Bike day 34

Remember that tailwind from yesterday? The wind changed. Goodbye to Mary Poppins, hello torture. 
We had breakfast at the Red Mesa gas station. I had coffee with an added packet of folgers black silk and raisin bran with a scoop of protien powder and an apple…weird eating habits on the road. 
The morning started out cool but windy. In the FACE windy. An hour after sunrise it got hot. And windy. So windy. It felt like the dentist…you know, when he puts the spit-sucky thing in your mouth and you have no saliva left? Yeeeeah…that feeling. I started keeping my mouth closed and breathing in and out through my nose (usually I do in-thru-the-nose out-thru-the-mouth) but that didn’t really do any better. The back of the throat still became parched immediately.
The wind plus the traffic plus the awkwardly placed rumble strips made it impossible to reach for and drink water without falling over or going off the road. We had to stop every 20 mins or so just to drink. It was ridiculous. And we were seriously pedaling hard and going 4mph. On a relatively flat road. Uggh. 
I went slightly ahead of Jacob when I saw the Burger King sign in the distance. It was about 4 miles away…we could SEE it…buuut that damn sign did not get any closer, despite pedaling our brains out. It was about this point when I thought of that part in Forrest Gump…the part where he’s running and just stops and says “I’m pretty tired. I think I’ll go home now”. I was beat. Can I go home yet? Nope. 
Well, we made it to Kayante after seeing the Burger King mirage sign for about an hour. We ate at McDonalds. Eff that BK tricky sign. I drank 3 large (gigantic McD’s large) half-powerade half-waters. Still felt dried out. 
After our lunch break Jacob asks “you ready for another beating?”. I reply “Ready or not, we gotta go”.
The next few hours were the same torture. I started feeling shaky. At the next convenience store (few and far between on the res) we stopped for snacks and cold drinks. I started to feel a little better although I was doubting whether I’d make it 52 more miles to Tuba City. It was already 5:30. 
We met some reservation puppies at the store and if Jacob had his truck I’m sure he would have adopted a few cuties. 
We also met a nice man and his 5 year old son. The kid was playing with brass knuckles and was visiting from Alaska where his mom lives. They have horses on the reservation and sled dogs in Alaska. 
Finally around 6:30 the wind died down a bit and we could move at a normal pace. Thank goodness. We got the lights out and found one dead and the other dying. Uh oh. 
We ride by the Elephant Feet rock formations and get to the base of a hill when POP goes Jacob’s tire. We still wanted to ride 21 more miles to Tuba, but all signs pointed to stopping immediately. I rode to the convenience store at the top of the hill and Jacob walked the bike up to meet me. When I asked to camp at the Red Lake convenience store, the nice kid Justin said “You want to camp heeere? Ummm, at your own risk”. Apparently the store is a hang-out for drug dealers. Unfortunately we didn’t have options so we locked the bikes together, put the tarp over them, pitched the tent, put our mace canisters within reach (Jacob said “show me your mace!”), and crossed our fingers for “no trouble”. I was nervous but happy to have a 6’8″ Jacob-body guard. He said “text somebody that we’re here”. So I texted Melinda our location and told her to send Matt to get us if she didn’t hear from me the next day.
Spoiler alert… We survived!

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