I write from inside our tent, dizzy from incipient altitude sickness at nearly 4000 feet, in the awfully pretty mountain hamlet of Pine Valley, California. I could just write Pine Valley, Ca, but I'm still a little intoxicated and star-struck by the Golden State, and milking each letter for all it's worth.
Seb and I have been worshiping at the blog altar of Timothy Towers, a retired, fantastically OCD engineer who painstakingly recorded his Southern Tier (thankfully non-bowel) daily movements with wonderful, if presumably somewhat trying for his loved ones, precision. Following Tim's advice, we stopped at Major's Diner in Pine Valley today and asked - feeling like we should be talking out of the sides of our mouths while checking over our shoulders - for a realtor named Charlie who would let touring cyclists pitch a tent in his backyard. Well in a twist of fate somewhat less impactful for us, Charlie went and died a month ago. Of all the bad luck...
So I went to the fire house next door and asked if there was anywhere in town where we could pitch a tent. The fire woman was kind enough to lead us into the fenced compound behind the station where, amidst the illegal immigrant shipping containers, jaws-of-life practice cars, and the poor sad sack of a "Save my baby! Save my baby" house that's been torched and drenched a thousand times, she told us to pick any spot we wanted, but maybe a little away from the chemical foam. So here I (we) lie, listening to the sounds of Pine Valley on a Saturday night. Either I'm going deaf, or the social calendar around here reaches Dead Sea levels in early February - or possibly the chemical foam is muffling the sound of unbridled revelry.
Pulling the bench is a VAST improvement over pulling the chair, thank you for asking. The only issue seems to be that going downhill at any speed over 25 kph, the bench starts to waggle back and forth like Spot's tail at dinnertime (following that unfortunate incident, when Dick and Jane received a 3-day detention for not having fun, and nobody fed the dog). Fulcrum fine-tuning may be required.
In a sloth-based strategic decision, Seb and I both decided to "ride ourselves into shape" on this journey. Our first two days have been steady climbing. Cross-fit and triathlon psychos of my acquaintance may embrace the burn but, personally, I'm looking for a somewhat more gradual reintegration to fitness. Today we have more downhill than uphill ahead of us. Yay! See Spot wag.