Today is going to be an easy semi-rest day so we have a long, leisurely morning, sleeping in, grabbing coffee at the continental breakfast and taking our time. I eat coconut milk yogurt that I got at Whole Foods and a mango. Anna and Dan's socks are still wet so they use the hair dryer on them and the locker-room smell worsens significantly. We leave a tip for the cleaning staff because we feel guilty about it, and check out about a minute before we're required to.
Next stop is the bicycle shop across the street--same one Dan got his skewer at on our first travel day. Ben needs new, more robust wheels because the ones that came with his bike are terrible so he buys new wheels here. Anna Faye already has a puncture and a flat rear tire so Travis and Dan help her change her tube outside the shop. She also goes to buy a multi-tool so she doesn't have to keep borrowing one all the time. Repairs and various things take several hours but today we're in no hurry at all. Some people get lunch at Burger King and others eat what we have been carrying around.
We'll meet the trail again in Ashland so we push on that direction, Travis getting directions on his 'droid that take us off the main road onto quiet neighborhood roads. There are lakes, baby geese, cute houses, everything green and humid as ever. We cross railroad tracks a few times and ride parallel to them for a while into Ashland. A cargo train passes behind us and we stop to watch it because I love trains and Anna Faye loves the graffiti on the cars. A couple older cyclists, I'd say in their 70s, see us and chat for a while. They're locals just out for a leisurely spin. He tells this story about a Korean Doctor who decided to cycle from New York to San Francisco on a junky, broken mountain bike with one water bottle, one light, and a broken cycle computer. He met him somewhere along the way and brought him to a bike store to get him outfitted better. Apparently he made it, so I have high hopes for us.
We have a reservation at the Apple Garden Inn in Ashland. It's one of those cheap motels that has people who live here more or less permanently on the rear side of the building. Half of them just sit in chairs outside their doors and stare at the world, doing nothing. We pile into a room and instantly fill every corner with stuff. It smells a bit like cigarettes in here but at least we don't stink it up again. We watch the weather channel for a while--should be sunny tomorrow! then Anna Faye and I take a nap while the others walk a little ways to a coin laundry to wash all our stinky/wet/muddy clothes. When they come back, we go out to a grocery store to get food for tomorrow and I eat ham and coconut milk ice cream while the others eat pizza hut pizzas. Anna Faye, Travis, and Ben have fun getting the nectar out of honeysuckles and hunting baby rabbits.
Today is a lazy day so we head back to the motel and get ready for bed. Travis, Dan, and Jenn go out for beers while the rest of us get to sleep. Tomorrow we want to head to a cycling campsite in Mineral, about 45 miles away, and camp there.
Here is your featured cyclist for the day: my sister!
Jennjamin riding Zebra Cake