You know about the day the music died. Well, today was the day the computer died. I was just wrapping up the June 16 and 17 journals and getting them ready to email to Matt, when the machine began making these terribly ominous clicking sounds. To make a long story short, the hard drive fried. Why? We don't ask these questions.
The morning of the 18th was spent trying to figure out just what to do about it. Option 1: that's it, no more journaling. This is a sign from God. Just do the bicycle trip, period. Option 2 just developed as I placed a couple of calls to Matt, to Global Computer and to MaryLou (Route 99's publicity director/my mother-in-law).
I Express Mailed the computer from the Eureka post office to Global Computer. Global had another Toshiba waiting. They would pull the hard drive from it and have it ready to drop in whenever the computer got there. Still under warranty - no questions asked. (This, by the way is a major endorsement for Global Computer, located in Naperville near Fox Valley, in case your're not recognizing it. I had a good feeling about them the very first time I walked into their store and was treated like a valued customer, as opposed to the nuisance most computer stores seem to think their customers are.)
MaryLou made a number of local calls to Global for me and smoothed the whole operation along. Matt picked up the computer from Global, took it home and installed a word processing program, took it to my house where my neighbor let him in to have access to my computer so that he could re-load all the email stuff from my computer (remember, Lois is in Europe). MaryLou then shipped it ahead to me in Grand Junction where I would intercept it when I got there.
And so, it was almost 1:00 before I left Eureka. Four mountain passes and 80 miles ahead of me. Yikes.
And so, John and I took off. The companionship was good. I didn't think I was capable of carrying on a conversation while working up mountain passes, but it actually helped. I learned some things from John. I learned to keep the bike moving - don't rest when your mind says to take a break. You're not making any miles on the side of the road. I also learned that standing up on the pedals for short periods of time can really help alleviate the butt, hand and neck pains that get consistently worse as the day progresses. I had been told not to do that since when loaded with gear this can make the bike unstable. But for short periods of time it's fine and it really works.
John and I cruised into Ely just after dusk and got the corporate rate at the Best Western Hotel in town for $29 apiece. How did we get the corporate rate? I represent Route 99.org, of course. I ask for it every time. What do I have to lose?
We ate a fine prime rib dinner for $7.99 at the Nevada Inn, the local old casino in town, where they have a picture shrine to Roy Rogers (got that, Fritz?) and an autographed picture of Gabby Hayes eating dinner there.
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