Day 5 - You Had to Wait Until the Last Second

Des Moines Travel Blog

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SUNDAY 25 JULY 2010
Miles: 123 (bus)
Temperature: 92*F
Money Spent: $59.63

I narrowly made the bus today. The driver and clerk of Burlington Trailways Busline were very reluctant to let me on the bus with my bike and several bags. Also, I had decided against bringing the bike in the box. I would have had to deconstruct my bike extensively; take off the crank arms, the front and rear racks, the fenders, both wheels, the handlebars, and the seat post. You see, I'm not shipping my bike, though, I'm just bringing it with me to Des Moines. I figured the Burlington Trailways staff would be nice, and would find another way to go about it. Not quite.

"The bike must be in a box," the driver tells me. I tell him I didn't have a choice; I cannot now find another box, disassemble my bike, then reassemble it and continue in Des Moines. The clerk is sweating profusely inside as he takes my credit card, grumbling: "You had to wait until the last second, didn't you?" He arbitrarily charges me $30 extra for my bags and the bike, writes out my tags, and I run out to the waiting bus. The ride itself was cool, uneventful.

I've decided that it's better to take a bus and a train to make my deadline in August, stay longer with my hosts, and get to know more people and places, than to try and kick my own ass across 75 miles each day. I think that overall, I like people more than I like biking. This isn't to say I'm ditching the biking thing; I just need more time to rest for this leg than I've given myself. Colorado to California will be slower, livelier.

I meet Ramon twenty minutes after getting off the bus. He lives a mile into town. His house is big; there are many people living there. He lives in the attic with his baby kitten, Rosa Parks - a feisty little thing - and has started his own business after moving back here from Topeka two months ago. I hop in a van with him and we drive to pick up a cabinet he bought on Craig's List. We later head to the newest development in Des Moines to see live music in an amphitheater near a man-made stream. We get there only for the last song as the sun sets. Later: Nintendo Wii at a friend's house with Pecan ice cream. The girls put sprinkles and chocolate chips on theirs.

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Des Moines
photo by: frankcanfly