So then, the day was going really well; I had nearly 30 miles under my belt by noon and that was with lengthy stops. It felt luxurious to spread the distance over a day, compared to the training runs of 4-5 hours. Trying to focus on today and not think about the 70 or so days as a whole. Labouring uphill with my heavy load, but this is balanced out by the speeds achieved downhill. Saw small wooden houses for sale for $45,000, which would presumably be delivered by truck. One of those plonked in a forest would do me. Then I could really get some stuff done.
There's a lot of road literature – Americans love their signs; some merely inform, others say nice things in an attempt to sell you things and others order you about. Missed Mud Bay Road and the Highway turned nasty as we approached the centre of Olympia and I knew bikes weren't allowed here, but no one beeped at me. Came off as soon as I could and stopped at a picnic table to tuck into Reva's lunch. It consisted of :
1 crunchy peanut butter sandwich
1 packet Harvest Cheddar Sun Chips
1 tub bike-shape pasta salad
Approx 4 oz carrots
Approx 6 oz almonds
Approx 3 oz cashews
1 bottle Gatorade
1 big belly
On to Centralia. Stopped in the library for a couple of hours to work on this and then phoned Summer, who I had found through www.couchsurfing.com. She gave me directions to her place and I stopped off to pick up a six pack, where a cross-eyed woman behind me in the queue engaged me in conversation.
She : Did you come by bicycle?
Me : How did you guess?
She : Because of your ass (a reference to my lycra shorts)
I bought the beer.
She : You drink beer AND you have an ass like that?
I arrived at Summer's in time for a tasty, spicy ratatouille of chicken, veg and rice. Here I met her boyfriend Tom and their four well-behaved pit bull terriers. Tom worked as a chef at a big hotel complex and Summer was about to go for a job interview at a radio station. They liked to listen to the left-leaning National Public Radio and their views were well-informed. The house was Bohemian Chic, with playing cards stuck all over the fireplace and artifacts picked up from Summer's many travels. We had a couple of beers and then Tom drove us to 'Dick's Sausage & Deli' for a pitcher of homebrew, sat outside in the cool evening air. They were very friendly and we were joined for interludes by members of staff, including Dick himself, who invited us to sit on his back porch after the deli was closed up. I think the ale was strong or something, because I soon felt squiffy and asked to be taken home. Watched an episode of Seinfeld, Summer's favourite programme, prior to very little sleep on the sofa. Yes I'd forgotten about Scrabble and had already failed my game a day challenge, although I had played ten games in the last three days.