Day 2: Long Dog Walk
6am came early. I pedaled off in the rain. After a short time at the local coffee conglomerate, I started rolling towards the town of Alpine. It was about 14 miles from Lakeside, uphill. Jo walked most of it. We found a really cool house along the way. An earthship? No one was home, so we both pee’d in the yard.
And we stopped and chatted with a young girl and her father out in front of an old market. She loves puppies.
Once in Alpine, I patrolled the aisles at Riteaid and grabbed something for my cold, and allergies, and a few other supplies; like spicy seasoned beef crumbles. I’m sure those will be delicious.
The Girl Scouts were out front selling cookies. I’m an easy sell. I had asked them if they would keep an eye on Shoeless Jo for me while I shopped. They were happy to. I sang them “if you’re happy and you know it…” And one of them clapped. The other Scouts weren’t sure what to think of me.
Of the 28.71 miles I road today, Jo walked nearly two thirds of it. And about four miles of the distance was on the freeway.
After grabbing an afternoon coffee at a roadside restaurant out in the country, I rode off with only seven miles to go.
I saw this man on the highway, pedaling in the opposite direction. We were out in the sticks. I was headed to Pine Valley. He was riding an old mountain bike, wearing motocross pants and he had his cotton hoody pulled tight around his face.
A mile up the road, on the uphill, I stopped and shoved some food in my face and gave Jo a #turbopup, a meal in a bar. The man had turned around and caught up to us. We exchanged hellos. He seemed friendly. He was zig zagging on the highway, having fun, and riding on the opposite side of the road, pacing me.
We played leap frog for a few miles. But on the downhill, he flew past me. I caught up to him. He said, “I really want to do what you’re doing”. I replied with a smile, “I don’t know what I’m doing”.
I told him who I was, a lil about Bend, about Operation Box, and how I hope to open more free toy stores. And I told him how a lot of friends have made this journey possible. We talked for awhile while we pedaled together.
When we arrived in Pine Valley, a one horse town, he pointed out the Frosty Burger, a restaurant that was closed, the only hotel, and the fact that he was the also the local sheriff.
He shared what it is like to be a sheriff in a small town on an Indian reservation. He spoke about how people were poor, turning to drugs and drinking. That he was loosing some of his 25-38 year olds to it.
After our chat on the roadside, I pedaled the fifty feet to the hotel. I was just getting off of my bike when Rob walked up to me, handing me a key, he said “heres a key to room ten, it’s paid up until tomorrow”.
What had happened was that, Rob aka Ferndale, was hiking the PCT and injured his foot. His wife drove from Tuscon, fetching him, leaving the room unoccupied. So here I am, it’s about 40 degrees outside. I’m toasty, blessed and grateful on the inside.
And here’s what I consumed today; 2 bananas, a coconut pineapple water, coffee, Straw Propeller Strawberry Oatmeal, 3 Picky Bars, Greek Gyro with fried egg and bacon, another coffee, 1 box of Girl Scout Samoas, microwaved dinner (salisbury steak, potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower) 1 big bag of beef jerky, 4 handfuls of macadamia nuts, 1 cucumber, 1 avocado, 1 bag of chewy green apple licorice.