Thursday, July 13, 2006

Day 53: Part 2

Wanda, Janine, and I chatted a bit. Wanda said that the cat would be OK since she already had a mother cat who was nursing. Wanda is half Cherokee and from the west coast. She just opened the diner, and things were going well. We traded contact info as I paid for the meal and thanked her profusely. That's her above in the storeroom of the building with the new family member.

As I passed the Subway on my way out of town, I spotted another bicycle there and went in to greet the rider. Turns out, this one was going my way! Dave is from Pittsburg, PA where he just graduated from Carngie Mellon. We agreed to head to the town of Bendavis for the night.

Now, Bendavis is literally about three homes and a convenience store, behind which cyclists can camp. The store was closed by the time Dave and I waded through the rain to get there, so I knocked on a neighbor's door to make sure it was OK. The neighbor, Ron Smyres, said we could camp in his yard. Great! As Dave and I set up the tents, Ron came out saying that if we'd like a hot shower we could help ourselves to the trailer in the back. Even better!! Later, when the sky started looking very Wicked-Witch-of-the-East-ish, Ron said it'd be OK for us to sleep in the trailer for the night. Wow!!!

The trailer was a double-wide and very nicely appointed. Beds made, showers clean, towels ready. I suppose Mr. and Mrs. Smyres keep it so for visitors. It was infinitely preferable than staying in the storm. Dave had ridden through the thickest part of the storm earlier during the day while I was taking care of kitty, and neither of was was eager to be carried away in a flood. I heard some locals mentioning over five inches of rain in two days. Thank you very much Mr. Smyres.

As I lay in my sleeping bag that night, the image of the cat between the wheels of the truck kept replaying itself through my head. I didn't sleep well.


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