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My Journey - November 2010

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My Journey - November 2010

Post  ChasingSanity on Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:56 am

November 4th, 2010
Let's see... I am on the road again. Presently at an IHOP restaurant on the southern edge of Midland, TX. Doug wanted to go into business with me but decided I was not a suitable business partner. We moved too fast, there was not enough time or consideration taken and the chaotic events a few days ago - a death (murder/suicide?), kidnapping, shooting and gun threats on Halloween had my stomach in knots.

Doug called me while he was at work and asked me to pack up and leave. It felt like I was being treated like a jilted lover, how strange. In truth, when Doug first called a year after disappearing in Carlsbad, NM, I was afraid he would disappear again and started saying goodbye to him with that first phone call. Maybe that was a self-fulfilling prophesy.

I feel happier being back on my chosen path, en route to seeing the world. I did not like depending on someone else for my future, nor not understanding what overall strategy Doug had in mind. Strange that I feel more secure with the uncertainties I have become accustomed to than the uncertainties most people have become accustomed to and deal with each day.

I am on my way to Austin, TX and Bastrop, TX to visit with friends I met the first time through then on to the East Coast. I called to check on the status of my passport. It was mailed October 19th, another step closer to seeing the rest of the world!

A crowd rolled into IHOP, we got to talking and the alpha male asked me how come I didn't order anything. I told him that as a loaded question; I did not have the money for more than coffee. He ordered for me. We talked more. I shared my Sriracha chili sauce with them. Another crowd just rolled in and asked me about my BiketoAustralia sign. Smile Shorter conversation.

Sunday, November 7th, 2010
I rode on, into Stanton, TX and stopped in the Dollar General store. I gave some of the people there my calling card (looks like a business card but just has contact info and self-description. That was the last time I used my wallet. I had also been to the Sheriff's office to ask about free camping sites and to the hospital when I got disoriented and wanted to know which way was the road I came in on. The sheriff's people were charming and polite, likewise the hospital staff. The two lady nurses were the cutest of the lot. :blushes: But, the Dollar General store was my last stop before going to the rest stop a few miles east of town. I strung my hammock up between two pine trees at the rest stop.

In the morning, I rearranged my baggage to better make use of the Xtracycle.com Doug traded me. I rearranged my baggage back in Odessa too. I rode on to Big Spring, TX and noticed they had a VA hospital, I passed by some landscapers who asked me what I was about. That was when I noticed my wallet was missing. I kept my calling cards in my wallet.

My wallet had my state ID card, my social security card, my VA ID card, my bank debit card and my ex-wife's debit card and a bunch of my calling cards. What I have left is more calling cards and the sign on my back. I called the Sheriff's office in Stanton and the Dollar General store and I called the Big Spring police and told them I lost my wallet. I left my cell phone number with all of them in case I got lucky and my wallet was turned in, I went to the VA, filled out paperwork to get seen by a nurse and get my epilepsy medication. I went to the Patient Advocate and asked if I could share my adventure with the inpatients... and anybody else that did not run away fast enough. Smile She got me a visitors badge, took me up to the place where the inpatients are housed and introduced me to Ruth and Larry. I think their job titles said something about patient recreation. Larry used to be a professional football player, not the soccer kind, the other kind of futbol. Ruth and Larry took me all over the hospital introducing me to all kinds of people. The staff were impressed with my adventures. The patients were not, they got bragging rights too; several countries, several battles, old farts with a long, colorful history of their own. Bottom line ; no wallet but good memories.

I went to the police station to see about where I could stay for the night. Salvation Army homeless shelter was in, camping was out. BUT, the Salvation Army requires a picture ID. I went to the Salvation army shelter and asked in person. They let me in. I met everybody and shared my Srirachi chili sauce with them. Smile There was a woman there looking for an easy way to make money - legally. She was very interested in my bike mirror. She is not riding her bicycle around the world and has not thought about manufacturing or marketing. There is no easy way to succeed.

I rode out in the morning. I was doing just fine pedaling south into the wind when I noticed there were three cars behind me. I was on the road, not the shoulder, but there were two lanes in each direction, plenty of room to go around me. I pulled over and looked puzzled at them. They drove away. Immediately after they left, a man in a pickup truck pulls over and asks if I need help. I said I was doing fine but if he was offering a ride down the road I would take him up on his offer. He, John Mark, said I could stay at his underground house for the night too. Underground? You got a deal! I could add that to my experiences,

We drove into San Angelo, TX and met his girlfriend and two friends , plus children. We ate dinner and drank beer at the friends house. Then John Mark and I rode in the pickup back to the underground house while his girlfriend and her son rode in an SUV that was not packed with so many things. When we got to his house, Kim, his girlfriend said she did not want me, a strange man, staying the night , especially when she had to be at work very early in the morning. It was late at night. I gave them privacy and went looking for trees in their yard I might be able to set up my hammock at.

John Mark came out and told me he was taking me back into town (seems like 30 miles) and was going to put me up in a hotel for the night. I asked for the cheapest one he could find. We tried to figure out his girlfriend,why didn't she object when it was light out and warm and I was in town? Donno.

I slept, unpacked everything in the morning looking for my wallet. I confirmed it was not hiding in my bags. Sad I repacked and deliberately left some things behind – lightening my load is a never-ending story.

I rode on, stopped at a church to schmooze, it was Sunday and I am now Baha'i; trying to be religious. I
got to the other side of Wall, TX before asking a farming family if I could camp out. I am now typing in the doorway to their barn, on their internet connection and going to sleep in their hammock we moved into the back of the barn. The wife brought me some food before she drove off to church choir practice. My hands are getting cold and stiff, the keyboard is fading with the light. Good night. Smile
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Big Spring

Post  ward_c309 on Mon Nov 08, 2010 6:02 pm

I seen you in big spring at the local hardware store. You were looking for gloves. I wish i would of took the time to stop and listen to your story personally. I regret that i didn't. its very interesting to me, keeping up with your story and all. be safe. your donate button i cannot get to work. i will continue to follow you on here. i actually work in a small town called forsan right outside of big spring texas. you probably saw the big black tanks on the side of the road (hwy 87), i actually took care of those. they are storage tanks for oil and produced salt water. well i will check up soon.

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Re: My Journey - November 2010

Post  ChasingSanity on Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:20 am

Ward, thank you. We meet here and that lasts a long time. Smile

Friday, November 12th, 2010
I woke in the morning, put my stuff together and knocked on the door to say thank you, good morning and good bye. I rolled on. I stopped near Eden, TX. It's becoming a blur, I can't find my notes. Yes,I took notes! I start out with a blank piece of letter sized paper and 'fold it up into a convenient size. I write small; all my ideas, projects, prose, to do lists, directions, contact info for people I meet, everything you would stick into your computer memory or smart phone goes on my 'memory'. When I run out of space on one side I start on the other and start keeping an eye out for a new blank piece of paper.

Anyways, I can't find my notes about what I did with who in Eden. OH! Just before meeting the farming family, I stopped at the gas station in Wall and met one of the employees, maybe the owner of the gas station. He is an avid bicyclist, putting lots of miles in every month. He has a Specialized Expedition. He gave me a MOJO Clif bar and a regular Clif bar. I wish my memory was that good for names and appointments. THEN, I went a bit down the road, saw the farmers house with car in the driveway, saw the fading light of day and rode up to ask if I could camp on their land.

OK, so I packed and rode to the west edge of Brady on highway 87. There was an RV park there. I asked if I could camp there for the night, no tent and no fires, for free. The boss man, Mr Fox said “Sure.” He came by several times with good advice or good eats. One thing he said was I could get a free shower at Richard's Park just up the road. I tried that shower and park in the morning but they were closed for the winter. I mournfully said goodbye to a shower and rolled on into town. This is where it gets complicated.

I passed by the fire department and saw their doors were open; ready for action. I found firemen to ask if they knew where I could get a free shower. (In other towns I got showers and great advice.) These guys suggested I go to the courthouse and ask there. Odd but I went. It was about 8AM, the doors were open but nobody was inside. A lady came up the walk to the courthouse with the typical tools of work; aa favorite beverage container, some papers and I think she had a bag that might be lunch or snacks. I asked her about free showers, explaining the route to my strange request; Mr Fox, the manager of the RV park started it. Smile She decided to send me to the Judge on the 3rd floor. He is one of those resourceful people that try to know what everybody can do, how things are supposed to be done, and how to get answers to many of the questions that arise.

County Judge Danny Neal was in his office when I strode up the stairs. I introduced myself and told him my goals, the lady downstairs had already told him I was coming but always good to be polite. He called the airport, told them my situation and got permission for me to use their shower. We got to talking, more precisely, he did the lion's share of the talking. I worked on my listening skills. He directed me to the airport...? I I rode 3 miles there, forgetting it was the airport and not Loadmasters next door. I got it right after calling the judge back; airport personnel. They have 3 showers in the men's rest room! I got my shower and met the people working at the airport. One of the ladies there was fun to talk with. I had to retrace my steps to the showers a few times because I kept on finding out I dropped something or left something behind. But, finally, I was packed and said my good byes. I rode by the newspaper building and asked them if they wanted to interview me. Yes, but it would have to wait until 1PM, two hours waiting. OK.

I rode to Wal-Mart, on the way I stopped at a plumbing supply store and got af replacement for my camelback water bladder tube. The tube clogged a few days ago when I decided to cut the tube so the mouthpiece was in front of my mouth. The tube has an inner liner. When I cut the tube, the inner liner separated from the outer tube. When I put the mouthpiece back in the tube, the inner liner almost blocked water flow. Sipping often would be good for me. I would get a replacement camelback at the Austin REI. REI.com is a sporting goods store. If you buy something you can exchange it, that simple.

I asked a man at the Voca Post Office if he knew where I could camp for the night, would it be OK to camp at the picnic area a mile back towards Brady? We gt to talking. Smile Carl said I could camp at his place right over there. That became staying in his house for the night and I got to meet Carl's wife, Sue. In the short time from evening to morning, (I left in the morning) I got to know them and them, me as best we could. I packed up what little I had unpacked and rode on.

Sunday, November 21st, 2010
I was coming close to Spring Valley when some people in a pecan orchard shouted at me wanting to know where I was coming from/going to. We talked for a few hours. Smile They, the Davis's win awards for their pecans every year. They have the time and a small enough orchard to do everything right. They weed, give each tree the right amount of water and nutrients and monitor the health of each of their trees. Their nuts consistently have the most meat compared to shell and best flavor. They gave me a bag of pecans. Smile

I rode a few miles or less before getting to Spring Valley. I stopped at Connie's Restaurant, a tiny place to ask “How far to Austin?” “96 miles.” I thanked Bernie, Connie's husband, explaining how nice it is to know how much closer I am to my immediate goal. I knew they were not open that day but miles is not business. They were at the restaurant setting up for the half of the week they are open. We got to talking. I forget if it was me initiating the conversation by turning around and showing off my sign. I asked if I could buy a cup of coffee. While we were waiting for the coffee to brew, I kept obsessing over the food they had, food I could not make myself, flavors, ingredients. sigh. My drooling did not go unnoticed. Connie asked me if I wanted some food. I think I stuttered, I know I grinned. Smile I asked if I could add them to my story and asked them if there was any tasks I could accomplish while I was there.(I reached up and put my hand flat on the ceiling.) These were the only payments I could afford. I got pictures of Bernie and Connie standing in front of their restaurant. Oh, they have been working on the building for two years and just recently opened for the first time. I got pictures of the brick buildings falling apart across the street and the historic monument sign in front of them.

I rode into Llano and made finding a place to legally camp for the night; ask the police, finding the police station my first priority. Well, first after using the internet at the Best Western motel on the way in. I set up a place to stay in Austin through CouchSurfing.org. The lady managing the motel directed me to the street with the courthouse on it, turn right and go on down that road, if I got to the golf course, I had gone too far. I got to the courthouse and wanted to confirm my directions.

I saw people, lots of people, walking into a big building. It looked like a gym. I rode over to ask someone for directions. I saw an adult, a man, among a crowd of children outside. I asked, he confirmed, he asked what I was about, I turned around so he could see the sign on my back. We got to talking. Smile He invited me to the free dinner in the church. It was not a gym and that explained all the people going inside.

I stood in line and got to talking with the people around me. The food was chili, hamburger, salads nd desserts. I ate a lot of hamburger and regretted it later. Too much red meat gives me acne. I sat next to some older folks and hit the jackpot. One of the women was very wise and her son was the hot sauce chef, a husband/wife team were worldly and... I forgot the rest. But, I got invited by the wise woman to the prayer meeting after the dinner. One of the church members at the dinner said he used to be a bicycle mechanic, he had a full shop and we could do any repairs that needed done. I said “Awesome, when?” We exchanged phone numbers and agreed to meet in the morning.

The church was the First Baptist Church, the priest had an assistant writing the names of people to pray for. The group of 15-20 people were coming up with the names of all the people or companies (failing economy) to pray for. I was put on the list. I tell people who pray for me I feel like there's a pack of angels protecting me and they each have a full time job. Smile So, we split up into three groups, each group took 1/3 of the list to pray for. I was in the group praying for me so I went to another group. I would have felt funny praying for myself. I chose the wise woman's group.

The best part of the prayer meeting was hearing the prayers of each of the people in my group. It was a window into who they were inside, their concerns and world-view (weltangshauung). When we had all shared our prayers for those on the list we got back together as a big group and said our goodbyes. I rode to the city park in the dark. It was two miles out of town.

The police station was next to the city park where a whole lot of RV campers were camping there. Smile It was very dark out there and finding two trees to hang up my hammock was a challenge. Why couldn't they have planted the trees a couple feet closer? I tried to be quiet in my search and setup. The trees I chose had lights nearby. The closest light, on a pole, had a proximity sensor. :/ Every fews minutes, even without me setting it off, it came on. Sad This was good for setting up the hammock and bad for getting a good nights sleep.

In the morning, I got up early, packed up quickly and got into town to meet with the bike mechanic. Where would be a good place to wait seeing as I did not know much at all about town, where he lived or where would be permissible to work on my bicycle? I checked out the motel I had not been to yet, it was kinda in the centrally located to what I knew. Tiny but ornate office and no complimentary continental breakfast. I went back to the Best Western motel I had been using the day before for their internet.

I called the mechanic, Jess, at about 8:30. He would be over to the motel as soon as he was done dropping his daughter off at school. I asked the male motel manager where would be a good place for us to work on my bicycle. He pointed out two places in the motel parking lot.

When Jess arrived, I took my wheels off my bike. Jess used his tools to take my wheels apart and grease the bearings. He said the bearings did not need to be replaced. That was a surprise. The rear wheel was still true. That was really a surprise. The XtraCycle was the only thing that could explain my rear wheel being in such good shape. I traveled over 1,000 miles on my bicycle without changing the rear wheel or even breaking a spoke. And that was in spite of the rear wheel being out of round from riding with broken and missing spokes.

To explain; when something is not as it should be, like when you have a damaged arm or leg, you compensate. Another part takes most of the load and that part gets sore and worn because you are out of balance. When an inanimate object is missing parts but made to compensate, things also get worn out quickly but they do not heal or recover. My rear wheel went from being round to slightly egg shaped at best a while back because I rode on it without all the spokes and the load on my bike is heavy – 350 pounds of me and gear including the bike itself.

Anyways, we finished tuning up my bike as best we could and went to his house for something. He asked if there was anything else he could do. I asked if I could get a ride part way to Austin to make up the time I lost working on the bike. Much appreciated bike tuning but now I was behind time getting to Austin for my agreed upon meeting with my CouchSurfing guy, Jason. Jess's wife gave me a loaf of pumpkin bread, a big, heavy loaf of homemade pumpkin bread, the good stuff. Smile

Jess and I went to the coffee shop to get one for the road and meet a few of his friends, thank you Jess. They took pictures. They were going all the way into Austin. Smile Jess and I said our goodbyes and traded me off to... I got her card somewhere. :/

They dropped me off at the VA clinic we passed on the way in. It is at Oltorf and Interstate 35. It was Veteran's Day. They were closed in observance of the holiday. I called Jason, my CouchSurfing guy and asked what he wanted to do considering I was a day early getting into Austin. I could stay someplace else for the night or I could come in a day early. He said come in a day early. I rode into downtown Austin.

Just before I crossed the bridge into downtown, I got a flat tire. My luck finally caught up with me. Smile Why is it almost always the rear tire? When I was changing the tire I noticed one of the supports on the XtraCycle had been welded and the weld was broke. The weld was poorly done, that was easy to see. Doug did the weld. Why did he do a poor job? That was not easy to understand. I had to fix it. But, for now, I walked my bike. Sad

I walked to the bank to replace that part of my missing wallet. They were closed for Veteran's day too. I stopped off at REI.com, the sporting goods store. I traded two broken things for new ones; my emergency flashlight and my camelback water bladder. Whole Foods organic market (their global headquarters) was across the street. Jason lives a block away from REI and Whole Foods. I felt bad about not buying a gift of food to Jason but consoled myself with the pumpkin bread, homemade is better than store bought.

Jason recently toured Europe and South Africa for 7 months! He planned to only spend 3 months but made enough money to stay longer. South Africa was only to see the Olympics. Kevin, Jason's house-mate, is a web designer setting up a tea selling website. As one might guess, Kevin is a big fan of tea. I was invited to a CouchSurfing social event at their house the next day, a free beer and WIFI event. I stayed up with them talking and catching up on my blog with this document to be posted when I got caught up. But it's been over a week and I am falling behind instead of catching up. Sad

The next day, I raced over to the banks, Bank of America and Wells Fargo, mine and Carole's, my ex-wife, to replace my cards. I raced back to Jason's house for the free beer and WIFI. Only one woman showed up, they only gave the Austin CouchSurfing crowd a few hours advance notice. Better planning next time. :/ That was Friday.

I went to REI a third time, I kept on forgetting something. I needed to make a replacement strap for the one I left outside of Stanton, TX. They had fluorescent yellow straps, I said I hoped they glowed in the dark. Smile OK, now I had gotten everything from REI I had been holding out for. Too bad I couldn't afford much at Whole Foods.

I didn't do much for an hour or two then I rode over to Austin Yellow Bike to see if they had any resources to repair my XtraCycle. I never had a clue how to get to Austin Yellow Bike, not when I was in Austin back in February, not now. I got lost often but I managed to get there... in the dark, riding in the rain for half an hour. Smile I was afraid they closed for bad weather but they were open. Smile
Smile

I tried to keep my back to the wall. I wanted guidance welding my XtraCycle,not a conversation about the sign on my back. I got both; Go to Eastside PedalPushers (Eastside? That was the last person I met leaving Austin in February!) and talk with Chelo, he can weld. And I started the conversation with two other people standing in line. Shawn is studying Chinese medicine, half way through her three year course. I don't remember much about the guy but he didn't email me and she did.

I called Francis, remember Francis? I rode over there and visited. Hiro was there too, so were David, Ryan and Rocky. Rocky is new to me. Everything is a blur, it's been about a week. Anyways, I visited, we talked about the good old days a year ago. Finally, we said our goodbyes and I rode back to Jason's to sleep.

In the morning, I called Eastside Pedalpushers and then rode over there, Lee, the owner was there. He's the guy I met on my way out of Austin the first time around. I talked with him a bit then talked with Chelo. He was too busy but gave me the phone number of Scott, another welder, more welders if I could not get a hold of Scott. I did, we met that night, Scott could do the job even for the $12 dollars I had. Scott was on a cross country bike tour last year. He wishes he could have stayed forever on the road. Scott gave me a loaner bike, one he made himself, don't hurt it.

OK, I give up; I can't remember how I possibly managed to cram all those events it the few days I was there. I went to the Baha'i Center too, on Sunday. I had to wait until Tuesday for Scott to fix my bike because there was no way my elongated bike was fitting in the car he borrowed. He had to ask a welder friend to pick him up with their truck and drive the 15 – 20 miles out to the shop Scott uses. Scott and I got along well. I did what I could to pay for his work. I washed a pile of dishes. He offered me all the hospitality he wished for when he was on the road. I asked Scott if I could sleep at his house Monday night because I only contracted with Jason to stay until Monday and I could leave directly from Scott's house. Yes, no problem.

Scott invited me to either go to a party or go to the Blacksmithing competition. We went to both with Daniel (Dan-yell) and her friend Sasha. I met lots of people in Austin. I recognized many people from a year ago; on the streets or in stores. I thanked Scott, I told him I felt my thanks was inadequate. I left using Highway 71 to Bastrop.

I called Bill Gilstrap, a man I met in Bastrop the first time through. He told me weeks ago he had a place I could stay for a few days. I gave him an ETA then I called him back – I thought Bastrop was further away and the wind was pushing me. I stopped at the Austin Buddhist Center and said hello. The monk I met a year ago was off gallivanting in California. I continued on to Bastrop. When I got nearby, I called Bill. He told me the church he now lives at was another nine miles out of town. He is staff at a homeless shelter the church runs.

I rolled into their parking lot and said hello to Bill. He introduced me to a few people and helped me get settled in. I was supposed to get moved the next day to a place out in the woods called 'Seeds'. I was advised to get a ride, lots of hills and 15 miles of road. Getting a ride that day did not happen. I got to meet more people and went to two or three bible study classes while I waited.

The next day I got moved to Seeds and met Jimmy, the guy living and working out there. The day after I moved to Seeds the Pastor and a pack of homeless people. We were all going to clear an area out for a church event at Christmas. We pulled together fallen trees and underbrush and garbage into a bonfire. That was yesterday. Today, I helped Jimmy clear more brush around the church's land. Tomorrow, we go to church. I hope to post this update on my blog.

November 23rd, 2010
I was waiting in Bastrop for food stamps, they were denied; my Minneapolis food stamps are still showing as active. I left Bastrop this morning, on my way to the Gulf Coast and Key West!

November 25th, 2010
I rode along Highway 71 to Columbus, TX; East along Interstate 10. Just before Sealy I was almost dead; a sports car in the far lane (two lanes each direction) drove through several metal fence posts. That was a 40 feet back from me. Everybody swerved to avoid the careening car falling apart, into the innocent bicyclist (working on my bike) and his fashion-challenged bike. I decided to get out of the way of my bicycles' noble suicide. The cars stopped a few feet from the bike. I swear, the cars headlights were wide-eyed.

The driver of the black sports car was unharmed. A sincerely Happy Thanksgiving!
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Re: My Journey - November 2010

Post  ChasingSanity on Fri Nov 26, 2010 10:53 am

November, 26, 2010
OK, a short note; I was riding along Interstate 10 hunting for a free shower (ironic that it was raining) when a guy in a pickup truck asked me if I wanted a beer. I said "Sure, but I really want a shower." After a while of talking he and his girlfriend (Chris and Marleen) took me to their house. I got my shower, some good home cookin', used their clothes washer and dryer AND stay the night warm and dry while it rained outside and temperatures dropped to 45 Fahrenheit. I even got to socialize and came to realize the importance of rooting for the American Football team that the pickup truck driver was rooting for; he was giving me a ride back to Interstate 10 in the morning. Smile

Morning came, he me a pair of winter gloves, we dropped me off at the gas station in the morning. I waited to put my new gloves on until I could dry my cold, wet hands off. I stopped at a Subway restaurant and asked to dry my hands. The guy working there asked me if I wanted anything else. I told him I could not afford anything else. He offered coffee for free. A customer standing behind me asked me what I wished I could buy. That was Miguel and his girlfriend / best friend, Vanessa. I said I would love a foot long tuna fish on 9 grain honey wheat with olive oil and vinegar and all the veggies. Smile Smile Smile We talked for while, I gave them my contact info. I wrote down their names and those of Chris and Marleen so I could share with you all.

I rode on. I thought, I have hot coffee, good food to eat, my health and my bike is healthy too, what more could I want? Smile I pulled over to a shopping mall chasing after the library sign (free WIFI). Panera Bread is next door?! But I have food already... Smile The library was closed until later on in the day. Panera Bread it is. OMG, MY LAPTOP IS not IN MY BACKPACK!!! Rewind... It is at Chris and Melissa's house. Where is that? What are their last names? Can I remember the route he took to drop me off at the gas station? What's the phone number to the gas Station? I could not remember the name or brand or intersection of the gas station. I rode back, against the wind. Ironic, eh? I wanted my laptop - a self-fulfilling prophesy. :/

I stopped along the way asking for help getting the phone number of the gas station to check if Chris or Melissa left their number or my laptop at the gas station. No luck, no clue; gas stations change hands so often and nobody pays attention. I rode there, no phone number, no laptop. Sad I rode back part way along the path Chris took to get me to the gas station. Wait, Melissa works at a BBQ restaurant and Chris works at a paint manufacturer... I stopped at Nelson's Nursery and Garden Supply. I asked them if they knew the names of the companies Chris or Melissa worked at so I could call them. YES! The only BBQ in the area "Midway BBQ" in Katy has a "Melissa" working there and she is there now! Melissa called Chris, he drove over and dropped off my beloved tiny laptop. Rescued!

I beat myself up a bunch of times; such a dumb ass for leaving the netbook behind. Now that I have it back I am working on not beating myself up anymore. Smile I am back at Panera Bread and the winds are with me. Smile Time to go!
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Re: My Journey - November 2010

Post  ChasingSanity on Sat Nov 27, 2010 9:58 pm

November 27th, 2010
I camped last night behind a church. I called them, left a message asking permission and leaving my phone number. That counts as permission, yes? I hope so. It got below freezing last night. I was warm as long as I was in my sleeping bag, inside my tent, with my warmest clothes on. I managed to pack up with little use of my fingers and I rode on.

I was riding through Houston, it's a lot bigger than it looks on the map. I got all the way from Just north of Sugarland to the Fort Bend Tollway. I noticed a bump in my ride, often a rock but sometimes more serious, I checked; more serious. My front tire had an aneurism. (OMG I spelled that right?!) I walked my bike over to the first business I thought might have a phone book or internet access; Firestone Tires; phone book. I called the closest bike shop, I just left there (schmoozing). “Hi Camille, Ijust left there an hour ago, I am the biketoaustralia guy. Do you sell any used tires for mountain bikes?” Don't sell used but Bike Route bike shop might?” I called Bike Route. I told the guy there my situation, my front tire just got this bulge. You can help but it is six miles to your shop? I can walk that in... 2 hours. I can be there before you close. Bye!” Six miles walk back the way I came. Sad

I walked about four of the six miles, to Austin Boulevard, when my front tire went out with a bang. I was closing in on Spring Creek Barbeque , two police officers were walking in when my tire went off like a gun. But, apparently, they did not hear it. As I pushed my bike along, now with a flat tire, I thought of things to smile about; My tire went out with a bang but did not even leave a suicide note; after all we've been through together.

Lexington is the street I turn left at, Lexington. Lexington. I prayed, I chanted, mantras. I met a very attractive lady picking pecans off the sidewalk – pecans are native to the area. She is a massuesse waiting for her next client to arrive. I trudged on. I met an oriental couple, also picking pecans. I traded stories with them, my experiences bike touring, their stories about living in China. Lexington was the next stop light.

I turned left, looked around and called the Bike Route bike shop for directions. Lady answers the phone; it's the next street PAST Lexington with more details reiterated that I recognized hearing from the first time but were now pertinent. :blushes:

I get there, I meet Jeff, very outgoing guy, who is the one I first talked with. He rides his bicycle to nearby races, some of them 100 miles away, races the next day, sometimes 100 miles then rides back home. Yes, that is 300 miles in 3 days! He wins a lot of those races.

So,told him I had very little money, maybe 8 dollars and a whole bunch of time. I could work my butt off. I would mention his shop in my blog. I did not have a lot of ways to pay him. He said “I will buy the tire for you. I think what you are doing is pretty neat. Is there anything else you need?” I asked if he knew where I could camp out for the night free; park or church. He said I could stay at his place if I was not committed to camping outside. Last night was below freezing and rain was in the forecast for the next few days. Camping outside, in a city, is over-rated. Smile

Jeff and I are getting along well. Some views on life are exclusive to a specific experience. We talked about homemade clothing and food we came up with especially for long distance riding.
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Re: My Journey - November 2010

Post  WayPastFast on Mon Nov 29, 2010 5:08 pm

You left your razor in my bathroom.
At least it wasn't your laptop.
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Re: My Journey - November 2010

Post  ChasingSanity on Wed Dec 01, 2010 2:17 pm

Yep Jeff, I grumbled about losing the pain killer travel case I use for carrying my razor blade. But, that's only one blade, I have a bunch. It's the case I loved. :waves: G'bye my love! Smile

In Dickenson, TX, I heard about a man, john Eiler,who has ridden his bike 84,000 miles. He has a record in Pennsylvania. He is 98 years old now. I have not found confirmation on the internet.
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Re: My Journey - November 2010

Post  ChasingSanity on Wed Dec 01, 2010 2:23 pm

November 28th, 2010
In the morning, he dropped me off at the Houston Baha'i Center. The Baha'i Center was getting renovated. By the way it looked inside, I figured it might be closed for the duration. I was getting on my bike to ride on when people started parking in front of the building. Smile I got to socialize with more Baha'is and learn more about this religion I choose. After Devotions, we went to someone's house for lunch. I got to socialize more AND food, good food to eat? Oh yeah!

I got up that morning before 7AM, finished services at noon and left the home of... whoof, what was his name? There were 15 people there and I am challenged remembering one person's name. Anyways, I left them at 3:30PM. Getting through Houston, into Galveston, to the Gulf Coast roads was not going to happen. I started looking for a church to camp at. By 5PM, it was dark. Houston's streetts don't allow mych room for a bicyclist, let alone my fat bike. :/

I found a church at Arizona and Howard, at least, I think those were the crossroads. There was no number ot call the Pastor. I called Jeff and asked him if he could look up the number for the Pastor. Jeff did say call him if I needed anything. He got it, I called and called. I worried about police coming in the middle of the night to evict me and thiefs or thugs. Only the wind and people walking nearby woke me up or kept me from sleeping. I kept checking the time.

I started packing at 4:30AM. My compass was broke! I check it every morning to see if the polarity had reversed – the north pointing indicator points south. Today, the swinging indicator was not swinging. I use that compass a lot. I would have to work harder to keep from getting lost. But, I am close to the coast and keeping it on my right will keep me on the right path. Let us pray.

REI.com is not in Houston for me to trade this broken compass for a new one. Sad Well, there are a lot of scrap yards here in Houston for me to sell the copper I found. I went to a grocery store to weigh my copper. It weighs a lot less than I hoped. Sad I am always thinking I have more good and less bad than I actually do.

I am in Galveston now, fill in later, got to run.
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