I am ready to hit the road when I notice that my rear tyre is totally cooked: the CAP-ply is showing through. I have never seen my wheels in such a state despite having done several long-distance runs in the past. The problem is that the inner tube is barely protected and I can easily get a flat tyre. Again, images of me and my bicycle crashing on a downhill ride, with my jaw going to the right and my teeth to the left side of the road, come flooding in.
Luckily, two bike-savvy ladies staying at the Spoke’n Hostel take some time to help me out. They switch the tyres (front to back) so that I can squeeze some extra kilometres out of them before they completely disintegrate. I AM SOOO HAPPY AND SOOO GRATEFUL. They saved me half-a-day of crying by the side of the road trying to fix the thing (and failing). I can set off now, determined to get as much mileage out of the wheels as possible.
It is HOT out there. I am in the high desert and I can definitely feel it. The scenery has now changed from the green cool to the hot dry. Bones and carcasses start showing up along the road. It’s ranches all around: it’s the Wild Wild West.
I get to Dayville and run into a tandem touring couple that I have come across a couple of hours earlier. Bob and Brenda invite me to dinner and we exchange our respective cycling stories. They have 7 tandem bikes, calves of steel and are simply ravaging those kilometres!
Dinner out of the way, I suddenly feel sooo tired and sooo weak. I was hoping to get to John Day today but this is definitely not happening. I stop in a driveway of what seems to be the real-life Little House on the Prairie when a REAL-LIFE cowgirl shows up on her horse. It’s Jan: she’s badass and she’s sooo cool!!! She lets me camp on her land, play with her lovely dogs and has me drink a litre of the best beer ever. I’m good for bed.