We found out today that we’re supposed to (or can be) wearing the name of a client of one of the beneficiary agencies each day while we’re riding. Joe and I each got a name; mine was Harriet, and his was Charles. He put his on his chest; I put mine on my sleeve. People immediately started calling him Charles as if that was a name tag he had on instead of a client’s name. I lost Harriet some time along the route, as the name tag went flying off unbeknownst to me while riding.
[get audio entries for this day]
Joe and I had our bikes checked today, and the guy who worked on my bike did such an amazing job. He adjusted something in the cog of the front wheel, fixed whatever was precluding my bike from shifting from the large cog to the medium cog, and ended up taking my pedals off to make an adjustment. I ended up having the smoothest ride of all time today, and looked for him at the end of the day when I reached Bealeton to thank him for his work. He didn’t remember what he’d done, but seemed pleased that his work had made me have such a good day.
We left camp today just before 8:00 again, and arrived in Bealeton at 7:00PM. Another long, hard-working day.
Again, during the ride today, word spread that we were once again going to be sleeping indoors in Bealeton. This time it was inside a gymnasium. The riders were in one gym, and the Tour Corps was in another. It was very crowded in there, and there were a few issues when a Corps member assigned Joe and me a spot, and a woman next to us started complaining that there wasn’t enough from for us and her and her six friends (who where nowhere to be seen) to all be in the spot we were directed to. We tried to be firm, but polite in letting her know that this is where the Corps member put us, and it’s where we’re going to stay. There ended up being plenty of room.
Before lights out, Joe made a couple of phone calls, and I checked in with Robert telling him we had made it through our two grueling days. I also checked in with mom and dad, talking to dad. Joe worked on his journal, and I talked quietly into my recorder, capturing a few more moments of the long day.
The quarters were so tight, though, and once again, at lights out, the snoring situation was precarious. At one point during the night the guy on the other side of Joe poked him, and when he woke up, said, “You’re snoring.”
This camp area was so incredibly muddy it was ridiculous. Plus the layout of the camp was just horrendous. You had to trudge back and forth through the mud in order to get between the gym where we were sleeping and the showers. It was so gross. They had lain down flattened boxes on top of the mud to help people get through it. After no time, of course, the cardboard was totally muddy, and slippery. You also had to walk in that to eat dinner. It was hard to understand, at each of the camps in fact, how they decided to lay them out. You wanted to give the organizers that benefit of the doubt, but each time the showers were so incredibly far away from tent city, as was the place to eat dinner. There must have been something we didn’t understand that played into the decisions of how to lay the camps out. At any rate, it was annoying at least, and discouraging at best.
[get details on dinner here]
I spent another very restless night here, but it helped to know it was the last one. Again, with the quarters so close; there was literally 2-3 inches between our sleeping bags, it was so hard to sleep with people snoring all around you. I got up once in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. It felt like 3 in the morning, but it was only about 11:30. There was a constant clanging of something, a motor, engine, duct work, something like that used to power the air in the building. It wasn’t exactly like a sound machine.