Day 62: Today was marked by flat tires. No sooner had we started down the road when I saw one of the trailer wheels behind Ron wobbling badly. Just as I started pulling up to warn him, the protruding tube exploded with a loud “POP!” Without a spare, Ron had to tough it out and ride 11 miles to the next town with a tubeless tire. Not my idea of a good time. Made it to Livingston, where Ron went in search of a tube, while I grabbed some desperately needed food fuel at the Whistle Stop Cafe. There I met Debra Fuller, who handed me some traveling cash from her and her friends (really appreciate that, guys!). Trailer fixed, we were back to full speed, and made a visit to the Polk County Enterprise on our way out of town.
Getting off the main road gave us a respite from the oppressive traffic noise. Despite the logging trucks, backroad traffic was relatively sparse and the shoulder wider than the actual traffic lane for most of the day. That, and the serenity of the swampy forests, made every mile pedaled enjoyable. Today was also actually hot for the first time in weeks, which was a welcome change.
Knowing we were going to be pushing it again to make the next town before dark, and not wanting a repeat of last night, I dialed up local pipeline fighter, Bruce Drury, who offered to rendezvous with us at sunset and trail us to the next town with his car. This was very fortuitous, as we hadn’t rolled a mile down the road in the fading light before it was my turn for a flat tire. Our angel for the day had just the tool I needed to complete the repair, or I would have been stuck on the side of the road in the dark being eaten alive by mosquitos. Trike repaired, Bruce accompanied us to an unmanned volunteer fire station, where we pitched camp in the back, 43 more miles closer to our destination. Every time we’ve needed some kind of assistance on this eco-odyssey, help arrives, usually in the form of a new friend.
We’re leaving a “breadcrumb” path of news articles down the proposed pipeline route. Here’s one that ran in the town of Newkirk, OK: http://tinyurl.com/d2wmqtk.