Monday, September 8, 2008

Wallingford, CT 9-08-08

Miles since last blog:  81.3

We will call days 5, 6 and 7 the Phoenix. On Day 5 I was a mere 7 miles from my place to stay that night, the front axle on my carrier broke. After a few phone calls I just had to submit to the only choice I had which was to balance it on the back two wheels for the remaining distance. This would have been easy if it had been flat, but it wasn't.

I tried to Jerry-rig a new axle at a local hardware store, but it still wouldn't stay on. Finally I made it to my couchsurfing destination and passed out after doing some work on my laptop. When I woke up on Day 6 my computer no longer worked. This wouldn't bother me in everyday life, but here it meant no navigation, no contact, no blogging, no looking for sponsors, no tracking my movement, etc, you get the picture, I need a computer.

Eventually I got my computer on long enough to get directions to REI so I could get my wheel replaced. Watching the weather after it was talking about the storming conditions we could expect the next day from what used to by Hurricane Hanna. I looked at my notepad I use for navigation, 30 miles. There are times when I feel like there are things actually working against me.

On the morning of Day 7 I had to lay in bed an hour longer than I planned, I couldn't get up. I headed out at about 6am to ensure I could make it to REI before it closed that day. There was no rain. The new jerry-rigged axle seemed to be working. I was moving faster than I had the whole trip. I still had no place to sleep for the night but I was going to reach REI with plenty of time to spare at this rate and I felt pretty good. So, I made a decision. I called the person I was supposed to surf with the next night and asked if I could show up tonight between 10 and 11. He said sure, so I had a place to stay that night. It would mean a total of 54 miles that day.

Immediately after the call, my makeshift axle busted, still 4 miles away. I wheeled it on the back wheels. It hurts, it hurts your hips, your arms, your back and it tires you out. I got to REI and exchanged it. I needed directions to my next destination so I was calling friends and trying to get my computer to work. Eventually, one of them came through.

I surmised that in order to make it there on time I would have to make 4 mph the whole way, 24 more miles. Almost a marathon. So, I started jogging. Between walking and jogging I started to pull ahead of my time and evetually it went from a countdown of miles to a count down of half hour periods.

Around 9 pm I got lost for about 10 minutes and ran out of water. The lead I had built was blown. I went from trying to keep pace, to just trying to keep going by the final 15 minutes. Of course, I made it eventually and it was actually just the sort of day I needed. After problem after problem all week and feeling trounced by this process to come back and destroy 54 miles, 4 of which I had no front wheel on my 90 lbs of crap for, it was empowering. How do you spell man? S K I P, and there may be an M in there somewhere, I can't rememebr I think my body ate my brain.

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