Aug 012015
 
  Day 26 - Chinook to Malta 116 km (2209)   80 m alt. (17318) Today was a wonderful day, even if the heat is slowly getting oppresive. We'll see in the coming days ... Left camp early without breakfast, only coffee at the gas station, hoping to find a good spot later. This is not always a good idea as I was to find out one day later but today I was lucky. After about 30 km I came to a nice town called Harlem (no "aa"). I asked two guys for a city park or a picnic table and they sent me to city park near their town hall and guess what! It was right next to the city's public swimming pool! (Can one call a place with 808 inhabitants a "city" - they do!) I immediately asked for admission, it was only 9 am and the nice girl said sure, right after the swimming classes that ended at ten. Wonderful! Enough time for my muesli in the park and a delicious shower and some clandestine clothes rinsing in the changing room - psss! I did some 40 laps in the pool and that was sooooo goooood! Good to use the arms again, good to feel the water; it definitely did not need heating like a pool in Germany would! After a long ride through Indian territory parts of which went along a very quiet road off US2 which I've been following, I reached Malta after 138 kms. The problem is you dcannot just stop when you're tired. You at least need some shade and fresh water and that means to go on until you've reached a town. In this case it was 138 kms in the hot sun - suffer. At Malta I met three interesting people. Malta Radio Shack: the shop attendent or manager or owner was very helpful. He even tried to "sodder" (solder) a connection between my bike battery and a charger - since I was clever enough have left the charger at home. I only noticed 2 weeks ago that the "e-werk" converter wasn't charging my battery .... He asked me if I would like to attend a country musical show in Dodson.I would have loved to but going back 17 miles in this heat the way I had come? Not even for a free Pink Floyd concert!!! Then I met a family of four (kids in primary school age) driving around the whole country in a camper looking for a nice place to live! He was an architect and could work anywhere. So far they had looked at Austin, Texas and Portland, Oregon and some other places in the Pacific North West. Decision pending ... And the third person was Alan. Alan is a retired Boeing employee and left the company some years ago, is now trvelling on his bike from the east coast to Washington state in order to there with some of his children and grand children. In order to do so he had given away or sold all his material possessions except for his bike ...What impressed me most was his personal "bucket list" (remember the movie with Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson?) He had seen Starbucks many years ago and had been impressed by the friendly style of interaction between customers and staff and had always wanted to work there. So he did! And he had always wanted to be a school bus driver. So he did that too for a while. He uses one pannier as a cooler for beer by putting in one or two bags of ice from the gas station. After all, Ortliebs are said to be waterproof! And the beer was cold!  
Found this in the local paper

Found this in the local paper

Nice spot for breakfast

Nice spot for breakfast

Delicious pool - my clothes are drying very quickly!

Delicious pool - my clothes are drying very quickly!

Going into Indian territory - off the main road, very quiet!

Going into Indian territory - off the main road, very quiet!

Don't stop! or you're a mosquito-sandwich immediately

Don't stop! or you're a mosquito-sandwich immediately

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... and climbing

... and climbing

This guy was interesting!

This guy was interesting!

City park charged 3$ ... that's reasonable.

City park charged 3$ ... that's reasonable.

 Posted by at 1:58 AM

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