July 7, 2006
Okay… imagine yourself out in the middle of the ocean… in a paddle boat. If you’re not from Allentown and have never been to Mayfair, or simply don’t know what a paddle boat is, it’s one of those plastic boats where you sit back and pedal it like a bicycle to move through the water, with a lever to turn the rudder.
So now you’re on the ocean in your paddle boat. Go ahead and paddle for five and a half hours, and look at all that interesting scenery over the ocean. That’s what I did today.
I made the most out of my motel stay this morning, lounging around until I had to check out at 11am. Last night I fell asleep with the TV on, and woke today to the ending of Titanic on cable. Nothin’ like a little Celine Dion to start the day on the right foot…
Then for the next hour I watched President Bush talk his way through a live press conference in Chicago. I’m suddenly worried, and will have to keep my eyes open for terrorists today. I must maintain my vigilance throughout every corner of our homeland. Amen.
When the housekeeper got inpatient at around 10:50 I checked out and hit up the small adjacent diner for some big ol’ pancakes and coffee. Then I went to the library and updated this journal. Fearing an imminent North Korean missile strike, I thought I’d better get out of town, where I wouldn’t be a target. By now the time was at fourteen hundred hours.
The wind was out of the south/southwest, at something like a steady 250-300 mph. There’s still a whole lot of nothing out here, as I must have stated somewhere previously… inspiring the ocean analogy. Maybe the highlight of my day was when I turned on the radio, and the first song I heard was Red Rubber Ball, the oldie tune by Cyrkle. I probably hadn’t heard that song for ten years.
Day after day I keep hearing cool songs, and tell myself I’ll list them in the journal so we can have a fun little soundtrack for my progress, but then I hear so many, so I forget all of them. They’re all mostly classic rock standards and oldies. Let’s see… deep purple – smoke on the water, freeebird, numerous beatles, manfred mann – blinded by the light, jim croce – i got a name, billy squier – stroke me, coldplay clocks, green day, turtles – happy together, johnny rivers, wilson pickett, stones – paint it black mothers little helper beast of burden, jackson browne – doctor my eyes, grand funk railroad, franky valli, journey – wheel in the sky, neil young – southern man, peter gabriel – solsbury hill, steelers wheels – stuck in the middle with you, free – alright now, carly simon – you’re so vain, etc. etc. you get the idea. All the classic hits through southwest Kansas and the panhandles!
My musical enjoyment through the windy flat nothingness was interrupted by three total towns today. This morning I was in Ness City. I had a lunch of two hot dogs and 40 ounces of Coke outside a gas station in Dighton, and tonight I’m in Scott City. Three towns among the fields over the course of 60 miles. In Dighton I met Rob, from Stafford England. He’s going in the same direction as me, but he wanted to stay in town because he’d had enough of the wind for one day. I tried to talk him into moving on to Scott City with me, and we could draft off of each other, but he didn’t think he could make it. Oh well, he may catch me tomorrow.
In Scott City tonight I’m staying at the town park. For dinner I had two bags of Lipton chicken flavored rice, and a can of Hormel chicken. It was tasty. The picnic table I’m sleeping on is wooden and painted red, if for some reason you find that the least bit interesting. The local populace is fortunate that I’m mindful enough to monitor any suspicious terrorist activity that may go on here overnight.
Life is good.