Andrew, my CouchSurfing host with whom I stayed the night, turned out to be an AMAZING cook. He made me lovely dinner and fed me loads of ice-cream. We spent the evening talking and chicken-watching (it’s a thing!). The departure come, he sends me off with a goodie bag full of food. He’s now going down in history as my food sponsor. LOL!
The road today is rather uneventful, apart for the fact that I come across another SOLE FEMALE cyclist! Third one in 8-weeks’ worth of cycling! Just when I was beginning to lose faith.
I stop for lunch in a town called Twin Bridges and it’s The Shack restaurant that agrees to feed my belly: not even with their unsold items but with anything from their yummy buffet. After I get food-pregnant and am ready to leave, a travelling couple comes up to enquire about my trip. They then offer to fill my panniers with whatever food I am able to squeeze in. Yay!
By the time I hit the next town, Sheridan, I get a horrible headache. Must be the heat (again). I stop at an air-conditioned gas station to cool down and charge my phone. Oups. Turns out my charger stayed plugged into a wall at The Shack. I need to hitch a ride to get it back for without my phone I am dead. A gas station client overhears my swearing and cursing and kindly offers a lift, as he lives in Twin Bridges, and so I jump at the offer.
Back at the restaurant, it turns out it has already closed. Fuuuuuuuuuuuck. Now what? Wayne, the driver, suggests we swing by where the staff live to see if they’d be able to get in and recover my charger. Of course, on a sunny Sunday afternoon nobody’s home so too bad for me, I guess… Wayne doesn’t give up and drives up to his place: after several moments inside, he comes out with a replacement charger compatible with my phone and tells me to take it. I AM SAVED!!! He gives me a lift back to Sheridan and I am able to ride on.
Motivated to catch up with my cycling pal Allen, I am all up for cycling all the way to Virginia City tonight. Except that a storm is brewing and when I get to Alder, the sky cracks open. Funny as it is, I happen to stop in front of, believe it or not, The Chick’s Bar. Destiny?
I start chatting up to some real-life cowboys hanging on the porch and one of them, Mike, offers to put me up for the night. He says to come inside for a drink first and so, happily, I follow. The owner, Randy, is delighted to have a genuine CHICK stop by and asks me to sign a one dollar bill and stick it to the ceiling. Fame: here I come! LOL.
One beer later, Mike takes me over to his place and puts me up in his shop. Once I’ve had my shower and look like a human being again, we start talking and he cannot believe I’m travelling without money. He gives me all he has on him, which is $25, and tells me to get myself a burger. I say I don’t need it but he insists. When I say I’ll take the money to put it in my fundraiser, he starts yelling at me:
“Get yourself a FUCKING BURGER, I say.”
“Okay, okay, I will, I promise.”
“Pinkie swear me on it.”
“Okay, okay, I swear.”
He sends me back to the bar and so I go, for otherwise I’ll get scolded at again. I get the 5-dollar burger he told me to get and start chatting with Randy about my trip.
When it’s time to pay, it feels really bizarre for I have not used ANY money in almost 2 months! I ask Randy how much would Mike tip, for it’s him who’s buying me dinner, and Randy takes my 5 dollars and gives me back… 40! SIC! He’s basically paying me for having eaten at his place.
5 dollars a bite, if anyone’s counting.
Crazy. Random. Generous. The money, obviously, is going into my fundraiser.