Saturday, May 2, 2009

Day Sixty-two, 090501 - Austin, TX

Day Sixty-two, Date Friday, May 1, 2009
Time in Saddle: n/a
Distance for the Day: n/a miles (Still in Austin)
Accumulated Trip Distance: n/a
Altitudes: Starting/Ending n/a, Highest: n/a Accumulated: n/a
Speeds: Avg: n/a mph, Max: n/a mph
Weather: Partly cloudy, warm, humid (get used to it)
Expenditures: $163

Got up for a breakfast of buttered bagels and milk, and then drove downtown to the first volunteer job: preparing more than 400 bag lunches at Caritas, a non-profit organization that, among other vital and beneficial activities, helps feed the poor. We spent a few hours working under the manager of the kitchen, Velda Melendez, who organized and directed us on what needed to be done, from making and bagging sandwiches, to stuffing sodas, sandwiches, and bags of chips into paper bags. After doing that, we then went to pick up Walt’s girlfriend, Mickey, from her workplace (the attorney general’s office) and then went to the local Meals on Wheels distribution center to pick up ten delivery assignments. I just rode along for this one, and watched as Walt and Mickey delivered the meals, and engaged the clients in a bit of chitchat. The chitchat is almost as important as the food itself for some of these people, who don’t get much social contact. At the end of the delivery run, we returned Mickey to her building, and Walt took me to REI and Whole Earth to look for some stuff I wanted to get for the trip. I got a (hopefully) better hammock with a built-in mosquito net option that would replace my old coarse net hammock, which was starting to fray. I also got a new lightweight wool longsleeve shirt, to replace the synthetic shirt that wound up getting caught in my rear tire, earlier on in the trip. And, to top it off, I got another pair of wool socks as I’d somehow lost one of my other pair, insect bite relief medicine, a replacement part for my trike (the rear axel skewer – the one I had got stripped), some replacement CO2 cartridges, three more tiny little boxes of SuperPatches, and Body Glide, a smear-on product that’s supposed to help reduce chaffing (yes!). Total cost: $64, but it’s a bit of a cheat – I used up my $99 dividend from REI to pay for my REI purchases, so really it’s more like $163. Walt’s little SUV decided to have battery problems at REI, so we walked the several blocks back to his place, used his battery/air compressor device to start his other car (which was also having battery startup problems), drove back to REI with the battery/compressor device, started up his SUV, and we both drove the two vehicles back to his house.
Once back, I worked on fixing everything on my trike (tires, rear-axle skewer, gear shift adjustments, and repacking everything to prep for a departure, tomorrow), while Walt fixed dinner, and took ‘er easy for a bit. Oh, one thing I wanted to mention: Walt has an accurate scale, so I weighed myself. I’m down from around 145-150, to around 130 lbs. pounds. Wow! Five pounds lower, and I’ll be the same weight as when I wrestled in high school. I always thought my abdominal region bulged out because I had big internal organs, or something stupid like that. Now, it curves in, not out. How cool is that? After dinner, and after I got my trike mostly back to full travel status, Walt and I went out for a spin on our respective cycling apparatus, where I continued to fiddle with the gear shifting until I seemed to get it right, and did a short, scenic loop around his neighborhood. That evening, I began to work heavily on bringing the blog up to date, and indeed, stayed up until 2:45am before taking a few hour nap on the floor, and getting up again at 6:30am to continue (sometimes, I’m a blog monster).
(Walt found this in the day's paper.) Caption reads: "The small town never forgot the day a space alien walked into town, bought a bicycle-tire repair kit, and left."


Julie said...

I love that cartoon! How appropriate is that??? lol - too funny! Glad you are moving along and hooking up with friends along the way. It all sounds very exciting! I hope the weather gets better though. Glad no one ran you over on the highway! Keep on bloggin!!! xoxopoo

obi_donkenobi said...

Yah! It's very timely and apropros. The weather *did* get better (whew!) I'm glad. L, ;~Don