Stoke Factor: 0
Miserableness Factor: 4
Snot Rockets Blown: 0
Avg Speed: 0mph
It was 7:30 when I got up. The wind was blasting. It hadn’t quite started raining yet, but everything was damp. When I went to sleep, I only staked down the vestibules on either side of my tent because when I don’t, the condensation soaks everything inside. I learned that lesson back in Bruneau. One vestibule side came off of the stake and the clapping of the fabric scared me. I tried to fix it while still absorbing the 90 degree heat in my sleeping bag, but the stake was just out of reach. “That’s it!” I was awake.
I had a plan for the day. Get breakfast, get change, do laundry, shower, get drunk. For the first time in a long time everything went smoother than expected. Of course, I would have rathered to not be in a random RV Park in Idaho, but all of my needs were met. I walked to the gas station and got a coffee and beer. I only got a 6 pack of whatever the highest alcohol content was. They had liquor, but I needed the carbs in beer. I made change for the laundry machines I neglected out of laziness the night before, and walked against 30mph winds to get to the laundry room.
After going back and forth between the tent and laundry room, everything was set. I decided to take a shower to warm up while the clothes spun. To be fair, minus the copious dead flies on the floor, it was pretty well kept. Inside was even a heater! I stripped naked and realized – I didn’t have a towel. I just said fuck it- so I jumped into the warm water and could feel the sweat dripping off of me. Literal puddles of grey formed underneath my feet, sand and dust rushed from every crevice of my body. My hair felt like a perennial during the first rain of the season – I only wished I had a seat to sit on. I thought the seat back in Juntura was odd, but now I knew it served a purpose. I noticed that there was two bottles of conditioner on the shelf. The inner good girl in me said that stealing from people in a trailer park is a great way to get a pitchfork through the chest, but the survivalist woman in me said I had long sweaty hair that needed some moisture. So I used the expensive looking one and rubbed it in my hair- it was soap. Body wash, actually. I should have figured. Nobody gives the less fortunate credit for their recycling capabilities.
The other bottle was a toss up. I wasn’t sure if I could risk another dousing in body wash. My hair was knotted once again and no longer smooth and sexy. All I wanted was to not rip my own hair out every time I looked left. To my surprise, it was actually conditioner, and I ended up using what was left of the entire bottle. My hair felt great! I had been saving soaps from the motels I went to so I washed up and headed out. I thought about shaving my legs, but in a world where I am literally the loneliest under the stars, I had nobody to impress. Some would say they do it for themselves, and I do too, but it truly lacks significance when I should be using all the warmth I could get.
I got in front of the heater and danced to the Spice Girls playing in the background. It was so good to be able to let loose, stretch in other directions. Nobody was watching- I reveled in the insignificance of my existence out in Nowhere, Idaho. I dried fairly quickly- made me wonder how important it really is to use towels other than for hair. We wash our towels after one use, but if I can dry in a 35 degree shower room with just a heater in mere minutes, aren’t we all being wasteful to wash and dry them so often? I put on my sweatshirt and shorts, the rest was still washing.
I went back to my tent and settled in as the laundry dried, curiously pondering my previous thought. Of course, I had been wearing the same clothes for 4 days and alternating underwear and socks every other…but what constitutes something’s need to be washed? Is it the smell or the actual level of grime on the article? Perhaps a combination of both?
I went to close the vestibule zipper and the whole thing broke. I furiously (calmly at first) tried to reattach the handle to the zips and struggled against the wind. I cursed and cursed and cried as the wind battered me nonstop. I was still a bit wet in my hair and cold, wearing only a sweatshirt and shorts as I tugged and tugged. I broke it worse and worse and curled up as I cried in the fetal position. On my second attempt, I carved at it with my knife and poked and prodded until it snapped and zipped closed. I zipped it all the way, and it came undone at the bottom. I punched the ground and shook with rage, but I couldn’t be heard over the wind storms. Deciding that crying wasn’t going to accomplish anything, I chose to frantically fight it. After numerous colorful commentary paragraphs later of me rolling around like a beached salmon, it went on. I carefully zipped it as far as it would go, and duct taped the top and bottom. I used my eyeliner to draw a big X on the side with the broken zipper. Thank the heavens my tent had two entrances.
The majority of my day was spent surfing Facebook. A few people chatted with me, but I couldnt even hold up a conversation. At this point, it has become, “How are you? How’s the journey?” and all I can do is point people towards my blog. What, you aren’t reading my blog? I literally write every thought I have and move I make. That’s how I’m doing. I can hardly be bothered to tell people in real life anymore about my ride. Even with a business card it is a lot to spill in a conversation. I am enjoying my time alone, that much is for sure.
Great Big Story called to say they dropped my story, meaning there will be no documentary or video of this adventure. I couldn’t even think about it. I could have asked for more details but at the end of the day I’m so far drawn away from the marketing side of this trip that it was hard to comprehend. I put so much effort into making the story, and an equal effort was met, but when I skate 73 miles in a day after just doing 60 the day before, my thoughts wander. I am entirely bummed out that this story isn’t going to get the screen it may deserve, but what can I do? Filming myself is no fun. I like taking pictures but the thought of carrying a camera around with me is haunting. I suppose that with no media attention (NPR also bailed) the only documentation will be this blog. I must commit to doing the best I can to ensure that the history books know that I, Calleigh, did it.
I had a few beers but the appeal of getting drunk escaped me. What fun is drinking alone? I smoked some weed and listened to a lot of Danzig as I heard the hub of Shoshone blare train horns, speeding cars, and wind. I was comfortable in my tent. Despite the 30 degree rainy day, it remained 90 in my tent. If not for my tent windows, I could boil in there. I entertained social media and tied up some emails but ultimately stared at the ceiling. “I should be skating,” I thought.
Eventually I got hungry. My first thought was to succumb to laziness and just get a couple of hotdogs from the gas station. Although cost effective, my stomach churned at the thought. I would have rather gone hungry. Since the weather cleared up around 6pm, I gave it one more hour to settle, and walked into town. I came upon the Shoshone Snack Shack and figured it would be a great spot to stop. It was a typical burger joint, with kids working. In a town of 1,500 I was surprised at how many people were out and about. The cashier caught my eye- he was wearing a high school sweatshirt, backwards hat, and very obviously looked like he knew his job back to front and simply didn’t care. For all intents and purposes, I swear on my life he looked exactly like me before I transitioned.
I told him I was skating across the country and would eat anything he recommended. We joked about the Shoshone skate park- it is a single mini ramp destroyed on the top ply layer and looked like it hadn’t been used even the day it was built. He said I could have a “hog” on the house. A hog is a double cheeseburger with ham and bacon on it. As gross as that sounded, I wanted to eat the local food. It had all kinds of amazing veggies on it and I was really surprised at how good it was for a greasy burger.
He also made me a milkshake. When I went to get it, he said his buddies were coming up from Twin Falls with a sack of weed and he asked if I wanted to smoke. I’ve stayed away from the Idaho pot- it’s super dry and what I was gifted in San Diego from EyeHeartPot.com and in Bend were wildly better. However, in the interest of making friends, I used his one-hitter with him as we smoked behind the restaurant. I regretted drinking the milkshake. It was still cold as fuck.
Before I left him, I introduced myself. He told me his name and with all of his similarities to me, should have guessed- his name was exactly what my name USED to be. I had a weird deja vu moment and immediately left. I was, at that point, creeped out.
I walked back to my tent to retire for the night. I never paid for my second day on the RV camp. I had high hopes I could leave early enough to make it to my next stop in Carey, Idaho without wasting money. Although, in retrospect, I enjoyed this rest day. But, each day rested is a day wasted.