Today was a tough day. Really tough. The heavy headwinds were really taking their toll on us. And not only us. We also bumped into Manfred on one of our short stops. He too was cycling from New York to San Francisco. But he’s on an even tighter schedule than the two of us.
So we rolled for a while together, cursing the wind. Or as Manfred put it, ”there is only one problem with this day, and it is the wind”. A few expletives omitted for your benefit.
We wholeheartedly shared his sentiments. At one point we felt we needed another short break, and Manfred valiantly rode on into the wind. We on the other hand sat down by some barbed wire fence, keeping people away from… well, somewhere.
It’s not like there’s a shortage of land over here, yet everything seems to be fenced in with at least three layers of barbed wire. Often enough accompanied with a sign telling everyone to stay out. Again, the question arises, from where?
There must be some hidden gems here, judging from the very protective spirits we encounter in the form of signage and fencing. Or then people are just scared. Scared of someone taking everything away from them.
Curiously enough, the people we encounter on a daily basis in real life are the exact opposite of this insular tendency.
As an example I can give you couple we met in the parking lot of Shoshouni’s only gas station. We parked our bikes, parched from the days riding. I hastily said hello to the two persons who came up to speak with us, quickly excusing myself by telling them I needed something to drink and I needed it now.
As I scooted off they laughed, and said they understood. As I returned from the cooler with the drinks in my hand (orange juice for me, root beer for Kaisa) the lady hastily told the cashier that she would pay for the drinks.
Turning to me, smiling, she said she knows how tough it is to be on the road. Somewhat perplexed I muttered the best thank you’s I could muster up in the situation.
Kaisa, who I had left behind, was at this point engaged in serious route planning with the other part of the couple. The man gave Kaisa some practical tips and told us about what kinds of elevations to expect at any given time.
Soon enough we said our goodbyes, and I popped in to the mini mart once more to get some groceries. Or canned tomatoes, you can’t get fancy in places such as these.
When I came out and we started packing up our stuff the lady came up to us once more. She was holding something in her hand. Again, smiling, she handed us a crisp 100 dollar bill, and told us to that ourselves to something nice.
She added that they had just doubled their money at a nearby casino, and were so impressed with what we were doing that they wanted to chip in.
Needless to say we were mesmerized. And again tried our best to thank them! (I mean, what do you say when someone gives you a hundred dollars out of the blue?)
So here we are now, at the Desert Inn Motel, bellies full of food and cold drinks, showered clean and about to fall asleep.
So a hard day, followed by an easy going night. I think we deserved it!