The Cowboy Trail was nice. But the gravel got a bit deep at times, making steering slightly hard. So we went back and forth between the road next to it and the trail itself. Kaisa told me we had to do this because the government had been so nice to build the trail, and would have felt bad, should no one use it!
The road next to the trail was perfect for cycling – a real wide shoulder and quite sparse amounts of traffic. So happily we rolled onward.
Another cool feature about the Cowboy Trial is that there are small towns every ten or fifteen miles. This keeps things interesting for the cyclist, and also helps in the sense that one doesn’t have to carry tons of water on the bike. And it’s really not even the carrying that gets tiresome, but the fact that within fifteen minutes the water is no longer cold, and half an hour later it is nothing short of a warm plastic tasting semblance of water.
So we stop at gas stations quite often. They seem to be one of the few things that have survived the transition from rural to urban anywhere in the world.
In Tilden we chose to reward ourselves with milkshakes. To get our protein was the reasoning.
But as always when we enter these smaller places we soon became the center of attention. An older man was very curious about our trip, and I answered him from sitting next to the bikes in the little shade provided at mid day. Indeed, he was so impressed, that he told me he wanted to pay for our purchases.
I thanked him and told him Kaisa was inside doing the shopping, so he should probably speak with her. Which he did.
Upon going to pay, the girl making the milkshakes whispered to Kaisa that this was the Mayor of Tilden we were dealing with! So kind of a big deal. Which it was to us, I assure you. We were so happy to be treated to nice ice cold milkshakes, and that it was the mayor made it even better.
As we sat down to enjoy our beverages, the mayor and his friend made some small talk, asking us about our plans and such.
But then came the real surprise – they asked us whether or not we knew who L. Ron Hubbard was. And of course we did. Everyone knows, right?
Turned out he had been born in Tilden. In fact in the house next to the mayor’s friend!
The road is a weird place to be on. But a very, very funny place too!