Friday, September 23, 2011

Biker Bar

September 20: The sound of thunder woke me just as the sky began to show signs of morning light. I hopped to work and broke down my REI Half Dome and retreated into the city park's shelter moments before the rains came. Mel's wife Barbara showed up only minutes later and took me to their home. Blueberry pancakes were on the breakfast menu there and I drowned them in a homemade peach butter Mel described unironically as dee-diddly-delicious. I must say, Flanders would certainly have been quite pleased with the concoction.
I thanked Mel and Barbara and we said our goodbyes. More dull road greeted me as I marched out of Henderson towards Silver City. There is very little to report as far as scenery -although I did see a recently deceased falcon. Not the normal brand of roadkill - raccoons have been the most common lately as I seem to have drifted out of possum land. These morbid markers on my passage are a constant reminder of my own mortality and the need to be vigilant even on these rarely traveled country roads.
I reached Silver City by three, only to discover City Hall was closed for the week. Mayor Quimby must be attending a strippers convention in Vegas.
Unsure what to do I procrastinated while filling my gullet with some flavorful chicken wings at Austin's on the Trail. The pub seemed out of place in the otherwise decrepit village. The Iowa bike culture is responsible for such an incongruous existence. Silver City sits on the Wabash Trace Trail, a rail trail I will be taking tomorrow to the Council Bluffs/Omaha area. Riders flock to the bar's Thursday taco special in such droves that the business is supported almost wholly by their take on that single day of the week. Austin's is also a participant in a state wide biking bar hop. The drunken gaggle of two-wheeled self-propulsionists visit an arranged set of establishments and order a particular cocktail at each. How many days this pilgrimage consumes is no doubt dependent on the tolerance of the individual bicyclist.
None of this information resulted in a bed for the night, so I decided to travel down the Wabash Trace a while, maybe to see if Mineola had anything to offer. On the way I spotted a nice patch of ground which spoke to me, a foul temptress I could not resist. I heeded the call and set up, sat down, and passed out.

15 miles/1770 total miles


Anonymous said...

We have followed your trip with interest!! How much weight have you lost???? How are your feet holding up??? Hang in there!! Peggy & Harlan

Alastair McCandless said...

Lost about thirty pounds I think, but I never weigh myself. Definitely went from a size 38 to 36 waist. Feet are fine, had some shin pain and back spasms of late, but I'm going to rest a while before getting back to training.