Day 29. 1,813 Miles. Controlled Burn.

Rainy morning in Independencea TX and I’m absolutely annihilating these bacon egg and cheese biscuits that Mike sells me. Mike owns the general store. And the restaurant attached it it. And the land we camped on last night. Mike is the motherfuckin man actually. It’s his world, and I’m just a squirrel trying to get a nut. In this case “a nut” is coffee and breakfast and shelter from rain. Mike got me. The 60” TV in the restaurant tells me that’s it’s Friday. That storms are coming. That Houston rush hour traffic has eased. That some dude was arrested after shooting his mother in law to death. Jeez, the information started out useful and went downhill from there. Then the local news gives me a whole minute long segment about “using your dog to get dates”. I definitely want a dog but hesitate as to whether the second part is useful or ethical for that matter. Whatever. I crush two breakfast sandwiches and head out to see if the rain has broken and if Damon is out of the tent yet.

Damon’s not feeling the covid conspiracy talks from within the cafe/store and bolts as soon as the rain ceases. He’s got corporate vegan cuisine just 20 miles up at some king of burgers place. 18 miles later and we’re inside a locally owned cafe with vegan options across from a locally owned book store in Navasota.

There’s three uniformed cops in between us in line, none of them are covering their face, but all three are fully uniformed up. The employees have masks covering their mouths and most of the noses, most of the time. My bandana starts right below my eyes. I kinda wanna just sorta have a kinda sorta discussion with them about it all. Its strange to me that they’d blatantly be like, nah fuck the health of these residents that pay our salaries. They have at least been offered the shot, clearly everyone else in the place has not. I decide not to have the conversation, since I don’t want beef and already had plenty of pig in my breakfast. Instead I go with a pistachio muffin and an overpriced coffee refill. Damon eats a whole bunch of something and still stops up for an Impossible Whopper to go on our way out of town.

A few miles up and I’m in the Sam Houston National Forest. some interesting controlled burns going on today.

Rolling into Richards Texas, I do a double take and see what looks like a 7 year old boy driving a pickup going the other way. Maybe he’s 10 at most. But he’s like Tom Hanks in Big and all his clothes and hat are oversized for him. Like the phenomenon from the film just happened to him just now. Right now. I’m fucking trippin’. What was in those breakfast biscuits? At the break ahead, Damon arrives after me, jumps off the bike and proclaims, “yo, did you see that little kid driving the truck?”. Damon saw it too. Ok so at least it really happened outside of my mind. Damon says he saw a little buckin bronco partner riding shotgun too. So tow kids driving a pickup. Just another day in east Texas.

About 55-60 miles in and Damon gets a clinking sound out of nowhere. It’s strange. We pull off and it becomes clearer what’s happening. This farm road provides the grounds for an onslaught. Like some entry and edit wound shit. One entire inch of this metal shard is burrowed into his tire. I yank it the fuck out. It has literally made two holes in his puncture proof tires. I use some tape as a boot, Damon pumps back and we roll, but go ahead and have a look see at this unholy thing, half of which somehow ended up buried into his tire and tube.

Darkness is coming quickly as we race toward Double Lake USFS recreation area. Finally make entry to the campground; the entrance is unstaffed; the placard says the campground is full. I am intent on camping somewhere in here and cruise in anyway; we definitely need to fill up water in the restroom. Some campground meandering miles later and a golf-carting host couple is briefing us about a spot we can camp at, miles back by the entrance. Away we cruise in total darkness. It’s not so bad because the road is smooth and there only campers on the roads. We make it back and we now have water and electric and I’ll just poop in the woods in the morning and…. holy shit this campground employee is expedient as fuck. He collects the $20 maybe 5 minutes after our tent are up. Federales.

The pop-up penthouse is still wet from this morning’s rain. In fact, everything packed has a layer of moisture on it. And it smells a little like manure. I’m fairly certain that I don’t smell much better than that either. Then I fart and even though I’m the only one in here, I really regret it. I can’t even muster a clever pun or reference right now. An entire day of writing has me stinky and sleepy. Then I pass out.

About tonycaferro

Entrepreneur, Citizen, Marketeer, Fire Fighter / EMT, Bicycle-Tourist, Booking Agent, Youth Mentor, Activist, Agitator, Coffee Addict, Foodie, Social Media Nerd, Amateur Film Critic, Son, Brother, Uncle & Rust Belt Representative. Follow me on Twitter @dtr45
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