Villa Grove to South Fork - The woman who sat on the toilet too long (and other odd American tales) - CycleBlaze

June 21, 2014

Villa Grove to South Fork

IT'S FUNNY how traditions develop. Ten or so kilometres of dusty road drop gently from the Orient Land Trust, edged by wire fences that must have served a purpose when cattle were raised here. Now the land is dry and close to valueless, supporting not grass on which cattle could grow and fatten but tufts of brown growth struggling in a beach of sandy soil that blows in the wind.

Since there's little else to look at, perhaps one day someone spotted an old shoe or a boot and hooked it over one of the wooden fenceposts. And then, the boot unclaimed and eyes now peeled, more old boots were found and hung on the next posts in line. So that, now, there are harvests of boots even if there's no harvest of anything else.

We got up at dawn to escape the heat and to beat the headwind that's been nagging us these past days. In the event, the sky was covered and the wind had turned in our favour. We bowled through more arid countryside with dispersed, single-storey homes distant along unmade racks, and rode 80km by late morning.

And except that the countryside grew greener and the villages more prosperous, although ailing, and that the wind turned and socked us in the face, that was the story of the day. Just now and then, a row of old boots is as good as it gets.

Boots alley
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Breakfast at the atmospheric café at Saguache, reached with the help of the air following us there
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I love the way people gather to chat and start their day in American cafés
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Saguache: the last picture show
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Saguache: the last hotel
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The memorial was in the garden of a house somewhere along the way. I read the story and it didn't seem remarkable. But I was impressed by the effort
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American towns sometimes cut their initial letter into a hillside
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Today's ride: 125 km (78 miles)
Total: 3,971 km (2,466 miles)

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