I am writing to you from the comforts of my hammock right now by a lake I don’t know the name of. We are somewhere within a twenty mile radius of Lawton, Oklahoma if that helps. If I knew more about where I was I would be happy to fill you in but we may or may not have become a little lost today when we were looking for our destination. Quick note about hammocks: laying in a nylon-camping style one is very much like being a caterpillar in a cocoon. Except when Max and I come out of ours we will still be covered in dirt and dried sweat. Anyway, here is what we have been up to the last couple of days.
Yesterday we rode to Altus, Oklahoma. That is AL-tus not all-tus. Soft A’s don’t exist in this part of the country apparently. We tagged up (in chalk) a church sidewalk with some Donate Life propaganda, gave one of the local kids in Duke, Oklahoma some Donate Life wristbands (by some I mean around 13 because no one else will take them), peed on myself and played proctologist. Because I am sure you are dying to know how I urinated on myself I will go ahead and enlighten you. As I mentioned before, headwinds suck. When you primarily empty your bladder on the side of the highway where the headwind is occurring, it can be especially problematic. You can’t go directly into the wind because it will just blow back at you. You can’t do a 180 because then you are just baring all for oncoming traffic. I thought the best solution would be to turn 90 degrees. That way I could avoid the headwind while still retaining my modesty. This only led to the wind blowing everything onto my right leg. After dealing with all this wind for the past week, I can see why the whole Dust Bowl thing caused some people an inconvenience. Henry Fonda, my heart goes out to you and your family (if you don’t get that joke then you didn’t have a mom that forced you to watch black and white movies when you were growing up). As far as the proctology clinical goes, I will say this: the phenomenon of chaffing took my friendship with Max to new heights yesterday. We are better friends now because of it.
Today we went from Altus to the current unknown destination. We were intending on going to camp in the Wichita Wildlife Refuge however, some spokes broke on my bike after around 35 miles of riding today. The nearest bike shop was in Lawton which was around 10 miles away so we started walking and stuck our thumbs out hoping someone would pick us up. A couple of nice farmers picked us up but we had to ride in the bed of their truck. While not particularly safe, it was definitely more efficient time-wise. We kept our helmets on in the back of the truck to compensate for being unrestrained passengers in the bed of a speeding truck. I am pretty sure those biking helmets work up to speeds of 80 MPH so we would have been fine even if anything happened.
We got dropped off at the bike shop and I got everything squared away with my bike. We talked to some of the people there who recommended some different camping spots and also helped us map our route a little better so we could get to Norman tomorrow. The bike messiah who fixed my biked (I call him the bike messiah because he had a beard that made him look like a biblical figure) also helped adjust my bike cleats. I have been having some knee pain on my right side from what I suspected was me improperly adjusting the cleats but the bike messiah moved them about half and inch and PRESTO, no more pain. Who knew half an inch could feel so great?
So we headed out on the road to go to the camping grounds only to find that the road was closed with signs that said, “No Trespassing.” We figured this was an obvious indicator that no trespassing would be tolerated in that area so we decided to look for another campground. This turned into us biking around two miles on an unpaved road in the dark then walking through thick over brush before we realized we were not at a campground. We eventually found one though so all is well and we are alive another day.
It finally hit me today that we are quite a ways away from the Shire. Whenever we tell people we left from Phoenix their eyes widen and they give us a look like there is something wrong with us. So that’s fun.
“But I tried didn’t I? God damnit at least I did that.”
- Randle Patrick McMurphy