I have never really been that big on my birthday celebrations. I think I subconsciously worry that it won’t live up to the hype, so I set the bar really low. This year I told myself that this trip was a present in itself and I would be so incredibly grateful to just cross the border and get into the green state of Missouri. I had no idea what I was in store for…
On September 6th (day before the b day), Ale and I set out to do 108 miles, so we could get close to the border. That day ended up being a lot more exciting than planned. We got up early, got in a couple hours of night riding, saw a family of skunks (which I almost ran over), silently freaked out, and then continued towards our first rest stop (Benedict, KS). As Ale and I slowly road through the desolate town of Benedict, we came across what looked like an old house. Out front was a hand written sign indicating that it was in fact a community store with “groceries and food.” We parked our bikes and out came an elderly man with a good-sized belly, and thin long grey hair. He said hello, welcomed us to his store, and then turned towards the sun and started praying out loud with words I could not understand. I held my gaze down at my bike, because I knew if I looked at Ale we would have shared the “uh oh” look, and I didn’t want to risk offending this man who seemed kind enough.
We followed him into the store after he was done and started searching for lunch. Paster Joe explained that they had lost a lot of cliff bars to a huge rat that had broken in and eaten a bunch, so they were low on supplies. He proceeded to tell me how he added a nail and some extra spring mechanism to the trap, to really make sure they got the rodent. I could tell he was extremely proud of himself, so i asked questions and let him gloat about it as I continued the search for something edible.
The store had some canned foods and a freezer with ice cream. That was enough for me. I grabbed an ice cream cup and continued to listen to Joe tell me about a lot of religious stories. I was delirious at this point and all I could think about was the “Steve Jobs” book I had been listening to on my i-phone while riding. But I kept giving words of encouragement as though I was thoroughly interested, hoping I did not appear rude in my brain dead state.
tangent: I think sometimes these people in the middle of no where really like to talk to us when we stop by, because they don’t get visitors very often. It is not unusual at all to have a complete stranger tell me his or her life story within minutes after introducing myself. I find it very therapeutic to talk to others about my life, so I am glad to be of service to others who need someone’s ear. And I don’t mind listening and often enjoy learning about the lives of everyone I meet. However, I find it extremely difficult to
more later, out to dinner with the padre 🙂