In the next big town I'm definitely going to need to find another tube...
Along with the fabulous Bryant and May mystery I listened to all day, I solved another mytery:
I've found at least ten of these by the side of the road. Today I realized why. They're the metal clamps that make the end of a cable into a loop. If the loop breaks, the trucker has to make a new loop, but he can't remove this clamp, so he cuts it off the cable (dropping it by the side of the road where he pulled over), makes a new loop in the slack from the cable, and applies a new clamp. Then he climbs back into the cab and it's "keep on truckin'" and whatnot.
The day passed easily, biking northeast with the wind at my back. I chomped chocolate and had conversations via text message. Two enormous trains passed me on the nearby railroad tracks, the first stacked double-high with cargo boxes, the second an endless chain of black steel tanks. Railroads are incredible.
FUN FACT: Long bike trips make you pee frequently. Today I peed by the side of the road five times!
I had the chance to stop in Cottonwood Falls, but decided to press on into the evening to get ahead of schedule and spend the night in Council Grove. Bryant and May were just about to investigate their third spooky crime scene when I pulled to a stop in front of the Cottage House Motel.
I'm not usually prone to complain about the quality of a motel room. I've stayed in some real stinkers, and since I come with a big pile of my own gear to mitigate the problems, a crummy room is more of an adventure than an inconvenience.
But today is an exception, because I was genuinely surprised by the number of things I found wrong with room 10 of the Cottage House Motel.
Still, I wouldn't have minded if the price was low enough. The motel I patronized in Hutchinson was barrel-scraping but only 30 bucks a night. The room in Springfield was an acrid, mouldering ruin but I just opened the window and threw my sleeping bag on the bed. The price was right.
Here, the price was wrong. This morning I left a room in Newton that cost me 90 bucks and looked like this:
Tonight's room was over 90 bucks, and looked like this:
The vagaries of the road! The good news is, I don't have to come back here ever again! Whee!