Thursday, August 6, 2009

Houston, Missouri

Sunday August 2

Again I’m writing from memory so some of the facts have been forgotten, but here goes. We packed up our wet tent and ate a few snacks that were on hand before pedaling away. It would have been 8:30 when we left our city park behind. The early part of the day was uneventful, and so was the rest of the day. That’s a good thing. Our first community that we pedaled through was Hartville where we stopped at a convenience store/gas station for ice cream and coffee. Lewis had an orange juice.

The remainder of the day was spent pedaling up and down and up and down. We passed through Bendavis, Fairview, and eventually Bucyrus, before finally hitting the town of Houston (our destination for the day). This ride was all of 67 miles and was plenty tough as the temperatures once again rose up to near 90 degrees. We stopped for an early dinner at a Hardees Restaurant where a phone call was made to the local police informing them of our intent to camp in their city park. I was informed that I had to use the park by the pool, as the other city park is now off limits as far as camping is concerned. No problem. We got instructions and headed there direc tly. Our expectations were not too high as the pool normally closes at 6:00 and it was already after that when we finished eating. But Lewis and I have a method for getting into closed swimming pools!

The community pool was located and lo and behold, it was full of teenagers! A private party was going on and we were given permission from the female lifeguards to use the showers. So Donna and I set up the tent behind the bathrooms while Lewis occupied himself by talking to some of the teenagers, including the lifeguards who were in charge of the pool. He managed to get an invitation to join in. I was never that lucky with teenage girls! While every pool has paled in comparison to the one in Kansas, this one had a high diving board. That single factor elevated Houstons pool to #2 on the Lewis list of pool ratings. He went off the high board a dozen times or more. I was content to watch on the sidelines as I didn’t feel comfortable swimming with a pool full of high school kids and not really having an invitation. I was able to pry Lewis from the pool after a half hour. Donna used the quiet time to take a long shower and do some private journals.

While we were taking care of our swimming wear and towel, another cyclist pulled in. Daniel (photo) is 21 and from Germany. He is the antithesis of Moritz. While we had a hard time convincing Moritz to ride bikes with us, Daniel is doing the cross country ride all on his own. He is getting ready to start the University in the fall and wanted to do something during the 3 months that were available to him. He showered at the pool and then all 4 of us walked back towards the highway and ended up eating at Hardees for the second time in less than 3 hours. Donna and Lewis opted for Milkshakes while Daniel had a full dinner and I bought 2 burgers for 3 bucks. We found out about a coffee shop that had wi-fi and made plans to visit there in the morning. That’s pretty much the end of the day. Good bye.

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