DAY 64

May 17, 1999

Last week I heard that someone was trying to get in touch with me.  It was a lady that owns a PT clinic in North Carolina.  So, that phone call was first on my agenda this morning.  Come to find out, she really wanted me to come to work for her full time.  I was told that she recently hired a friend of mine, Ron, and that he spoke highly of me and wanted me to work there too.  When I realized that Ron was working for her I said "No Way!, Really?"  It wasn't until after I hung up that I realized how unprofessional I must have sounded.  This was a perfect job - working with someone I know and respect.  Unfortunately, she needed the position filled soon.  She was willing to hold it for me but definitely couldn't wait until my journey was through.  With so many unemployed PT's right now , it would be very easy to fill the position.  It made me feel good to know that someone respected me as a clinician enough to be willing to hold a position in a market that's over saturated with PT's.

Leaving the motel, my first stop was the bike shop.  The man checked my chain with a gauge and man, it was way in the red.   The 3300 miles had really worn that chain out.  So it wouldn't be a matter of a just getting new link, but a whole new chain.  This time I went with the next step up in a Shimano chain, the HG-91 for $27.95 plus $3.00 to have it installed.  I haven't priced chains at all and I hope I didn't get ripped.  Looking around the store I found a pair of "Ground Zero" gloves by Schwinn.  That's what I need!  I didn't know they made gloves like that.  I'd purchased my stuff in Texas, New Mexico, and North Carolina, but  the best gloves I could find were the REI Concept 2000 gloves.  But those suck in really cold weather.  Lucky me, they were on sale from $34.95 to $20.00 a I got 'em.  He also told me about a "booty" specially made to go on the outside of bike shoes for rain and cold weather.  Unfortunately, they were out of them :-(  They don't sell that stuff in the south, I had to come to Montana to find out about the cold weather stuff.  Now I'm all set.  I just hope my cogs aren't worn too much from the stretched chain.   The upcoming mountains will be the true test.

There was still the issue of getting my film developed, which I haven't done in a while.  So I head down the road to "Kasper's 1 Hour Photo".  Of course, for my 4 rolls, they say it will take two hours.  By that time it was almost lunch time. So I headed just a few stores down in this strip mall, West Park Plaza, to the Red Robin restaurant. I ordered the teriyaki grilled chicken sandwich that was recommended.  And yes it was delicious!  While I sat there desperately trying to get caught up on the last four days journal entries, a guy walked up and said, "The waitress told me you're riding your bike from Florida to Alaska".  He had seen my bike and told me that he had a stump jumper just like mine.  Only he told me he could never do any kind of long ride, he does mountain biking only.  I did my best to encourage him to try a long ride and said it wasn't that hard.

After eating, I went back to the photo shop and looked around while they finished my film.  I found a small holder that one of my lenses can fit into perfectly.  I attached it to the side of my handlebar bag.  Now my camera and lenses are separated and will no longer vibrate against each other.  I asked about cheap tripods and they called their other store to see if they had any.  Yes, they have a $20.00 tripod, Cool!  I figured I could attach it to the outside of my trailer.  Cindy told me about how her and her husband are in to magnetic therapy.  This was a concept that I am vaguely familiar with.  There are some PT's that have been using it but I've never seen any of the stuff.  Holistic health is very intriguing to me but I'm sometimes suspicious of some of the holistic treatments.  Having taken a lot of science courses, I'm always wanting to see things in black and white.  But there are many things that work very well and cannot be explained in scientific terms.  So I have these little internal battles at times.  Just as I was walking out the door, Cindy hurried to catch me and wanted to make sure I had their email address.  Then I was off to the other side of town to look at that tripod.  By now, I'd given up the idea of leaving town today.  At the other store I met John.  He showed me the tripod and boy is it cheap!  Everything on it is plastic, but it's light :-)   Once my camera is mounted, I'll use either my remote switch or timer to take pictures.  The tripod will move and cause the picture to blur if I push the button on the camera.  For the price it is perfect.

John followed me outside after I bought the tripod.   He wanted to check my bike out and we talked about my ride.  John looked to be early to mid  twenties with real short hair.  He gave me a lot of advice on framing the subject when I photograph.  John is exceptionally knowledgeable and spent a lot of time explaining things to me.  This is very rare in photography!  Most photographers have attitudes but this wasn't the case with John.  He advised me to learn more of the manual features and shoot slide film.  Magazines and publishers want slides, the detail is far greater.  He has sold some of his photos and wrote articles for magazines such as "Rock and Ice".  John told me about some of his climbs up El Capitan.  He could relate to me being alone with my thoughts for long periods of time since he had gone on long solo climbs for days at a time.  We talked for quite a while but then he had to go back inside and I had to seek out a cheap motel.  As I rode away I thought about all the people I've met since the beginning of my journey.  I wonder how many I'll keep in touch with and if circumstances in the future will allow me to build on the friendships I've begun.

It wasn't a long, heading east on Central Avenue, when I saw "Overpass Motel  $26.00".  "Cool, I'm there", is what I said in my mind.  $27.04 total with tax.

Today - 7.96 miles
Total -  3305 miles
Avg. Speed - 9.5mph


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