Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Day 25 Perry, GA-->Metter, GA

Departure: 7:32 a.m.
Arrival 4:00 p.m.
Departure temp: 67
Arrival temp: 87
116 miles
2000' climbing

Sleep, sleep, I couldn't go to sleep. I think that's how the song goes from "My Fair Lady." My heart and mind were full--full of images, fragrances, sounds, rituals, routines, all of which I've written about; all of which will be coming to a close tomorrow. Today was our last "full" riding day.

I'm looking forward to re-reading my own blog to remember the many details of the journey and then creating a slideshow.

My concern about today was fulfilled. I sort of shot my wad, as they say, yesterday in my excitement to get into Perry to hook up with Kirk. Then, with only 3-4 hours of sleep and 116 miles to ride in temps in the upper 80's, well, you get the picture.

Getting out of Perry was a little dicey; by far the most "traffic" we've had all tour. After the first 12-15 miles we were on open roads, good roads I might add, for the rest of the day. We saw the likes of Danville, Allentown, Montrose, Dudley, Dublin (where Kirk went to grade school), Blackville, and finally Metter. I consulted at Parkside Lodge of Dublin back in the '80's and the town then was much like it was when Kirk was living there in the late '50's. It's all "grown up" now. Totally unrecognizeable. Even Kirk didn't see anything familiar.

Everyone is wearing down--body, mind, and spirit. Thoughts are turning to re-integrating with family and office politics and projects left untouched for a month. Heads are down as we ride; not nearly as much chatter on the bikes or at meals and rest stops. This is as it should be. Everything has its own rhythm and cycle.

I was listening to my iPod again today. Songs are randomly shuffled so I got to hear the grand finale to Mahler's 1st, which is one of my fav's with all the brass and percussion. The very next song was one of Bryan's bilingual (Spanish/English) tunes about naming fruits and food. I couldn't help but laugh out loud about the comic juxtapostioning. Then it occured to me that the tunes were a perfect metaphor for life. Sublime to ridiculous, celebration to loss, humiliation to humility, on and on. Life, too, is often on random shuffle--events often beyond our control.

Speaking of events beyond our control. The flying things that stung me 2-3 days ago, the ones that stung my stomach. Well, I am having one HUGE allergic reaction to the sting. My whole lower abdomen is one big welt, hard, red, and hot. Going systemic. How to get medical care in Metter? When the hotel desk clerk says that she's a medical student and would NEVER go to the hospital in Metter, well that pretty much says it. One of the vets on the trip had some Prednisone so I'm self-medicating until we can get to Savannah and get someone to take a look at it. I brought 9 inner extra tubes, 4 extra tires, myriad CO2 cartridges (to inflate tires when they flat on the road), extra clips for my shoes, spare shoe buckles, extra parts specific to my recumbent, an extra bike computer, lots of computer batteries, etc., etc. All, just in case. Also brought all my physical therapy equipment so I could keep my body tuned up. (I have called Deb, my PT, daily with my physical report and she has tweaked my exercises accordingly.) But it was a flying insect that got me. How do you prepare for that?? Guess it just goes to show I'm not in charge. A good reminder.

Tomorrow we ride off to Tybee Island, about 20 miles east of Savannah on the ocean. We'll have a little closing banquet there. All the bikes will be packed in their hard shell cases before dinner. Then we can rest. There will be a lot of sleeping riders on the planes heading home. This I know is true.

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