Wednesday, July 27, 2011

day 27, critters

Pretty quiet day on the road today. My phone is once again unable to find any data signal, so I'm here at some weird gift shop and auto museum using their very, very slow Gateway VX920 for free internet.

I mainly want to tell you all about the critters we've encountered of late. Most notably today were the grasshoppers pretty literally covering the road, jumping up at us, hitting our legs, torsos, necks and faces as we rode along. One hung out on my shoe for awhile. The gentle ring of my spokes would let me know one had gotten caught there. I have the feeling we haven't seen the end of these guys tonight. They'll probably be sharing our campsite as well. The guy who works here told us he never needs to mow his lawn since the 'hoppers take care of grass maintenance for him. It should be known by all that Aaron shrieks like a little girl when being attacked by these little buggers. I make more of an "Ack!" noise, usually staccato, as I remind myself to keep my mouth closed, just in case.

We've also started a few cattle stampedes these last few days as we ride down quiet roads past herds behind the seemingly flimsy barbed wire fences. As the group starts running along side you, it's impossible to not wonder how easy it'd be for them to charge right through the wire and onto the road. Speaking of herds, we were herded ourselves today, by Princess the shephard doggie, who chased us for probably about a mile until her owner was able to reel her in. She seemed pretty plesed with herself - Princess, that is. As she should have been - she kept up with us!

Finally in critter-related news, we saw an antlered animal we didn't initially recognize during our last 10 miles or so today. I think it was an antelope. I told you - the frontier. According to Aaron and his collection of maps, we increased elevation by about 1000 feet today, pretty gradually except for that monster of a climb out of the Missouri River Valley this morning. When you spend most of the day at an incline, flat road feels like downhill, I've realized.

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