DAY 94 - HEAT WAVE
Day 94 - Modesto, CA - 3088 km
Today was a tough one. I started from Modesto for the second time, after I got stuck the day before by having a countless amount of punctures in both tires from so called ‘goat heads’. It made me return to town to get new tubes. Today the same ride, started at 7 in the morning while temperatures were high but reasonable. Through farmland and orchards and later through yellow meadows and golden hills. In the afternoon it got really hot and my legs didn’t want to do the work anymore, yet there was quite a way to go to stock up food and water. The road started climbing up which I wasn’t expecting yet either. No facilities, no fresh water and no cars around. My kind of landscape if I’m feeling good but all my body was saying was: “Martijn, let’s go back to San Francisco, you don’t have to go through this.” My legs felt numb and didn’t want to pedal anymore.
When I found a big tree I passed out in the shade for an hour. After I came to strength I pushed on with the little amount of water I still carried. Do you ever drink the warm water while you’re showering? Try it, it’s disgusting isn’t it? That’s what I’m drinking most of the day in these temperatures. There was another last hill I had to battle with my tongue on the handlebar (Dutch saying meaning: being exhausted) before I reached this quaint little ghost town called Chinese Camp. There was a small cafe/store managed by a friendly Asian woman which had fresh drinks, coffee and sandwiches. For me at that point it was a five star restaurant experience. The splash of cold water in my face felt like a spa treatment. After winding down there for another hour the lady recommended me to take a small road down to a reservoir lake nearby for a swim. It was a great spot. I took the swim, set up camp, cooked my pasta and here I am enjoying a cold Lagunitas while mellow tunes from my bluetooth speaker disturb the silence of the warm night. It’s the perfect ending of a day like this. I love this life. It’s the pain which defines the pleasure. I end the day with a long conversation with a passerby who sawed off his thumb who offered me something to smoke.