Thursday, June 25, 2009

Day 18 June 22 Texarkana to Linden, TX (42 mi)

Texas is hot. Brutally hot. It was still dark when I got up. I waited for Nate to get ready and he wasn't too excited, probably because he was heading to work. I rode with him where he was carpooling with Aaron and another guy, Jobi. I said my goodbyes and we each went our separate ways. Nate and Aaron are awesome, I really hope I can run into them at some point again.

Through Texarkana I passed and on one of the streets to 59 a prostitute tried to stop me at 630 in the fucking am. Not now baby. Kept moving and busted my ass on the railroad tracks. I got into Atlanta at 945 and decided to rest at a McDonalds packed with blue collar Americans. Every head turned toward me with suspicion. I set my shit down, went up to the register and they weren't serving lunch yet, I went to sit. The booth infront of me had a family and the man turned around.
"Hey son, do you need something to eat?"
"No thank you, Im waiting on the lunch menu"
"I was just offering"
"I appreciate it"

I guess he took offense. When 1030 came around, the lunch menu was on and I ordered a large fries and a McChicken. Good energy. I left at 11 and off to Linden. I was on the shitty Texas chipseal now. I heard everything was bigger and better in Texas, obviously not the roads. The vibrations were so hard they number my legs. Then a small gray Toyota truck honks at me coming the opposite direction and minutes later pulls up ahead of me. When I near, an older man pops out, extends his hand

"Jerry Harp, how are you doing?"
"Omar, nice to meet you"
"Im a cross country cyclist, and I had to pull over"
"Oh, haha, Im skateboarding"
"Do you need a ride?" I had a feeling he was testing me
"Im trying to cheat"
After talking some more he took my blog and name down.
"Are you I-ranian?"
"Haha, no Im Egyptian"
"Oh ok"
He told me he had to get something in Atlanta and would drive by me again and if I needed a place to spend the night I could take him up on the offer. Hells yeah. About 7 miles later he pulls up, gives me his number and tells me to call him when I get into town. I arrived there at 130 and my phone had no service. I called Jerry from an Exxon gas station and 5 minutes later, ha! there he was.

Jerry turned to be awesome. He was living with his wife Martha. The first thing he did was take me upstairs to a comfortable room. Then he let me shower. Then after reading the blog and finding out I had pasta and sour cream in Little Rock and loving it, he made me the bombest sour cream pasta, with bacon, avocado, carrots, peppers and a little spice. We talked. He had cycled the country on different occasions and was so impressed by my distance covering. "40 miles a day?! you could easily cover 100 miles on a bike". "You survive on $7 a day?! You put me to shame, I spend about $25" At $25 a day I would be broke by the 40th day of my trip. Id have to get a job to keep going. He then felt the need to show me around Linden, the attractions, and his family. Hell yeah

First we went by the oldest courthouse in Texas, the Linden courthouse and its confederate memorial which is present in about every town in the south. Then we went to Music City Texas where a blues festival had just been underway. I learned that Don Hindley of the Eagles grew up in Linden, fuckin awesome and he funded this nice little place. Then we visited his daughter who happened to live right across the street. She was nice but he saved the best for last his sons house and the trophies inside. He wasn't at the house at the time I was there but I met his very nice daughter in law and he showed me the biggest elk head I had ever seen. His son had shot the sucker in Colorado with one arrow! I shit you not, the trophy, from the head to the neck, not including the antlers was as big as me. I wish I got a picture but I was so busy staring at its massiveness, it didn't even cross my mind. We headed back home where a Chicken Dorito casserole was waiting on us. Oh my god, it was so fresh and so good. Its been months since Ive eaten a home cooked meal like that. We relaxed, drank some homemade wine and 1030 I decided it was time to go to bed. Jerry insisted that he wake up the next day and make me pancakes even though I was getting up at 530 and he usually got up at 930.

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