The story today was the $%@&ing wind, again. We had an uber-steady dead-on headwind of around 25mph, with gusts of up to 50 mph. If this had been any other day back home, we would have called it a day and gone home. However, after being slowed by thorns yesterday, we needed to make up a few miles and get into Pie Town. There is nothing worse than a headwind while biking. Its all you can hear and feel, and there is no escape. We had a brief reprieve from it while on a short section of Route 117, but eventually turned straight into it on Rd 41. The land in this region is devoid of natural wind protection, like trees or brush, so we enjoyed lunch in the only semi-windless spot we could find, some discarded drainage pipes.
To compensate for the excess in wind this land is devoid of any natural water source. Several farmers have granted cyclists access to their water tanks, which are used solely to provide water to their cattle. But we have yet to see a cow with an appreciation for clean water, so we’ve decided to steer clear of these legally drinkable, yet non-potable cesspools. Thankfully, a farmer by the name of John has the right idea, and provides clean, clear well water to passing cyclists for free. He also stocks dysentary medicine for those who couldn’t resist trying the other water. After topping off our bottles and talking with John for a bit, we continued into the wind towards Pie Town. By the time the day was over, we had begun to feel a little bit like Adam Sandler in the Wedding Singer.
Unfortunately, by the time we arrived in Pie Town, the only two restaurants in town were closed and there was no pie to be had. Since there were no hotels in town, we camped under the picnic shelter at the city park, probably our most homeless-type experience to date. We’ve found that throughout the trip, people don’t quite know what to think about us. Occasionally when we pull up to town dirty with our bikes bulging with possessions and ask a local for recommendations on where to stay, we can see them struggling to figure out whether to recommend a hotel or a homeles shelter. In fact, some fellow riders were actually referred to a soup kitchen for a bite to eat. Perhaps the best story we heard was from Ben and Daniel. They overheard a child asking someone why they were carrying all of their stuff on their bikes. The response was classic: “Because they’re poor!”