Paradise Lost - Wellsville - 7/16/2006
 

In usual form, this morning, we had breakfast at a grocery store.  Usual breakfast of muffins, bagels, fruits and yogurt.  The only different thing about this morning's breakfast were these two little girls.  They were staring at me for a significatnt amount of time.  I was thinking, A) they've never seen someone so beautiful, B) they've never seen an Asian person, or C) they really liked my Curious George jersey.  Somehow I kind of felt B was the reason because I definitely notice I add color to these cities I've been passing.

After a somewhat uncomfortable staredown, we headed out for the pavement.  We pretty much pedaled on for a while until it was time to get some water and lunch.  We stopped at a dollar-type store where this man chatted with Dave because he happens to own a bicycle shop that specializes in recumbents.  Afterward, we went to the man's store where Dave de-ghettofied his bike and bought a new bike seat.  After spending some time to install the new seat and re-arranging his stuff (mostly, figuring out where to put his hydration bladder) we ate lunch on the sidewalk.  When I was done, I went diagonally across the street where a Seventh Day Adventis Baptis Church was setting up a BBQ.  I told them they were an hour too late or else I would have eaten there.  Anyhow, I went over there to ask for a sink or hose to wash my hands.  They gave me a hose where I promptly decided to hose myself down to cool off from the heat.  All the BBQ people were intrigued in our cross country story.  Damn, I forgot to take a picture with the nice folks.  Speaking of nice folks, I asked Pastor Ken if he knew any churches/people in our evening target city of Wellsville, NY.  He went inside for a bit and tried to make some phone calls; he eventually came out with a list of names/numbers of churches he knew in Wellsville.  Yeah!

Did I mention how hot it was today?  Again, as we're riding, we keep on seeing all these backyard pools.  I so badly wanted to jump into a pool!

When we reached Wellsville, I tried all the numbers that Pastor Ken gave me.  No one picked up :-(  I went to a police station and they told me to try the fire department and the EMS station.  The EMS people claimed for insurance reasons, they couldn't take us in.  The volunteer firefighters were nicer and said if it was up to them, they'd say 'yes', but I had to ask the fire chief but who knows when he'd get there.  They told me worst case scenario, I could do a ghetto shower in their bathroom/sink and camp out back.  I saw a church in the distance so we went over there.  No answer.

Then, I saw this man working in his backyard.  I made Dave go talk to him.  The man, John, immediately said sure, we could camp in his backyard.  He even let us take a shower in his "mother-in-law" apartment.  We hung out with his wife and kids by the pool for a bit before dinner.  The kids were all excited about the camping.  They begged their dad to go backyard camping, too.  I was thinking, "okay, how about you take my tent that we already erected and I'll take your bed."  Hehe.  After a bit, we went to a restaurant, Texas Hot, where we ate everything on the menu - a hotdog (that's what the 'hot' in 'Texas Hot' means), a hamburger, a gyros and a chicken and biscuits.  Waitresses always look at us like we're crazy for ordering so much.  They think we're done when we order 2 meals but we keep on ordering!  After dinner, we bought the kids s'mores ingredients but by the time we came home, they were already in bed.  Back at home, I used the family computer until 1am to catch up on my website.  It's great to have Internet access, but since I have it so little, when I do get it, I use it as long as I can and it eats into my sleep time.  Oh well.  I want to keep you guys updated on the journey.

By the way, this entry is called Paradise Lost because we were so close yet so far away to paradise.  One, the family had a pool.  You know how badly I want to jump into any pool.  Two, the mother-in-law apartment was completely empty but since they didn't offer, I didn't ask to sleep indoors.  Regardless, I am very thankful the family let us camp in their backyard and have full use of the bathroom and computer.