Hunger strikes, as it always does, early this time. Only thing is, it was our day off, and we really didn't want to ride back up hill to town 5 miles away. Whatever shall two lilttle boys do? There must be something over by the visitors center and pool right? If not we can try to see if people were going into town, or if anyone had any breakfast on site that we could give them so money for. Something…
So I headed out to check it out; I wanted to see the pool area anyway. There sure was something by the pool, 2 miles of pavement. I walked for about 30 minutes up and down massive hills while being pursued by horseflies (when do we get rid of these damn things?). I actually took my sandals off to walk so I could swat them as they came in for their attack. Does the candy bar machine work at the pool? Of course not. The only good I got out of it was a map of the campground that showed the 2 miles I covered by foot on the roads could have been done with ¼ mile path through the woods. Hindsight is 20/20. I tried Paul's cell a few times to see if he could initiate plan b, but no answer. Ugh.
I ventured back through the woods hungrier than when I arrived. Little did I know this particular path was the breeding capital of the world for horseflies. I kid you not, within a hundred yards into the path, I was running full speed and flailing my arms like a madman. These things are relentless, and they buzz by your head just to aggravate you, I'm sure of it. I made one stop halfway through on the path where I could get in a good athletic stance and got the sandal out. Now, I'm so non-violent, I wouldn't hurt a fly. And I didn't, these things are horses with wings. Oh yeah, horses are nice too. Well, if they're after my blood, they're going down. Anyway, I could feel them coming off the sandal, and hear them bouncing through the woods after I hit them. That's how big these things are! I had to do the same as I left the path, except there humans so me. I forgot what I even said, but I'm sure I was quite the scene. This all took place in about a 40 second sprint as the path was 20 times faster than the road.
I was unsuccessful on my mission, so it looks like we'd have to ask around, or mooch worst case scenario. As I returned, battered and bruised, and sweating like all get out, where was Paul? Talking to our neighbors? Figuring out a food situation? No, Paul was peacefully resting in the tent. I had a few choice words for what I thought about him at that moment, and shortly after my rant, we trounce
We had devised a solid plan b. We needed change and detergent for the laundry. Since we only had cash, we'd ask the rv-ers to exchange some coinage for our bills, and then slyly ask if they knew if there was any food around other than going back into town. Envisioning… "oh you're heading in to town, well we just rode 550 miles this past week, cool if we tag along"?
The very first couple we spoke to didn't have any detergent, but we got to talking to them and before you know it, they offered us ham sandwiches to which we kindly accepted. We conversed with them for a while. They found our trip quite interesting, and we were charmed by their southern hospitality. They would be meeting up with some family at the park soon, so they offered to take us to a gas station a bit before town. Insisting it was their pleasure, we again accepted thinking to ourselves that we had a lot of paying back to do for all of the favors people had done for us so far.
Shortly after picking up what we needed and returning from the store, the Ball's (last name) family had arrived. It was nearly time for lunch. They invited us back over for more food, insisting they had extra. Again we obliged, and got to meet their grandchildren, and great grandchildren. A charming family that all lives on the same street! Each child gets 20 acres, not bad. What a nice lunch.
We went our separate ways after lunch. We went to the pool, they went fishing. Paul got a taste of the horseflies on the way there, but it wasn't as bad. The pool was pretty packed, oddly enough with many people who couldn't swim (nothing new to Ceglarski family who owns stock in page pool, or the other 3 workers who have worked there in the past 8 years). As it was 95ish like every other day, we wasted no time getting in. I quickly spotted a particularly publicly affectionate couple among the hoards, one hanging on to the other one, who himself could hardly swim, and mentioned to Paul how they should get a room. Before I know it, as I was standing near a wall, here they come… me cornered, we got tied up in a three way bear hug. Gross. We had a good laugh afterwards as Paul saw it unfold, and I cowered helplessly surrounded by Northern Louisiana's non-buoyant version of Romeo and Juliet.
With more blogging to catch up on, we returned to the site. The horseflies were back with a vengeance. Not nearly as interested in Paul's flesh, it went pretty much the same as it did the first time for me. He was witness to one of the most efficient horsefly massacres Louisiana has ever seen as the sandal collected casualties. Sorry for the morbidity, but it was actually a sort of fun.
We decided that we had to get back to town. It was the only way we could get back online which we needed to do badly for many reasons. Since the Ball's had done so much already, we couldn't ask them, so we hit the road on bikes (novel). It wasn't nearly as bad as we remembered; we were in town in no time.
A sonic smoothie would start the evening off just right. As I was unable to pickup any free wireless, I headed to McDonald's, who has wireless in most of their locations (not sure if I mentioned this yet).
After spending the full two hours blogging, picturing, and planning our next few days, Paul and I got to talking to the owner, Gerry. He was very into what we were doing, and was impressed with the fact that a lot of people talk about doing stuff like this, but we were actually doing it. Hearing stuff like that is inspirational to us because we see its effect in others. People that we pass along the way just seem to be instilled with hope, just the idea that we're capable of so much, that it makes them feel better about themselves. Through talking to Gerry, we learned he had an interesting story as well. He's a cancer survivor who has stopped treatment after remission, and feels 100% better. Gerry insisted (I need a synonym for insisted… anyone?) whatever we wanted was on the house. We would have our third free meal of the day, without asking. We only asked for a 10 piece to split, sinc we still had food we had purchased earlier, and he gave us each a ten piece meal with fries and a drink. What a guy.
We'd still need to get back 5 miles, except now it was pitch black. Of course Gerry offered to bring us back in his truck. Even though we had accepted so many favors, just this day, we thought to ourselves… what would our parents want us to do? Needless to say, we got in the truck, and Gerry dropped us off at our campsite. We asked if there was anything we could do to repay the favors, and he just asked that we be safe. Are these people for real? Amazing.
What a day off! What a long entry, if you've read this far you deserve a reward. Here it is, you ready? More blogs. Enjoy.
Even though it was boiling hot still, what did we have to complain about. Nothing, we rested easy eager to get back on the road and enter a new state the following day.
Life was good.