DAY 37

April 20, 1999

I turned in my key and headed north on 37. Woo Hoo….Tailwinds Baby! The hills were extremely mild compared to the Ozarks in Arkansas. I felt extremely strong on these roads and I was in exceptionally good spirits. The ride was mostly farms and pastures all the way to Golden City. I rode from 8:00am ‘til 2:00pm

While mostly alone on this boring stretch of road, I did my usual thing to help preserve my sanity and sang one of my very dumb made up songs.

"I'm pedalin' out in the middle of nowhere
and I'm thinkin' 'bout shavin' my hair
ya know it'd be easy to take care of
and I wouldn't have to worry 'bout dandruff
but I'd have to put sunscreen on my head
to keep it from turnin' bright red

Now this shoulder that I'm cyclin' on
     it's really quite bumpy
ya know if it's gonna continue on
     I'm gonna have to go pee

even though this shoulder really sucks
at least I'm away from the big trucks
'cause if I'm really gonna get smashed
I'd rather do it in a bar with whiskey sour mash
I can just sit there and listen to Johnny Cash
and not have to worry about getting road rash"

Now I gotta admit that I sound like the biggest dork trying to sing my stupid lyrics, but it makes me laugh as I make this stuff up.  Just a good thing no one is around to hear me!

I reached Golden City at 2pm and Wow, I couldn’t believe how fast the time had went by. I found the Post Office and Cooky’s Café next door to each other, how convenient. After parking my bike I went into the Post Office and said, "My name is Wade Anderson and…" "Ah yes, you have a package." I had the pair of capilene, polyester, long underwear that I’d forgotten, mailed to me. When I inquired about camping, the guy told me about the "Bike Hostel." He said that he’d make some calls for me and then meet me at Cooky’s Café to give me the details. Wow! That was really nice.

Going into Cooky’s, I saw a huge selection of those famous pies I’d heard about. I sat at a table and Linda got the guestbook for cyclists. Cool, I’m the first entry for 1999. Another woman came out of the kitchen with a giant, beaming, smile. She asked about my trip then went back to the kitchen. A few moments later she came over and sat across from me at the table. I couldn’t help but smile because she still had that giant smile on her face, making me wonder if she wasn't a bit kooky! Her name was Carla and she questioned me about God and what I’ve learned on my journey so far. Now, I’m not one that believes in traditional religion and I find those topics uncomfortable at times. But I proceeded to tell her what I’ve been through, the positives and the negatives. She sat there staring in my eyes, listening intently and seemed to be radiating with so much positive energy. Carla asked if she could pray for me and I was like"uh…..sure." She held onto my hands and prayed while asking for a shield of protection to be placed around me. Although I do not go to church, and am not a religious person, I appreciated her sincerity and caring. After she prayed for me she gave me a hug and wished me luck on my trip. Ok now, am I in the Twilight Zone? I’m sure I crossed over into another reality of "Shiny, Happy People." A place where everyone is happy and goes out of their way to be kind.

I sat at the table and finished reading the other guestbook entries. Unfortunately, this only went back to 1994 and they didn’t have one for 1993. I was supposed to look for Bill’s entry on May 6, 1993. In reading the other entries, it really didn’t seem to matter which direction people went. Many east-bounders and west bounders complained of the headwinds. My entry on April 20, 1999, was the first entry for the year and I’m also the first cyclist they’ve seen this year.

Before I finished eating, the older lady from the table beside me paid my bill and left. I didn’t know she had done that until the waitress told me and by that time she was gone. Wow! What a day this has been! Actually, ever since Friday, when I stopped in Eureka Springs, I’ve been sort of high on life. The people are being sooooo nice and I just hope they realize how much I appreciate it.

Just as I was finishing my meal, Paul came in and introduced himself as the manager of the Bike Hostel. He walked over with me and let me in. Cool! It’s a house with EVERYTHING! A complete kitchen with dishes, silverware, and even some food in the fridge. Oh yeah, and a washer and dryer with laundry soap and those dryer sheet thingy’s. Up until now I’ve washed all my clothes by hand with bar soap. After taking a shower I put all my clothes in the washer. It’s nice to get everything really clean :-)

I walked to the end of town (ten minutes), and took some photos. There is really nothing in the way of businesses but there are lots of friendly people. After returning, I read through the guestbook entries. Everyone was praising the Bike Hostel and the town. I can see why! They were all thankful to have small luxuries like a washer and dryer – with soap! It was a nice comfortable place that made you feel at home. And, all they charge for this is a $9.00 donation. Oh, and did I mention that they offer e-mail at the library across the street? All you have to do is fill out an e-mail form and someone sends it for you. While watching TV, I happened upon Dateline and learned of the gruesome killings at Columbine High. It made me really sick so I just turned the TV off.

Today - 65.98 miles
Total -  1886 miles
Average Speed - 13.5mph

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