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Day 53

80 miles

Thank you Delores and Frank for the water and chats.

Thanks for the atlas fellas!

Thank you for the drinks Angie and Doug

Lilly’s mmmmm

Sodding Google maps!

Pressure washing the bikes back to perfection. 

A long day made even longer.

We left Dix early about 0615 and were pleased with ourselves for being efficient. I decided to follow Google maps today so with my phone tracking the route and giving me audible prompts we took off. All was well for about 3/4 hour then it sent us down a country lane. Initially this was fine but after a while the paved road dropped and a dirt track took over. This changed about a mile in to a quagmire the like of which I last saw in South Sudan in 2008!

We got through this with filthy muddy bikes which I tried to clean a little so that the wheels would turn – a useful feature to maintain when on a bike ride. After this we hit gravel roads again and again and the miles were passing so slowly it was painful. 

In the end we finally found a paved road, stopped a car and took directions to get to highway 15 . We abandoned Google maps. It may sent you a theoretically direct route but it does not take into account road conditions whatsoever. 

In Fairfield (halfway) we went into a petrol station to try to buy a road atlas. They didn’t have any but one of the kind gentlemen you see in the third photo went home collected an old one and brought it back for us as a gift. 

Further on in Albion (fitting for two Brits), we were worn out and needed a break so we lay on the grass in the shade. A few minutes later a car pulled up and Angie the driver gave us some drinks, she even apologised that they weren’t cold! We gratefully took them and gulped them down. As we finished them she returned with cold water saying she felt bad for the warmth of the previous offering. How lovely , we told her what we are doing and that we are nurses. Her husband Doug is an EMT (ambulance crewman). After Angie left we relaxed a while longer and then Doug arrived for a natter. It was very nice to meet him. We saw them both once again as we left town. A very kind couple. 

This was not the last kind encounter of the day however, as we approached Mt. Carmel we met Delores and Frank Ellis , they came out of their house to the road to talk to us and give us cold water. They even offered us a place to stay. Sadly we needed to come into the town to reduce tomorrow’s marathon ride a little. 

Last job before we ate and went to a cheap motel – jet washing the bikes, they gleam like new. 

Once again a day with downs – back country roads, mud , gravel and disorientation. But, huge ups – amazing generous people. To Mr Trump – America is already great in many ways, it really doesn’t need you, you nasty little man. (He reads my blog daily). 

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