Starvation State Park
I sure hope they never change the name…
(see California “dried plums”, High Sierra Classic (formerly Markleeville Death Ride…and other tampered-with monikers).
Missed this second day into Utah, and all agreed I was tactically brilliant to lie around in the van hacking up sputum instead of pedaling the too-narrow shoulder of Route 40…with those daunting “rumble strips” which awaken truckers who drift, but which deliver an unwanted colonic to the swervesome riders that veer off the three-inch wide strip of shoulder NOT imprinted with the rectanguloform ‘safety feature’.
Funny, you can hear the truck roar over them either next to you, or three miles away…even that distance in the clear desert air carries that drone deep into remote camps.
When I asked if I might sleep in the 25- foot WE LIKE BIKE moving truck (dust was swirling around–I had been offered use of a tent, but declined when I tested it. It was in bright sunlight and my ears were battered by the snap of un-taut nylon) “Tour Director” Foster said ‘nope’.
“Why, pray tell?”
“Because I say so!”
Poor Foster. He and his brother cling to whatever authority they can, and if this old bat reminds them of a tight-assed third grade teacher that humiliated them in school, then “no” is a perfectly reasonable revenge.
I will no longer trouble him with my special needs.*
When he asked why–“unlike every other person on the tour“–I didn’t understand his edicts…I replied simply: “I’m stupid”.
When he argued that I couldn’t form a sentence if I were stupid, but why when I had all the chances in the world to buy a tent, didn’t I buy a tent?
(He’s made it clear he and bro are Seventh Day Adventists, so swear words are off limits. Amazing how shame and derogation can be carried sans epithet, all in the tone and the phrasing!)
“Because I’m already intense” I replied, and set to putting my sleeping pad on the dusty (but clean) desert floor, a short walk from the wind-whipped reservoir that surely was NOT there when the white invaders penetrated these stunning deserts.
Because I would have had to ask for it, I didn’t bother with a tarp. Just my (aptly named) Calamity Jane sleeping bag (w/broken zipper) and that all-important Cascade Designs (THANKS GUYS!!!!) orange pad of plushness…
Saw a dozen shooting stars I’d-a missed had I gotten my way…Pleiades meteorite shower about to begin….
Life is good, even if you have special needs….
*Monday morning, in Pittsburgh, I happened to ask him, after all the instructions and route sheets (which never had destination hotel names, or campsite names ) where we would be staying that night, he chewed both sides of me up (see bear+salt, previous blog), excoriating me in front of all the riders (who shuffled nervously) because I ‘always had to be special’.
(Note: you rider/readers that really know me really know that I DO think I’m special. Why in the hell are you reading my flipping posts if I’m not special to all 258 of you? HUH????
Oh, sorry. Guess I’m still a little touchy about being roasted.