April 20, 1999
|I turned in my key and headed north on 37.
.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
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
Now this shoulder that I'm cyclin' on
even though this shoulder really sucks
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 couldnt believe how fast the time had went by. I found the Post Office and Cookys 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 Id forgotten, mailed to me. When I inquired about camping, the guy told me about the "Bike Hostel." He said that hed make some calls for me and then meet me at Cookys Café to give me the details. Wow! That was really nice.
Going into Cookys, I saw a huge selection of those famous pies Id heard about. I sat at a table and Linda got the guestbook for cyclists. Cool, Im 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 couldnt 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 Ive learned on my journey so far. Now, Im not one that believes in traditional religion and I find those topics uncomfortable at times. But I proceeded to tell her what Ive 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? Im 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 didnt have one for 1993. I was supposed to look for Bills entry on May 6, 1993. In reading the other entries, it really didnt 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 Im also the first cyclist theyve seen this year.
Before I finished eating, the older lady from the table beside me paid my bill and left. I didnt 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, Ive 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! Its 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 thingys. Up until now Ive washed all my clothes by hand with bar soap. After taking a shower I put all my clothes in the washer. Its 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