Saturday, July 23, 2011

Coming To An End. Moving On

Last night on the road...

Rode the last 30 miles this morning to Seymour with a two week total coming to about 650 miles. Staying at the local hotel and had planned to be on the road between 6:00 and 6:30 tomorrow morning.

The first order of business after checking in was to find a rental car company that would rent me a car for the one-way trip back to Chicago. Surprisingly, for me anyway, almost everyone told me no. One company told me yes and then said the cost was around $550. Five hundred and fifty dollars!! I declined the offer. Finally found another agency that said yes — $150+tax per day, unlimited mileage, and no drop off fee. Problem is, i have to pick it up at the airport, which would be another 17 miles further down the road.

I decided to investigate the possibility of finding a taxi or limo from Seymour to the Springfield airport, but in Amish country in the middle of nowhere, that idea didn't pan out at all. While still trying to think of other options other than riding the bike all the way, i walked a few blocks down the road to the local Chinese restaurant, which could take a blog post all on its own. Chinese? Restaurant? Living near Chicago obviously spoils you.

When i got there i noticed an old beat up black pickup truck in the parking lot and figured it belonged to some kid. I have to admit that i thought about asking around inside the restaurnt for the owner and trying to bribe him for a ride; people around here aren't rich and the kid could probably use the money. I also admit that i chickened out of trying.

While eating the 70 year old husband at the table next to me started a conversation with me and when I told him what I was doing he offered me a ride to the airport in the morning, tonight if I wanted it. I jumped on the offer. He only wanted enough to cover his gas, I offered him over twice that because it is such a huge convenience for me. This was great news.

As we left, he said he'd be at the hotel at 8:00 in the morning to pick me up. He told me to look for him in that old beat up black pickup sitting out in the lot. :-)

Shocking news! I had my first flat tire this morning. Unbelievable. I didn't bother patching it, I just put in a new inner tube. I never could find an obvious puncture in either the inner tube or in the tire, and the inner tube held air when I tested it later. Not sure what was going on. Maybe the valve stem? But, what I did notice was that the tire bead is starting to break apart in one place; it really looks nasty. Nasty enugh that I wonder if that was the cause of the flat. Nasty enough that I was worried about the 30+ mile ride to Springfield tomorrow. When I get home not only will I have to replace the tire, but the mechanic who replaced my spoke last week told that the wheel itself will need replacing after my trip so i'll do that at the same time.

So what next? The rest of the summer will be devoted to re-doing my downstairs bathroom and building a Japanese-inspired gate leading into my backyard. In the bathroom i'll rip out the cabinet and sink and put in a pedestal sink, replace the 1850s era toilet, do "something" with the shower, and change the color of the paint on the walls. I already designed the gate, but won't post pictures until it's done. I'm excited about the gate, just tolerating the work in the bathroom because it needs to be done.

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