Location: Richland, OR (City Park)
I didn’t sleep well at the RV Park. A security light shined on my tent, illuminating it through the entire night. Also, the interstate traffic kept me awake. Since I was restless through the night, I tried to get an extra hour of sleep this morning. It didn’t take. RVs and trucks revving their engines to head out on the road again forced me out of my sleeping bag and into the cool morning.
Brian and I went downtown to the library to update the website and write the article for the Topsail Voice. We spent about two hours at the computers, completing almost all the tasks that we needed to complete. We still need to send receipts to all our donors. The tax laws don’t require it, but we will do it anyway.
After the library, Brian and I went to the sporting goods store so I could get a spare tube for the tire I popped yesterday. Good thing, too, because when I coasted into town today, I found that the new tube I installed yesterday was losing pressure. Because of the flat, Brian and I decided to stop our day at a short forty-one miles. The terrain wasn’t too bad today. There were only a few sizeable climbs and the temperatures weren’t too high. The ride was through the desert, and around three o’clock, we stopped in the shade of a tiny tree on the side of the road to have a snack and a rest. As we sat with our backs to the road, we heard the dreaded sound of a deflating tire, like that of a balloon losing air. Brian’s rear tire, the one he’s been having so much trouble with, spontaneously burst as his bike lay on the side of the road. With some difficulty and a couple bloody knuckles, he changed the tube in about a half an hour in the hot desert sun. We pushed along the remaining twenty miles to Richland, where I found my tire to have also popped. We’re having a string of bad luck on tubes and tires.
We have made camp in a pavilion at the city park. There is a covered area with picnic tables, and Brian and I have laid out our sleeping bags on the tables. Hopefully, being off the ground will keep us away from all the bugs that are in this place. We could have set up our tents on the grass, but the grass is green and lush, and in the desert, green grass means sprinklers, which usually run their cycle at dawn. We didn’t see any sprinkler heads, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there, hidden somewhere in the grass or along the fences of the park. We figured it was safer to sleep here in the cemented area, though it’s not totally invulnerable to a long range sprinkler.
Anyway, tomorrow we ride to Idaho, and I can’t wait to see what the next state has in store for us. We hope the tubes we replaced tonight will hold up through a long day tomorrow, because we are out of replacement tubes and the nearest bike shop in over one hundred miles east of here.