Zero days are for suckers.
The sun rises on our day off. The last concrete-like plan we discussed is to pack up, bike into downtown DC, see some sites, eat some food and generally vacate in the city before hitting a short stretch of the C&O, getting rural and popping up our tents. I wake up dehydrated. Like head pounding, body cramping, sluggishly out of it dehydrated. I need more water – like from the toilet – and more of what plants crave. I pound a gallon of water and succumb to the ancient gods of ibuprofen. Shortly there after I suggest to Daniel we stay camped in Pat’s backyard another night and hit the canal early the next day. He’s down. Flexibility in plans, check.
50% less headache later and Pat is hooking up the aero press espresso for me. It’s been a gourmet experience all around as a guest in his home. Last nights dinner was bomb. This coffee is fantastico. And even the new 12” vinyl from his group Model Home is ultra electro-funky.
Afterward we roll toward downtown DC with our wholly unloaded bicycles. Feels light and easy comparatively but I’m still struggling up some inclines. It’s hot as balls and we stop off at Litteri Deli for their classic sammich, before heading to the Capitol and White House. It’s Fourth of July weekend but there’s no sign of the Cheeto in Chief. No surprise there. Not much in terms of protests either. There is a very moving collage of images, phrases, faces and names strewn along the gates in front the fence around the White House. The juxtaposition of this near police state against the backdrop of memorials dedicated to lives lost at the hands of police officers is chilling. The energy is thick and heavy. I’m damn near tearing up out of compassion for the many who have suffered and the many more who will suffer more – before, as Pat concedes – “it gets worse before it gets better.”
We grab some groceries for dinner and head back to Pats for refuge from the near 100° heat. We’re chatting in his living room and I pass out in a matter of minutes. I couldn’t have stopped it if I wanted to. Señorita Siesta has come for me and make me her bitch. Pat stages a photo which may be my favorite adult photo of myself in current existence.
Dinner somehow outdoes last nights. Seared tuna steaks. Green beans. Potato and mixed greens salads. Chips and salsa. Daniel insists Pat sends him the recipe.
We chat about the upcoming trails and best way to reach the C&O from here. Somehow Pat and I get on the topic of Rick James and our love of his autobiography. It’s called Glow and it’s a good read. After some bike cleanup and tuneup, I’m ready for another nap or as it’s normally called – sleep.