I got a very late start today at around 10. When I woke up at 8 it was in the 30's outside so I decided to let the sun warm things up before heading out. Asides from the hills I crossed over the Oregon trail during today's ride. One sign along route 99 claims wagon ruts from 1843 but it sits behind a fence with a smaller sign saying private property and to keep out. Not sure about the wisdom of having an inviting historical marker which if visited might get you shot. The trail has actually crisscrossed the roads I've taken at several points but at no time have I seen any evidence of an actual trail. Wouldn't it be cool to have the whole trail open to cyclists? Paved, of course :-)
Not feeling particularly rushed, feeling in fact plenty lazy, I took overlong breaks at two gas stations where I engaged locals in conversation. I'm amused at small town life in rural areas and can't help myself from asking them what there is to do knowing full well that the answer is nothing. The younger a person is out in these parts the less they like it. Older people though tend to rhapsodize and go on about the area's history and how life out here is of a slower pace... how they wouldn't change it for anything in the world. Different strokes for different folks goes the saying.
My latest whining revolves around my butt which has contact sores from so many hours on the saddle. The weird thing is that while I got sores as soon as I left Key West they hadn't really bothered me and I thought they would callus over within a few days. I should be so lucky. Instead, now a month and a half later they're getting so painful that it feels like I'm sitting on thumb tacks. It's just a huge discomfort that in and of itself would be minor if all the other minor aggravations I'm confronted with daily weren't accummulating. Then there is the food issue. Getting by on a cheesburger and a slice of pizza all day I was surprised I had little appetite when I pulled in to Marysville (just south of the Nebraska border). I went to an all you can eat buffet and toyed with some roast beef and corn and was probably the only fool ever to go to a buffet and not get seconds. I suspect that my eating so little food is at least partly to blame for my generally low energy level as of late but whenever I try to stuff myself I just feel ill. I need to break out of the funk. My mantra, in case you're not bored to death of it yet, continues to be that flat roads and no wind equals a great riding day. I'm still hopeful for this elusive combination. Meanwhile, I'll plod along slowly.