Day 44 – Wednesday, July 10
95° Initially Overcast, Hot & Humid
Woke early, went exploring. A white mist hung over much of the river. Deer grazed. Herons flew away whenever I approached. I found the lodge. It was closed. Budget cuts? Went over the hills and into Van Buren. Found a breakfast spot with a non-smoking section in the back. Initially I was the only one in it.
I sat drinking coffee and writing. In time the room attracted other nonsmokers. Three fellows from somewhere in the southeast all riding Harleys sat next to me. We had a good natured conversation about motorcycle traveling. They politely thought I was nuts to ride a used Chinese scooter across the USA. Of course they are right. I don’t know why I’m doing this. I’ve lost my focus. Perhaps it’s the heat and humidity.
One fellow said the seat on his Harley cost more than my entire bike. It is an infinitely adjustable air cushion seat, like long distance truck drivers use. He said he likes comfort. I do too. I’m no masochist.
I went back and broke camp with the intention to ride west on Highway 60 for a while then divert southwest on county roads. I had no particular place to be, but was aiming to exit Missouri on the Oklahoma border in a day or two.
As I drove along in the morning heat and humidity, still at a pleasant 40 mph, I became ill. I developed a terrible stomach ache. It felt like vomiting would be a relief, but I never did. At the point I would leave Highway 60 was a motel and I decided to stop for the day and recoup. After a cool shower and a sandwich I felt normal. I spent the evening writing and trying to find a watchable show among a bewildering number of channels and sub-channels. I come from the era of three stations in black & white. I slept well.