The beds at Neal's were a five thousand dollar scratch lottery ticket, the present you didn't expect, a piping cup of coffee brought to you by the park ranger at 7 am. Ten pillows, five blankets, a mattress that fits each ache and pain. When I finally climbed out, there was coffee already hot. We had another breakfast of fresh eggs. This trip has changed the way I look at food. More on that later.
We decided to meet Becca at the local bike shop, and in the mile and a half there, I got my second flat. But George's took care of me, showed me some goats head. The mechanic, cute blonde young guy with an arm in a sling, told me my tube had been folded over. It had been losing air quickly. It survived over a thousand miles like that, surprisingly. Reminder to check next time I leave on a trip like this.
Met Rachel next door and bought a blackberry scone and with blackberries sweet, smashed and concentrated in the center, it was the best pastry I've had since those $1 boysenberry? scones in Portland (every Wednesday morning when I interned at The Oregonian).
After Becca arrived, a couple walked in in spandex and asked about ours bikes. Last summer, they biked across the country with their two daughters, from Maine to Oregon. The lady reminded me of Kim, a family friend, warm, sarcastic, and sharp. We might stay with them on Wednesday night.
The three of us drove to the farmers market. The first was a bust but the second was alright. Saw Ron from the orchard again. With the market closing up, he gave us the rest of their tasting chips. I bought some goat cheese and got half a tub of Herb du Provence (their tasting tub) for free. We cleaned out the cheese on dried apple chips from the Kelleys before we reached the Salmon brewery in McCall. Their beer was just alright; 10 Barrel had a much better IPA. The fish tacos were good though.
Becca and Forest are watching his parent's place, a wood cabin in the mountains with ten acres of forest, desert and farm. Apparently Forest's dad mail ordered the cabin. You can do that? One of their goats, about to give birth, was mauled and killed by a bear last week. But this cabin, it's so full of life. There's jars and boxes and food and dust stacked everywhere. No septic, just an outhouse attached to the house. Fresh eggs every morning. Rabbits for stew and for compost. Rows of vegetables and inside baby seedlings are nurtured under hot lamps before the soil. In the same room, a mouse took its last breath in a mousetrap, smushed in half.
We got in around 7 or something, sat around the kitchen table for a good while. Elk that Forest killed and some stirfry for bellies that weren't quite hungry yet. Never had elk before. Went to bed full, in a cold room that made sleep easy.