A day of rest, kind of. Still rode 20 odd miles, going into and around Boise. First of all Nancy and Clyde attended to my laundry needs, helped with directions and Clyde fixed me some oatmeal, which he said was good for bicyclists, particularly with the flax seeds he'd added, as they contain Omega 3 and that reduces your cholesterol apparently. Someone in a car shouted “Asshole!” at me today (I wasn't doing anything wrong.) Needed a bike shop first off, for a new tyre, new chain (it was “70% done” the man said) and had some oil squirted inside the derralieur wheels - and that put a stop to the squeaking that had been bothering me. $87 dollars lighter, I went by the Anne Frank memorial and sat down on the banks of the Boise River to have today's disappointing wrap; yes it was full of meat, but where was the other stuff? Popped into an AT&T cell phone shop to seek assistance with setting up the voicemail, photographed the Capitol Building (modeled on the one in DC) and went to another great library. Today I received an email from Kevin in Portland relating the sad loss of their old grey cat, Digby. He was taken ill and had to be put down. I had heard him purr just a few days ago and this saddened me, as had the two dead cats I had seen on the Highway yesterday. Mooched about the shady, snazzy shopping plazas, taking in all the fancy goods (what recession?) and fancier women who looked like they'd stepped off the set of Sex and the City. Thought I'd have an ice cream and wished I'd taken a class in dessertology, such were the heady choices in this upmarket store. The guy in front had chosen a combination of flavours and sprinkles, chocolates and candies, which the lady behind the counter was pummeling and mixing together. Meanwhile I was working up a cold sweat. Flummoxed by the endless possibilities, I opted for “a regular caramel please”. “Is that all you want?” The lady looked at me like I was crazy. It was very good, although of course a regular cone was more like a regular sized tub. The only store I couldn't find was Radio Shack, which Clyde had suggested for an adaptor plug. I saw Bad Boy Burgers and The Egyptian Smoke Shop and Hookah Bar, but no Radio Shack.
Back at the ranch, Nancy's daughter, Christina came over, just recently back from her honeymoon in Costa Rica. Instead of taking her husband's surname, she and he had formed a melange of a name, which they have both taken. It had reached 92 degrees today and this Englishman had been sweating like a pig, yet Christina thought it “a little cold.” Clyde and Nancy laid on a magnificent barbecue and the juicy cut of beef was to die for. I was also treated to more North Western beers (Mirror Pool and Skinny something). Nancy took me on at Scrabble and it was another close contest, but I just about squeaked out a victory. I had the word BUDGING sitting pretty in my rack, having kept on to that ING for several moves. The only place to put it was with the second G off NE. I didn't think NEG would be valid, yet for 92 points it was worth the risk I felt. Nancy challenged and it was found to be invalid, so I lost my go. Then Nancy put down AH elsewhere on the board leaving room for my BUDGING and BAH. Nancy was pretty mad at herself. Clyde and Christina played backgammon while we were finishing and they had so much fun (more fun than Scrabble?) that I played Clyde afterwards and this time I had my hide tanned. He would say “double sixes, double sixes” before each roll of the dice. Next time that's what I'm going to do.
The next day I felt fully refreshed and my bike was all squeaky clean, without the squeaky bit. First off we had a 'cook-in', or maybe a 'cook-off', I'm not sure. Nancy had laid out bowls of meat and vegetables, for you to add to a couple of eggs and mix up, then you put it in a small freezer bag with your name on in indelible ink, zipped it shut, then put it in a pan of boiling water for 15 minutes. Hey presto : an omelet! It was all very American and a lot of fun. These personalized omelets were complemented with English muffins and a hazelnutty latte. Nancy made me a packed lunch too, just like her sister, Reva. Clyde helped me with the intricacies of government (senators, governors, Congress, the House of Representatives, etc). By the time the election is here in six weeks I might even understand what's going on...