I continue to be a curiosity to everyone I pass. I really don't mind it, and welcome their questions, except for one thing: People in cars who tail just behind me, getting a reeeaaal good look, like they're bulls deciding whether to charge. Creeps me out.
So far there have been two incidents where I got worried. One was a group of teenagers crammed into a car parked on the opposite side of the empty highway, who stared at me as I rode by, then started their car and joined the road a minute later. I imagined I could hear one of them pitching the idea of "let's run that guy off the road, haw haw!" to the others. Fortunately, they drove in the opposite direction, and I relaxed.
The second incident was when an old man and his wife pulled over in the middle of a dusty intersection to ask me a bunch of questions about where I was going and what my bike was like. I was transferring water from my big container to my bottle at the time. The conversation was fine, but after a minute the old man saw a car on the horizon, realized he was blocking the intersection, and began to reverse his truck towards the curb. For a few seconds it looked like he might plow into my bike.
I would have been very upset, but, imagine also how the old man would have felt: He pulls over to make conversation, and ends up destroying my vehicle and ending my journey. I bet he would have felt like a dumbass for years afterwards.
Anyway, I rode all day, finishing up "Methland" (which was an excellent read but definitely needed some editing), then began listening to "On Call In Hell", at 1.5 speed, and skipping the self-indulgent bits where the author tells his life story before Iraq. The roadside was festooned with big snappy crickets and lumbery beetles, trying their luck on the highway. I passed a feedlot, and some kind of radio station with a towering antenna next to the road. The antenna was anchored to the earth with steel cables, and the wind whistled through them eerily.
I made a recording of it, for your eerification!
The books kept my mind working all the way into Dodge City, where I got a motel room, and stuffed myself at a restaurant called Montana Mike's. Nearly 80 miles today. Time for another day off!