Day 74 – Gila Bend, AZ – 61 miles to Tacna, AZ – 75 miles

November 11, 2009

I was so filthy by the time I got out of that campsite from last light. I went to wash up for the first time really looking like a bum, with the dust film on my clothes and skin. Pigpen with bike. I rinsed off my clean clothes in addition to the dirty ones from yesterday to make myself blend into the human world a little better. It may have been my imagination, but I think the expression on some of the women’s faces that came into that fast food restaurant were the most shocked I have seen. Sorry, I don’t have time to waste waiting in a stall for every person to leave before I lather my shorts in the sink.

I had checked out google earth the previous day, because I could check to see if there would be any places to stop at all today to replenish my water. Everyone told me there was nothing at all, and I have learned that the general population’s view of “nothing” is not always accurate. So sometimes I need to compare perception with reality, and if that means using technology than that’s what I’ll do. Sure enough, I saw that I would find a gas station in a town that was not on google’s regular map. Go figure.
In real life, there was another gas station even sooner than that one. I stopped at it and was informed that I must purchase something to use the restroom. Fair enough. I used it and when I emerged, I asked if they had any fruit. All they had was one bruised apple that cost one dollar. I bought it, and I decided that instead of complaining about how outrageous that was and this and that like I usually do, I paid the lady and hoped that I was contributing to her grandchild’s college fund or something like that.
I reached Dateland and found not only a gas station, but a Travel Center. I figured out pretty quickly why the town was named as such. I ordered their World Famous Date Shake and it was scrumptious. I highly recommend stopping if you are ever anywhere near this area. I was approached by a motorcyclist while stuffing my face with a peanut butter sandwich (which is pretty much the moment most people approach me and I tend to have to smack my lips a lot before I can answer). This was Mike, on one of his many trips, this time to Mexico to get some dental work done. He was exactly what I needed, letting me know that he also has had nothing but good experiences with people on the road. The world, he said, is a pretty good place. I know it, Mike. It sure is. Let other people continue to exist in their worldview that says otherwise if they must, but it’s just not the way it is.
Tacna was a good place to camp for the night – a tiny town with a restaurant and post office but nothing else and a secluded area to camp with a classy sunset. I meditated for a bit and listened to crows crack open the bean seed pods in the trees around me.

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