Day 57 Sunday July 17, 2005, 26 miles (42 km) – Total so far: 3,399 miles (5,470 km)
26.2 Miles and 2:40
Around 1am a van pulled up shined their high beams on my tent and a family got out. The woman had a New York accent and she wouldn’t shut up. I wanted to get out of my tent and throw a cycling shoe at her, but it was really my own fault. I should keep a pair of earplugs inside my tent.
I was up around 8 on the bike around 9. Karen left way early; she said she’ll meet us in Ennis. Andy and myself took our time packing up then sat in the store for a while drinking coffee and chatting with the store owner. He told us about the wild fire that was up in the mountains yesterday and said if the wind didn’t change direction and put itself out. It could have really caused a lot of damage.
We rode 11 miles to Ennis it went pretty quick. Matt and Jim were at the diner with Karen. They had spent the night in Ennis, they got an earlier start then I did the day before and was able to beat the winds. Matt said the wind did a complete 180 while he was stopped in Ennis. So he just rode the last 11 miles with a headwind. Matt and Jim went to the local pub and hung out with all the locals. Matt said, they were the heroes of the bar because they were riding cross country and everyone asked them hundreds of questions.
I ate a huge breakfast with Andy. Then we left and rode up the hill. We had to climb an 8 mile hill that had about 2000 feet of elevation gain. The plan was to get over this monster hill and hang out the rest of the day in Virginia City and old country western town.
The hill wasn’t that bad. I climbed steeper and longer hills in Virginia. It looked a lot scarier on the elevation diagram on the back of the map. I actually had a lot of fun climbing the hill. I was ready to climb and had loads of energy. If I could get the hard part of my daily riding, out of the way, early in the day, everyday. Then this bike trip would be a walk in the park. I usually ride hard all day and the last couple of miles always kill me.
When we got to monument ¾ up we hung out for a little while. Then I rode the rest of the way up. It was flat on top for about a mile then it was a steep downhill. I took the downhill slow. I passed an east bounder climbing the hill, he had a bob and it was packed pretty high. He also had a gallon of white gas bungeed to the back of the trailer. I told him he was almost there.
I stopped into the diner where everyone was and grabbed a bite to eat. Our waitress was a scatterbrain and I was starting to get pissed because I was hungry. After lunch I walked around Virginia City. A motorcycle guy came over to talk and he was really interested in my trip. A woman riding east came over she was cool. She was from Westchester and told us about how she rode the Northern Tier last summer.
My goal for the day was to get caught up on my journal and find some internet. I walked around Virginia City looking for a place to setup shop. I went into an ice cream shop and asked a girl working there if she knew of anywhere I could find internet. She told me they have internet in the back of the ice cream place. I went back there and saw they had a wireless router. I went back and asked the girl if it would be alright if I brought in my own laptop. She told me if I could get it to work not to worry about it and she was totally cool.
I bought an ice cream, pulled out my computer and went to town typing away journal entries. I fixed the pictures in the previous days, wrote a few emails and spent a lot of time on Microsoft word. I let everyone use my computer while I was drafting out my daily journal entries. I ordered a sandwich for dinner and just kept plugging away on my computer. I got a lot done and that felt great. I was accomplishing my goal for the day and that felt great.
The girl that told me I could use my computer wasn’t there anymore. When I went up to pay for my sandwich the snotty waitress told me that I have been there for 4.5 hours and I owe her $45 for the internet and $6 for my sandwich. I freaked out because the other girl had me thinking I wasn’t going to get charged for internet as long as I bought some food.
I got really upset and told the waitress that I’m Bicycling across the country and I only spend about $20-25 on daily expenses and I don’t even have $51. I also told her I was typing away on a word document for most of the time I was here. She agreed it was a lot of money and knocked the internet down to $30. I sucked it up and said ‘ugh. Fine whatever’ and I threw my credit card at her. I felt really cheated. If I knew she was going to charge me I would have typed my shit out somewhere else and spent 20 minutes online because technically that’s all I needed. I was so mad. What a scam.
Everyone else checked into the hotel across the street. I was going to go camp somewhere and it was getting late, Matt said I could sneak in, crash on the floor of his room and use the Princess. That made me feels better. I went to the hotel and took a shower. They had really nice soap and towels in the shower. I was all over it. Using a real towel feels so good. I hate my camping towel, its like trying to dry off with a sheet of paper.
We went to the saloon and I watched everyone play poker. I drank a Guinness then I started drinking this beer called ‘Pig’s Ass’ it was really good. The little girl working at the bar told me ‘I really like the Pig’s Ass!’ I drank a few of those and sat talking with Andy after everyone left. They didn’t charge me for most of my beers.
Tomorrow we are riding to Dillon; it should be 70+ miles and is downhill for the first half of the day.