Today (last Thursday) was a bit slow, as Ale and I lounged around the park and explored the town of Walden. I got up, went to a café, did some video editing, went to the grocery, made some lunch, talked on the phone, etc. At about 1:30pm Ale left to go to the library and post office, and when she returned she brought back a nice man from the post office. My immediate thought was, “oh no, the post office is not going to be able to get our order in by tomorrow, so we are going to be stuck in Walden all weekend, and Ale has brought one of the post office members to break the news gently to me.” Thankfully I was wrong.
Burt, the postman, had over heard Ale talking about bike trouble and camping in the park and had offered to house us for the evening. We gladly accepted at the thought of a shower and a possible meal, so Burt returned to work and promised to be back at 5:00 to take us to his house. As we were packing up our stuff, Tom and Alison (favorite biker friends) showed up after a hard days ride. We were so happy to see them and momentarily thought about staying at the park just so we could hang out with them. Instead, we made immediate use of our short hang out time by singing, clapping, and dancing along to Ale’s ukulele version of “I will survive” in the middle of the park. It was definitely a good time. You know the moment when you are hanging out with someone and you just think to yourself, “ummm this person is fricken awesome, I want to be friends forever!” That’s how I felt about Alison as she was dancing around singing to Ale’s music after just finishing an awful day of riding. I’m sure Tom would have joined in on the fun, but he was busy having male hang out time with Hugh, who had also recently joined us at the park.
Burt soon returned with his truck, so we loaded it up with all our gear and took off. His house was about 9 miles north of Walden in another town called Cowdrey with a population of 25. Burt seemed like a very nice man and told us stories about his kids and wife, which made us feel better about getting into a strangers car and driving out of town with him. I actually didn’t even think twice about going to Burt’s house because he seemed like such a kind man, but reassurance of a nice family never hurts.
When we arrived, we were greeted by his three beautiful chocolate labs and we soon met his wonderful wife Terry. She immediately asked what we would like for dinner and asked if we would like to see the room we would be staying in. I had assumed we were camping in their front yard, so I was overly excited to see that they were offering us a bed. I soon came to realize that they were not only offering us a bed, but a bathroom (just for us) as well and a delicious meal.
Terry served spaghetti with elk meat and homemade bread. We finished the meal with some ice cream and laughed and told jokes / stories until Ale and I called it a night. It was so so so good to eat a home cooked meal, and even better to have such wonderful company. I couldn’t believe we had been lucky enough to find these people!
The next morning we woke early to go with Terry to Laramie to find some tubes (in case ours didn’t come in the mail). Terry fixed us some eggs and then we were on our way. The car ride was over an hour, but it flew by thanks to the conversation with Terry. She is such an amazing person; I absolutely loved getting to know her. When we arrived in Laramie we dropped off her truck, which needed a topper and then went shopping downtown. I ended up buying way more than just tubes… woops.
We stopped at an outdoor store and Ale and Terry convinced me to buy a rain jacket (which I actually needed) and a fuzzy beautiful jacket (which I also decided I needed, but probably not as desperately). It was so much fun to be shopping and just hanging out with two people that made me feel so comfortable. I had literally only spoken with Terry for a few hours and I already felt like she was family. We had coffee and talked about life things before getting back in the car and driving home to Cowdrey. Oh ya, and we also got my tire a new tube and all pumped up and ready to go; semi important.
That night Terry fixed another wonderful meal with flat iron steak, corn on the cob (with incredible seasoning), and a salad. Bert, who unfortunately had to go to work that day, came home with two tubs of ice cream, which we of course did some damage on. We all ended up playing cards (Golf) for a couple hours until we were too tired to continue. I seriously could not believe how much I had fallen in love with two complete strangers in a matter of days. It was as if we had known each other for years.
We got up the next morning to Terry making us a huge breakfast before our departure. We had French toast, eggs and real maple syrup. We then packed up our bags and set out for the post office to say goodbye to Bert. We had took our time getting our bags and bikes together, mostly because we didn’t want to leave the wonderful couple. Luckily we received both the tubes and tires we ordered from REI and the package from Ale’s parents filled with not only tubes but also Justin’s Maple Almond Butter among other delicious foods (thank you Bob and Michela!!! Much love to both of you!!!). (sidenote: we now are caring 8 tubes in total, just in case).
The goodbyes were definitely hard to say and Terry, Ale and I were all in tears as we hugged. Bert and Terry kept offering us more time in Cowdrey, which was so incredibly hard to pass up. We forced ourselves to get on our bikes and start the ride before we agreed to stay all summer. Once we left, we couldn’t stop talking about how grateful we were for such wonderful human beings to come into our lives at such a perfect time.
Thank you thank you to Bert and Terry! You both made our time in Walden / Cowdrey a memory we will never forget!