had clear boundaries and plans for what was going to happen, a script. Maybe he they felt threatened by something about me, like my lifestyle. A few days later, Ellen confirmed my suspicions; Pat felt unsettled by my story of life going sour and my radical solution. Vicki and Pat have a lot to loose if life should go sour for them. Well, I asked them to drive me back to the campsite in the dark and they did. I was relieved. It was a long way back in the dark on a road with n shoulders and limited visibility, lots of hills too.

So, I set up my hammock again, assumed rain, got none, packed up in the morning and rode off towards Topeka th. Maybe they had free showers like Lawrence. No such, but they did have a Baha'i Center; I returned some of their literature. I was on a side road when a lady driving by on asked if she could take my picture. Smile Done! I rode on. There were some women and their children holding signs about “You're going to burn in Hell” and God Bless Breast Cancer.” how odd. They thought they were devote Christians. They reminded me of the Christian radio announcer I met who said the Baha'i people he met were flaky.

I rode south. It was getting dark, I started looking for a campsite. I was directed to go down any gravel road on the right. The guys on the left own a lot of land for cattle raising and are crazy-protective. I ended up staying with Garold Hill. He had some roofing rubber I used to waterproof my bags, fancier homemade raincoats. Smile And I visited with his mother for a while.

The next day, I met another bicyclist, he was going north to sell aluminum cans at a recycling center. I rode on. I tried hitchhiking and was told by the police it is illegal to hitchhike in Kansas. The other bicyclist caught up with me later and we rode together for a few days. Rick Andreen, the other bicyclist, has been riding between Omaha, NE and Beaumont, TX every year for the past four years. He travels very light, maybe 20 pounds of stuff, including the art supplies he uses to make portraits. We went our separate ways in Bartlesville, OK.

I was in Ponca City, in a grocery store, trying to figure out where to camp for the night. A man asked me what this sign, BikeToAustralia was about. After hearing a bit of my story he offeered his place for me to sleep. Chris Yozzo is a cabinet maker moving from Ponca City to Tulsa. I felt sad seeing the shop he has had for 30 years. He had a shower too! I had not had a shower in over a week!

I packed up in the very early morning and Chris dropped me off on highway 11where I thought I could get a ride to Guymon. N such luck. I gave up on hitchhiking after several hours then rode for hours more. I met a bunch of good people in Medford, KS. Jerry, the grocery store owner gave me a bag of fruit that was not pretty enough to sell. Smile I rode on, a few miles outside of Medford, I put my bike down, on it's side and hitchhiked. I got a ride pretty quick. Stcve from Wakita, (works at Liquor Locker in Caldwell, KS gaveme a ride to Enid, OK and helped me get into Salvation Army for the night.

I rode through Dover, OK looking for a gas station to get a cup of coffee. I was about out of town when I saw a Shamrock gas station. Yes! They were out of business. No! Across the street was 81 Express, a functional gas station. I got my coffee and dove into their trash hunting for a piece of cardboard to make a sign; “Amarillo.” When I got back to my bike, there was a box full of donuts on my bike! Hahaha! But I could not eat all those! I offered some to the guys stopping in at the gas station. No luck giving them away. I wrapped them up in my army jacket.. But, I got into a conversation with Stan who gave me advice on where to hitchhike from when I got to Oklahoma City. I wrapped up the donuts and rode on. When I got to Kingfisher, the next town, I got directions to a Senior Citizens Center. I walked in with my army jacket while they tried to figure out what to say after “good morning”. I said, “I need your help. There is no way I can handle all this (unveiling the donuts from my jacket) on my own. Then they saw the sign on my back. Smile we talked for a bit, I drank their coffee and ate one of my donuts. Fair trade. Smile

I got halfway between Kingfisher and Okarche when I heard a familiar sound. Looking down I saw my rear wheel was now wobbly, sure enough a spoke had broke. And, it was on the gear side; inoperable. Sad I hitchhiked for an hour with my rear wheel in hand, away from my bike. Finally, Michael Evens, a hair stylist stopped and gave me a ride to MacArthur and NW highway where Al's Bike shop is. They fixed my broken spoke for free! One of the guys working there had a cool t-shirt; Remain calm. This is only a drill. With a picture of an electric drill.

I stopped in at a local police station and asked where I could camp for free for the night. They checked many options but settled on letting me camp in the tiny park outside their doors. There was a covered picnic table, I strung my hammock up under the awning there and used their toilet facilities. I was stylin!

I rode down MacArthur to Interstate 40 and have been trying (not very hard) to get a ride to Amarillo or Odessa, TX. I am caught up again! Time to go. :waves:

Thursday, October 21, 2010
I was hitchhiking from next to the wrong Wal-Mart on interstate 40. I didn't know that until after I gave up at the four truck intersection I was at, it was a truck stop jamboree! Anyways, I rode on down the interstate. Yes, it is legal to ride your bicycle on the interstate in Oklahoma! As I was saying, I rode west on Interstate 40 for a few hundred feet before deciding just because I Could did not mean I Should. I got off, the interstate that is, and rode on Reno drive until I asked for directions at the gas station on the corner to “Historic Route 66” and found out it was right there, at the intersection. Cliff was running the store, Yes, we got to talking, he donated two hot dogs with all the fixin's to my cause.

I rode to the far side of El Reno, where Oklahoma City's version of civilization stops. There was Wal-Mart, perched on the edge of civilization. As I was going in, I saw a motorcycle 'trike' going in ahead of me, it had a whole lot of red lights on the back end. I shopped in Wal-Mart and when I came out saw the owner of the trike sitting on it. I told him I thought there was space for two more lights. Smile He said he likes cars to see him. I agreed and waved at my bike. We talked a bit until him wife came out. They bought me dinner at my choice of... they were all fast food drive through's. Except Pizza Hut, I chose Pizza Hut, they got a buffet, don't they? Only for lunch. But they got a salad bar? Donno. Their all you can eat salad bar only cost $3.27 and that after tax! Now, the choices on the salad bar were... 'limited' is not an adequate description... but this is Oklahoma where vegetables are decor, to make the meat look prettier before you eat it. I stuffed my face! You know how long it's been since I ate fresh vegetables? I don't know either. Wish I could eat broccoli without getting a headache.

I asked at Wal-Mart if I could camp out behind their store. No, but you can use the abandoned restaurant right there on the corner. Well, I am glad I kept asking, there was a park half a mile down the road, turn left, go another half mile and you can camp there. I verified with someone at the park and they said they did not have to even pay last time they camped out because they had a hammock. I love my hammock.

So, I hunted around for a good spot and found some shady looking trees to hide in. No sense in taking chances getting seen and getting kicked out in the middle of the night, right? In the morning, I rode further on the interstate. I stopped in at a gas station looking for good coffee and made my wishes of getting a ride to Amarillo known as often as I could. I don't know if that worked or it was the “Amarillo” sign on the back of my bike but Didac and Andrea pulled over and asked me if I was looking for a ride to Amarillo. Smile They are from Spain, sightseeing on “Historic Route 66”.

We stopped in Clinton to eat at the Italian bistro (expensive but geared for local tastes). Their coffee was mild American. The Greek salad Didac and Andrea shared had several salad dressing choices – oil and vinegar, French or ranch. What a surprise, the Spaniards chose oil and vinegar. I had a bite, OK, half the salad, I admit it! But, the salad was good. I conclude they know how to cook but the locals have American tastes.

Didac and Andrea also wanted to stop in at the “Route 66 Museum” in Elk City. Elk have cities? I thought they only have antlers. Anyways, my riding hosts paid the $5 for me to tour the museum with them. I don't think there is any way to capture or display the mystique of Route 66 but they made a good try in Elk City.

We left Elk City. Didac and Andrea told me they were going to stop for the night in Shamrock, TX. Great! Where is Shamrock? The mile marker signs say it is closer to Amarillo than the Oklahoma border, about 10 miles in. Victory! We all saw the storm clouds about the same time. They looked ominous, they looked like a huge tornado brewing. It was over fast, like a flash flood. Too bad it rained after we got to their motel and not while we were driving there.

While Didac and Andrea were making arrangements with the Irish Inn, I asked for the local police non-emergency number. I asked the police where I, riding my bicycle cross-co Yuntry could stay warm and dry until the storm passed through. They told me to come on down to the police station, they would put me up in a motel for the night, free. Didac and Andrea unloaded their stuff into their motel room, we waited out the storm, I was offered a shower and took it. Then Didac took me to the police station, they ran a search for warrants out for my arrest, found none and gave me a voucher for the cheapest motel in town. That is how that works, standard operating procedure. The local Christian church pays for the room. Didac gave me a ride to the motel.

Caught up again! This could become a regular thing! But I doubt it. That Ari is such slacker!

October 29th, 2010
I noticed my bike had a flat when we were unloading it from Didac's car. Another flat?! Goatheads were probably the cause of the flat. Did you know another name for the Goathead plant is 'caltrop'? Caltrops are one of the oldest manufactured weapons of war. Manufactured caltrops are equilateral tetrahedrons, or four spikes all facing outwards so any three of the spikes are legs and the remaining spike points straight up. I think the seedpods of the caltrop plant were used by ancient armies to stop or slow down the enemy; you can not run well with a centimeter long thorn in your foot. Goatheads or caltrop are a bane to bicyclists, pets and pedestrians, even cars.

Anyways, Didac and I brought my stuff inside. I reorganized the contents of my bags, discarding more stuff I had carried for so long. That reminds me; I need to let go of a lot of emotional baggage too. I get upset about things that happened months ago, even decades ago. All that is a lot to carry.

I struggled to stay awake and fix my flat tire before going to sleep. I went to sleep after two in the morning and woke up around seven. Five hours of sleep, I was going to sleep well that night! I packed up in the morning and rode out. Not so fast, it was still raining. I napped, watched the local weather radar on TV and waited. Finally, I rode out.

I rode west from Shamrock, TX to Groom. I stopped at the library for their free WIFI and socialized with the librarians. I headed to the grocery store and met a husband and wife team (they are school teachers) riding their bicycles the other way. The husband stopped and talked for a bit. He had to get going, they had an appointment in Amarillo. “Amarillo, can I get a ride to Amarillo?” Smile We met at the grocery store. It seemed like I waited for hours wondering if they chickened out on giving me a ride. But no, I waited less than an hour and got a 100 mile ride into Amarillo. He dropped me off at the Love's gas station on the south side of Amarillo.

I took all the bags off my bike and the wheels too to get my bike in their car and now, at Love's, I put everything back on my bike. I got coffee. I rinsed out my hair in their bathroom. I asked people how to get to the Visitor's Center/tourist information office in town and which road to take to get to Odessa. A guy suggested I go to the hot air balloon festival in Paso Deco State Park. It is the second largest canyon in the USA, a “baby Grand Canyon”. We might meet and if so, he could give me a ride to either Midland, where he lives, or Odessa, my destination. I asked if I could use his campsite to camp at somewhere – tent, hammock or whatever. Yes and done! We parted ways. I finished drinking my coffee adnd eating my muffin then I rode in the direction of Paso Deco State Park. I asked for directions several times. The guy passing out newspapers showed me the hot air balloon article about the whole weekend in yesterday's newspaper. None of the other locals knew, don't they read that newspaper?

The winds since leaving Groom were really strong. Halfway to the state park, I turned from going south to west and went with the winds. Smile I was going 15 – 20 miles per hour. I rolled into the state park and a ranger poked her head out the window “They're inside.” “Who?” “The ones you're with.” I walked around the outside of the Ranger gatehouse saying “hello” and looking for a way in. A big male ranger came around the other corner and said “Can I help you?” I thought he was looking at me suspiciously. I quickly explained as I weaseled my way in through a door.

There was Sid, the guy I met at the gas station. He said “He's the one on the bike.” I said “I am the bike one.” They told me Sid passed me on the way in and did not honk so I would not get startled. While Sid was inside, the lady ranger saw me coming into the state park and said “Oh my God!” Sid said “A guy on a bike? He's with me.” I told them the basics; on the road for the last year, 7000 miles so far, more fun than ever before in my life and “I am BikeToAustralia” on the internet, no spaces.” I answered every question. Sid was traveling with his daughter, Bailey, combining her soccer game with the balloons and camping. We decided to pack my bike into Sid's car, the campsite was on the other side of the campgrounds and there were a lot of steep hills down. I would definitely want help getting back up.

We got to the campsite, raced for the toilets, I set up my hammock across the sturdy but strictly ornamental structure sheltering the picnic table. It was like a grape arbor made of logs. In the morning, I put everything away that I took out of my bags and was ready to go when they woke up. We rode near the hot air balloons and parked. The balloon people were waiting for a window of opportunity – winds from the right direction to lift off. We all waited. Favorable winds did not happen. We all rode away.

Sid, Bailey ans I went to her soccer game. Bailey and company were a little better team then their competitors and won by a landslide. The parents I heard, the ones attached to Baileys team, they were a vicious audience. Bailey's father wants a less violent audience cheering on his daughter's soccer team. Bailey is 12 years old.

After the soccer game, we drove to Midland and met the rest of their family including Mom then we drove to Odessa. I called Doug on the way to get directions. I was within sight of Odessa but told him I was not sure where on the road we were, some ways out. Wink

When I arrived, I hugged Doug, introduced Doug and Sid, we all unloaded my stuff and parted ways with Sid. Doug gave me the grand tour of his tiny apartment. The next two days, I helped Doug with his maintenance work. One of the guys in another apartment installs flooring, I helped him for a couple days and got paid a little bit for that. I also installed Ubuntu Linux on Doug's computer, wiping out his unusable Windows operating system.

Doug's next door neighbor, Bobby, had a friend over who died in his (Bobby's) bathroom. The manager of the apartment complex got an unrelated phone call at about the same time; someone threatened to come over there with a gun. I don't know if they did. In addition to that, the nearest convenience store had a kidnapping and another nearby convenience store had a shooting. That was all in a day or two.

Now for November.

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