March 14, 2013
We recently sent out our annual member survey. There were several opportunities on the survey for members to tell us more through comments. As the responses come in, they are read and sorted by hand and distributed to the appropriate departments. Carla and I have been spending some time handling the Routes & Mapping share.
It was through this process of correspondence that a great story from the road was shared with me, one that I couldn't have made up. My correspondent, Dave Goodrich, rode the TransAmerica Trail in 2011. At the end of our exchange, he added this:
For no good reason, I was thinking about the TransAm yesterday, a place called Tribune, KS.I had been riding in blast furnace heat against a 30 mph wind all day. Anyway, you might enjoy the story.
Exhausted and dehydrated, I had pulled into Tribune, Kansas, in the early afternoon, stopping into the only motel for 20 miles. The office smelled a bit like the retriever who appeared a few minutes later, and the owner had a multi-day beard. He was quite kind and assured me that the room had wifi and a hot shower. I rolled the bike around to the back of the motel and kicked the tumbleweed away from the door. There was barely space to get the bike in, with one light for the tiny room. And no signal. I mentioned the wifi situation at the office as I went out in search of liquid. The owner rubbed his chin.
Later that afternoon I had passed out on the bed. A high-pitched grinding sound right above my head made me jump up. It was coming from the next room. From the wall. Coming through the wall.
I made a quick inventory of my defenses. I turned to face the wall, pepper spray and Swiss Army knife in hand. The grinding was getting louder. A small chunk of plaster flew out of the wall onto the dresser. The head of a drill emerged from the hole and retreated. Then a wire crawled out of the hole and began to snake down the wall. An Ethernet cable.
A muffled voice came through the wall. “That do you okay?”
“Uh. Uh. Sure. I’m sure that’ll be just fine. Uh, thanks very much.” And I began to stop shaking.
You can read more of Dave's TransAm adventure in his journal, Across 2011.
Cyclist on SR 96 in Kansas just outside of Tribune on the TransAm route. Photo by ebis50 on Flickr
GEOPOINTS BULLETIN is written by Jennifer 'Jenn' Milyko, an Adventure Cycling cartographer, and appears weekly, highlighting curious facts, figures, and persons from the Adventure Cycling Route Network with tips and hints for personal route creation thrown in for good measure. She also wants to remind you that map corrections and comments are always welcome via the online Map Correction Form.