We woke up on a water bed. Not in water but there was like inch of water between the tarp and the bottom of the tent. It was good on the back, but less so on the psyche: wet tents are icky.
We've brushed our teeth in the creepy bathrooms, stomped through some mud, tried to hang the tent to dry and then it started sprinkling so we just toweled it off and packed it in. I took off toward Ligonier for some gas station coffee. I recommend the dark roast. With three of those fake milk caramel-macchiato-flavored packs.
After an hour at the gas station - the longest I've ever spent at a gas station - on the hot pavement making uncomfortable but cheery eye contact with the seven families that pulled up in minivans or pickups,
I decided I should probably start actually bicycling.
I made it like 16 miles before I found a Walmart and wandered inside. Ostensibly I was there to by a slightly more fashionable pair of sunglasses, an eye mask to block out the lightning-to-come but then I spent another hour trying to find dinner, namely baked beans, which were in the frozen meat section. Please explain.
Fortunately for me, today was one of those rare tailwind days and for the first time since leaving the great, empty states of the west, I stuck to highway 6 the whole way. We ended up going 90 miles to Napoleon, a town that's small but not thatttt small, just like its namesake.
I met Rachel at Frosty Boy's, where she'd already chatted up the owners and was chowin' down on some dairy because she is a good American. I can't eat dairy and always kind of feel like I can't contribute to the economic recovery. Lucky for our nation, they had Dole, a dairy-free orange creamsicle inside a swirly machine, so I stood behind a bunch of dads and then delighted in the glory of its cold, granular imitation. They're getting there with these ice cream facsimiles.
Speaking of dad's, shoutout to ours! Thanks for kicking my toches in the 25-mile rides and also the one 60 mile ride we took before this trip. Without you, I would not be here in Napoleon, celebrating French history on American soil.
The owners of the Frosty Boy let us camp on their property, right behind the store, right next to the graveyard. We invited some ghosts to star gaze and they boohed and ahhed. (jajajaja)
There were actually stars, and for the very first time on this entire trip, we didn't have to use the rain fly. Momentous. The fireworks should've been set off early to celebrate such a rare confluence of luck and weather. It was warm and a little breezy and smelled like fresh cut grass and pavement and that was enough for me to slip off to sleep.