Wednesday, March 18, 2009

ANY PORT IN A STORM: Where to spend the night?

On the road again!

My bike wasn't running right. Wouldn't coast down hill, even had to pedal down hill. Made a terrible noise. Impossible to pedal up hill. I stopped and lubed the chain and every other moving part. A bit better but still had the noise and when I stopped pedaling the bike came to an immediate stop. Eventually I unloaded the bike and found the noise. The rear fender was out of the strut and riding on the tire acting as a brake. It took a long time to find this problem that sounds so obvious. It was covered up by the saddle bags.

Why didn't I just pop off the panniers and check right away? Those panniers cost me the better part of $500. The attachment locks broke immediately. I had to lash them to the rear rack. It was a difficult job. After correcting the problem the trike was wonderful. It would coast forever and the down hill runs were actually scary! I starting using my disc brakes at 20MPH.

I planned to ride only 4 to 5 hours a day. After 11 hours riding on the first day I was stuck for a place to stay as it was getting dark. My plans to stop at a campground went awry as the camp was closed. Little town after little town but no motels. It is dark at 7PM. At 6:30 I passed a church with people coming out of a secondary building by a large church.

I wheeled right in and told the folks I needed a place to camp for the night and asked for the pastor. There was neither a pastor nor a church member. It was an AA meeting. Those jolly good people immediately told me to camp on the church grounds. I did! Yes, desperate! As I completed setting up my tent up came some friendly guys. They were the church praise team there for a practice. Ross Lee, the leader, considered my camping on their grounds a blessing. What a guy. He unlocked an outside door to a bath room for me.

There was a huge church. There were two long building, an office and Sunday School facilities building and a fellowship building. In between those latter buildings was a beautiful court. I camped close to the rear of the front building--out of sight of the street. I cable locked my trike to a post of the overhang of the front building. It has been awhile since I slept on the ground but my gear is the best and I slept well.

At almost daylight it started to rain. Rain on a good tent is one of my absolutely favorite sounds. What is a good tent? Simple! A tent that doesn't leak.

I stayed in the tent and enjoyed the beautiful sound as long as my bladder allowedl When I unzipped the front flap and crawled out I got drenched. I mean an in the face soaking--from the churches sprinkling system. Boo Boo Hoo! If my brother Henry were alive and heard that story without hesitation he would say, "What a dummy".

There were construction people working on the church. One man, Rick Goodwater, was a horse camper and most interested in what I was doing. We had a several good conversations. I gifted him a lot of gear as I lightened my load. He explained he only had $10 but he insisted I take it or he could not accept the gear. I did. He said he'd send some money to the Easton UMC. Have a good one, Rick. You're my kind of people.

Good oatmeal breakfast with coffee and off to the mountains.

God bless!

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