Last night Chela’s friend Jason and I checked out a show at a local venue, Cat’s Cradle, in Chapel Hill. The act was Langhorne Slim. Three talented musicians and an amped crowd made for an awesome show. I left with satisfaction and clarity. The singer has a great voice, and I really liked a lot of his lyrics: simple, but with good sentiment. It made me want to write more, especially poetry.
After the show I got a good night’s rest. This morning I was treated to a wonderfully filling breakfast at the hotel, courtesy of my host Chela. I took my time eating and getting out of town this morning, planning only to go about 25 miles today and camp around a state park outside Durham on a lake. Funny enough, I didn’t even make it the 25 miles. I maybe got ten in before finding my final destination for the day.
I stopped at one point to talk to a homeless man working an intersection for handouts. He was friendly, seemed a bit unstable, but able to hold a good conversation. He told me the circumstances that led him to his current state- almost everyone in his family had died, the ones left screwed him over on the inheritance money. When he threatened to kill them, they had him committed to a mental institution. I asked him if he had anything he was working towards. He didn’t. An interesting tidbit, though, if it’s true: said he hitchhiked around the country when he was younger and got picked up by Ted Bundy in Colorado and Jeffrey Dahmer, maybe in Wisconsin at some point. Tough to believe, but he insisted it was true.
Soon after that I was in or near downtown Durham. I stopped to make a couple phone calls and ultimately got a slice of pizza. On the way out a woman asked me the obligatory questions required to someone clearly on a bike tour: where you coming from, where you going, the like. She and her husband had done a tandem tour across the country for their honeymoon years back. Well, wanting to pay forward the great hospitality she and her husband received on their tour, Kathy Jo, invited me to stay the night at their place. I told her I wasn’t opposed, but that I was probably going to camp a ways down at a state park. She gave me her number and told me where she lived and we talked a bit. As we talked, some friends of hers passed by, and eventually she told me I should come back to their place so her husband, Kevin, could tell me a good route to get to the park, as the directions I had were not so good. Their friend Mark, whom they are trying to convince to do a bike tour, as he has recently been laid off from his job and has the time and desire to do something like that and expressed interest before but just needs a good kick in the butt to actually do it, came back as well. It turned into some great conversation and a lunch with more pizza and after a few hours it just made sense to stay there for the night.
I worked hard to convince Mark to get on his bike and do a tour and invited him to join me for part of mine. I don’t think he’s going to do it, but maybe I helped give him a bit of a kick to actually getting out there. Kevin and Kathy Jo have been great conversation. They even invited me to dinner at their friends’ house. So what a day! Rode ten miles or so to have lots of great food and to meet some awesome people.
Tomorrow I have no set destination. I figure I’ll just ride as long as I feel like it. While I’m not in any huge rush, I do want to travel more than ten miles tomorrow, and I may just push on to my initial destination, which is about 70 miles. It just depends what time I get started and how I feel.