powered by nightshades (srl) wrote in trans_usa_biker,
powered by nightshades
srl
trans_usa_biker

white star park, gibsonburg, OH, june 9, after dark

since i pulled into this little park, which is run by the county and is "primitive" camping, there's been heat lightning and thunder nearby. when i was riding to get here, i was racing cool crosswinds from the same storm front, and i'd pass sections of road where there had been rain, but i got no rain. i set up my tent racing against the rain, wrote my daily log entry at a picnic table waiting for rain, but now that i am in my tent filling my belly with popcorn and other fast-and-stovefree foods, there is no rain, only heat lightning. the rain fly is up, obviously.

80.00 miles today by my computer. 11.8mph average, yay. i stayed out of the worst heat by going to the library and by reading the newspaper while sucking down a slush at dairy queen. this strategy has the downside of causing me to race against sundown at the end of the day, but it's marginally more comfortable. (in relative terms; today was so humid that my sweat just wouldn't evaporate; the salt just accumulated on my skin. i have to wash off my head and arms at least once on a normal day to keep the salt from blocking my pores, but today it was at least 3 times.

i am mastering the art of taking a spartan but complete bath in 2 bike-water-bottles of water and biodegradable soap. i don't do this every day--- private campgrounds tend to have showers--- but it's a certain kind of useful skill.

(there, and the rain starts, drip by drip. now a downpour, and hopefully tomorrow a high-pressure front with a cool breeze... it's lighting up my tent, thundercracks shaking the ground.)

i got to huron, ohio today and turned away from the lake, toward the farmland. it's much flatter, and there are pockets of non-humidity, unlike the lakeshore. gridded county roads and town roads split off the farmland; they're long, straight, identified by number, and occasionally only one paved lane. every so often a stand of trees covers a farmhouse, road-edge, or rural cemetery. a low spot in one of the roads today had vernal ponds along the side, and they were full of birdsong and the ribbit-splash of frogs.

(those raindrops are very large. even though i know the thunder is coming, i still jump at some of it. the rain is strong and loud now. i couldn't sleep if i tried.)

camping miscellany: i've found that one leg of my convertible pants, zipped off and stuffed with other clothing, makes a lovely pillow. i haven't yet found white-gas stove fuel in cans smaller than a gallon, though, and i only have carrying capacity for about a third of that. i've been trying to stretch my existing fuel out by eating less hot stuff, or i may just fill my large fuel bottle with kerosene, which is easier to find and which my stove will burn. (i am holding out on running it with gasoline, which it will also do; that's a real last resort and would have me cleaning the stove entirely more than i want to.)

i'm going to go listen to the thunder and rain and feel the cool air coming in the end of the tent.
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