In the morning I drank a cup of coffee with my new family that I’d met the night before. We then headed to the public bath for a soak. In the park there were people selling kettle corn, hand-forged knives and other such stuff.
After the outing I hung out at the Eagle trying to get photos posted. I helped to take down the Coleman Instant Tent that Catie had borrowed from a friend. It is indeed a thing of beauty. In about a minute you can set up an 8-person two-room tent.
It was 1:00 before I’d soaked up enough power and posted enough stuff to leave the conveniences afforded by the RV Park.
On my way to Dubois (that’s pronounced “DEW boys”) I saw a woman bicycling and tried to offer her water, but couldn’t figure out quite how to do it as I was driving by. I slowed down. I saw a couple of bottles containing fluids on the back of her bike and sped back up. I am afraid that I might have freaked her out by slowing down and leering at her. A while later I passed a pair of cyclists. I rolled the window down and yelled out “Do you need water?” to the guy in back. I don’t know why I couldn’t figure out how to do that before. He said he didn’t think so, but to ask the woman ahead of him. She said that she had enough, but thanks. I think I may have figured out how to do this now. Later, in Dubois, I checked in on twitter and I’d gotten a mention from someone thanking me for giving a guy water the day that I left Saratoga.
Arrived in Dubois at a little past 4:00. No restaurants open before 5:00. I got an ice cream cone. Talked to Black Matt, so-called because of the color of not his skin, but of his clothes. Since he was wearing a black chef’s toque, I thought that he might be the chef at the restaurant next door, but he explained that he’s a waiter. He wears a chef’s toque because they last a long time.
Later, at dinner in the adjoining restaurant, I talked to a family and the daughter acted as if she was familiar with my blog. It turned out, though, that she’d just seen the logo embroidered on my shirt.
I considered checking out the night life in this town of seven hundred some-odd people, but decided to move on to the forest. Once I saw the forest sign, I took the next road I saw. I read the signage having to do with bears. Not far in, there appeared to be a vault toilet. I might have settled close to it, but there was a group of about six Harley riders, presumably headed for Sturgis. It seemed a bit crowded so I rolled on.
I started to settle in one spot, but it didn’t have much of a view, so I resumed my search. I found another place that was in earshot of a stream, which was nice. For the first time on this journey I made a campfire. I’ve been reluctant to do so previously for a number of reasons. It’s been hot, so having a source of heat has not been very appealing. Having a fire is a responsibility, one can’t leave it unattended, so if you’re alone, once you start a fire, you’re pretty tied down. You can’t, say, hop on the bike and check out other camp sites. I think another reason that I haven’t had a campfire might be that it wasn’t that long ago that I had a little fire on my front porch that resulted in the house burning down. As my campfire got going, I remembered the feeling of terror that I felt as I left my burning house.
The previous night, though, I’d enjoyed having a fire with my temporary family. One of the advantages of a fire, Bob suggested, was to keep the bugs away. As it turns out, camping where you can hear water also means that you are camping where mosquitos have plenty of places to breed. There was a nice fire pit already dug lined with stones. I got the blow torch out. Yes, I have a blow torch, a really nice one with a push-button ignition. I collected some wood and made a fire. It was pretty nice. There was a bunch of sage brush around, so a couple of times I got bunches of sage and burned them like incense. I was reminded of moving in to my house and my girlfriend getting a bunch of sage to smudge the house to make it have good energy. It worked then, and was nice on this evening as well.
I read until it got too dark to see, then got out my guitar and played for a while. It got colder and I got more concerned about bears, so I retired to Walden.
I also posted a few more pictures. I got sort of confused, so they are interspersed with stuff from the next day.