March 24, 2015
Rode 87 miles
Rode approx. 7.43 hr
Since I saw all the homeless people with bikes, I decided to sleep in a park, also. I needed to save money after having to stay in the expensive hotel earlier.
I scoped the park out after the gentleman from yesterday was done talking to me. I was going to slip into a little alley between an abandoned pool and its pump building. I decided against being cornered, so I slept beside the pump building facing away from a majority of the park. I did not set up my tent, left my bags fully packed, and on my bike except, for a headlamp and sleeping bag and I didn’t lock my bike in case I needed to make a hasty getaway. I put my bike in-between me and the building.
I settled down to go to sleep, a couple hours after dark a guy walked by mumbling, then he came by again. This time he was close enough to hear him say, “I am the Scorpion King when I come back I will kill them all”, then it faded out again. I wiggled out of my zipper-less sleeping bag, turned on my headlamp, and dug through my bags until I found the pepper spray and my knife. Feeling a little better I climbed back into my sleeping bag. In the sleeping bag now I had to decide where to put my pepper spray and knife. I put the pepper spray in the waist of my cycling shorts I had slept in, in case I needed to make that fast getaway, they didn’t have pockets. This was becoming a possibility because I could still hear the guy ranting not far away. Holding my knife in my hand an orange letterman “juice” with about a 3 inch blade wondering where to put it. I thought about how useful it would be if I needed it. Not very, I could see it now crazy guy get back or- or I- or I will throw this at you and run. I decided just to let it lay lose in my bag. I thought back to the accidental discharge of the pepper spray on morning three of the trip and decided to take the pepper spray out of my waist band and put it outside of my bag beside me. The crazy guy’s ranting is getting closer again. I wiggle my upper body out of the top of the bag again. It is closer still, he is now right beside me talking about killing again. When I say right beside me I mean he was past the personal space bubble so close I said, ”hi”, just so he didn’t step on me. He stopped, regarded me for a second, then in non crazy speak asked me for a cigarette. At that moment oh how I wished I smoked, me and crazy guy could be buddies instead I said, “nope.” He went right back to ranting, but at least he was walking away. I went back into my bag and tried to sleep. I could hear him from time to time at varying distances until I feel asleep. Needless to say, I had different nightmares about trying to get out of my sleeping bag and crazy guy, none ended well for me. Sometime later I felt something at my feet, I don’t know how long it took me to realize it wasn’t another nightmare. I started swinging and flopping at the same time, damn zipper-less sleeping bag. When I fought my way out of the sleeping bag, I was relieved to see several javelins, a pig like animal, instead of crazy guy not far from me. I tried to go back to sleep and had a nightmare about pigs eating me, needless to say I woke up at 4 a.m. put my back against the wall and waited for daylight. Nothing else happened, I could have sleep for a few hours.
I left as soon as it was daylight. Had my first encounter with dogs today, it was a small pack in an Apache Reservation. I found it difficult to pepper spray them while biking. When they first chased me, I had the moment of indecision where I did not know whether to reach for my pepper spray or pedal harder to get away. It was too late, they were on me. I reached for the spray which was in a bag on my handle bars, I unzipped it as they were nipping at my heels. I grabbed the spray and sprayed them swerving all over the place. The spray kept hitting them, but not in face, they were still right on me, then victory was mine they ran off.
I stopped to eat peanut butter and tortillas shortly after the dog encounter, my dietary staple. I finished the peanut butter looking around at all the trash. The Apaches liked their 40 ozs, there were glass bottles from all different breweries littering the landscape. I continued biking. No flats today, the new tubes are working J.
Stayed at a place called Tranquility Springs. I got a tent spot with hot springs for $10, very relaxing.