I continued south for what seemed like forever with only Bon Jovi and Billy Idol to keep me company. The Yakima Valley is a kind of desert valley, not the kind with sand and rocks everywhere, but rather the barren, wind swept plains kind. The kind where all you see are endless fields, mountains in the distance, and a lone farmhouse every so often. The bike ride was difficult. I was never much of a bike rider before this trip, and it was about now that I wondered if this was really such a good idea. I didn’t know where I was going, what I was doing, and my body already hurt from just the short 20 miles I had gone. Cycling for 6 hours didn’t help my mental state much; it gave me a lot of time to dwell on these facts.
At length I came upon Toppenish, home to the trashy looking indian reservations where people lived and one big ass glamorous Casino where they all worked. Interesting dynamic… I fought my urge to play a little Black Jack and continued down the road for many more miles all the while trying to forget that what I was doing was technically insane. Many cars passed me, more than a few comming dangerously close to clipping me with their mirrors. Each near collision aroused this intense anger within me and it wasn’t long before I began shouting at cars and drivers that couldn’t hear me. Each burst of anger brought on a sharp pain in my chest; my personal reminder that my anger, the anger that I’d held in for almost 2 years, was literally going to kill me if I couldn’t calm myself down.
It took some work and a lot of mental gymnastics, but I managed to convince myself to forget about the cars that came within 2 inches of running me over and instead focus on where I was. I was still on the 97 South right? I looked around for a sign that I was on the right road still, but I found none. Whatever, though I had been stuck inside my head for a bit while battling my demons, I definitely knew that I hadn’t made a turn. So I was still on the same road I was on before. Good.
The day was long, the sun was hot, and I was pounding water like never before. On my bike I carried two 1.5 liter water bottles and a 1 liter water bottle in the cage underneathe my bike. Four liters of water and yet, it wasn’t long before I found myself empty. I slowed my speed as I looked around for a place to refill my water. Endless fields surrounded me and a dry, dusty, barren road stretched out before me. Damn.
I had no choice but to keep moving. I certainly couldn’t refill my water out here in the middle of nowhere and it would do no good to complain about it, so I took 1000mg of suck-it-the-fuck-up and pedaled faster. At this point I had not discovered the benefit of shifting gears correctly so I’m sure riding in my highest gear at all times was counter productive as it placed a strain on my body that could have been alieviated by simply switching to a lower gear. Ah, the things I didn’t know.
I pedaled on and on, thirsty as hell, hoping that I would come across a house or a small town or a pond… something, anything that had water. An hour and half passed by and I was sure that I was fast becomming dehydrated…