Well, instead of taking off in the rain this morning, Nick and I decided to take Beckie and Ronnie up on their offer to stay another night. The timing was perfect, actually, because after 8 straight days of riding, my legs feel shot. A day off with no exercise whatsoever is just what the doctor ordered. What the doctor also ordered today was a 2.5 hour nap and food intake including, but not limited to, biscuits and gravy, a cinnamon roll, a raspberry jelly donut, a maple bar with chopped almonds, a 22 oz. Rogue Double Dead Guy Ale, and a turkey/ham/salami/pepperoni sandwich on a french roll.
Beckie and Ronnie drove us to the grocery store after breakfast where we bought a few supplies; it was funny to see Beckie gawk in amazement as Nick and I decided what to buy not by how much it cost, but by how heavy it was. We each struggled with whether or not to buy a small canister of powdered Gatorade (a supremely good deal at $5 for a week's worth of good electrolyte hydration on the road) because it weighs about 4 pounds. That's a noticeable difference on a bike. In the end, we each sucked it up and bought one. I was also thrilled to find a bottle of spray suncreen that I wanted which was the perfect size to fit into my handlebar bag...better than the one I just finished that was a tad too big and completely screwed up the organization of the stuff inside. It's small pleasures like that that I'd have never have expected to make such a big difference on a trip like this.
Have I mentioned that Beckie is my stepdad Lloyd's sister? Ok, so that's how I'm related. Anyway, tonight Beckie, Ronnie, Nick, and I went out to dinner at a local sandwich joint. While at the restaurant, we randomly ran into Kim, who is Beckie and Ronnie's niece. I swear, you can't swing a dead cat in this town without hitting someone Beckie and Ronnie either knows or is related to. That's so foreign to me because the family I grew up with out West is not only small but is scattered across multiple states. So, in just one day, in one small town, I've met brother Larry; niece Barbara and her kid Grace; niece Kim, cousin Tommy; sister Phyllis, her husband Preston, and their kid Travis; and sister Linda and her husband Don. Every one of them has been super friendly and treated me like one of the family.
Oh yeah, Ronnie is into restoring classic cars. He's got a 1940 Chevrolet and a 1957 Pontiac that are simply gorgeous. He left no detail uncovered and both cars run perfectly. In fact, his sky blue Chevy is even sought after by local folks who want him to drive them to and from the church on their wedding day!
Beckie and Ronnie have gone above and beyond in their generous hospitality for a red-headed (well, bearded) stepnephew and I'm fed, showered, organized, and rested. I will leave tomorrow morning feeling renewed, refreshed, and rejuvenated, and ready to ride on in the rain. I cannot thank you guys enough!!