Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Exit Wounds

Sunday, October 1st, 2006

Basic sequence of events this weekend

Friday night:
– Pack bags.
– Go outside; discover it’s raining.
– Load stuff into car.
– Drive to Fort Wayne, with Sarah and her sister Rachel, to see their mom and grandfather (“Poppo”). It rained the whole way.
– Drive to cheap motel in Fort Wayne which Sarah had found beforehand. This motel seemed slightly less crappy than the one we stayed in last time, due to the fact that it cost a little more, and we learned that the one we stayed in last time is now partially being used as a half-way house. My main hope was that the guy at the desk wouldn’t ask us if we were staying the whole night.
– Decide that this crappy motel is, well, pretty damn crappy.
– Drive around looking for a better place to stay.
– Find Holiday Inn downtown, but it’s too expensive.
– Drive around looking for a better place to stay.
– Find other hotels on the — I’ve lost it at this point, some other side of town. They were also too expensive.
– Eventually return to the crappy motel where we had been planning on staying all along.
– Check in. Place is owned by a born-again Christian (possibly Jehova’s Witness) Indian family. Office smells strongly of Indian food.
– Ask for non-smoking room.
– Go to room. Upon first entering the room, turn the light on. Discover that switch does not click — it glides. There must be some kind of substance gumming up the switch. Room appears to have been set up in the 60s and has not been updated in any way since then. ALL the switches exhibit strange gliding behavior. Some sort of fluids had somehow made their way onto many of the walls, and even the ceiling in one place. The walls were far from square, room was actually a trapezoid. My mountain bike was the cleanest thing in the damn room.
– Decide drinks are needed. Go to Curly’s, a nearby bar owned by Dudley and Mary (“Under OLD Management”). Dudley and Mary are nowhere to be found, although it is Dudley’s 70th birthday. Curly’s is a dive with trees out back. They must be very proud of these trees, as there are large windows at the back, and lights outside to illuminate the trees. A table of people is playing poker, and there is one other couple there. The waitress is unsure how many drinks each person at the table has had as they try to pay — seems to be an honor system. The surface of the table at our booth is on an angle. We have a couple of drinks each. I would’ve liked to have had enough to drink to straighten out that table top, but I had to drive back and we were tired anyway.
– Go back to aforementioned crappy motel and crash.

– Wake up around 8:00 am.
– Get dressed, load stuff into car. Have breakfast at McDonald’s. Most of the McDonald’s staff is middle-aged, which is pretty depressing. Sarah sees an older lady there who used to come in and bother her all the time when Sarah worked at the public library.
– Drop Sarah off at her mom’s old house.
– Ask Sarah’s mom if she knows how I can get to highway 30, which I need to take to get to Warsaw, Indiana, which is where the Winona Lake trails are, where I want to ride. She says she doesn’t, but calls Sarah’s Aunt Sharon. Aunt Sharon offers to drive to 30, and I can follow her there. I decline. Wants to know why the hell I’m going to Warsaw. Apparently, it’s not a place people often go. Eventually get directions to 30 from Sarah’s mom, who called Poppo and asked him.
– Drive to Warsaw.
– Find Winona Lake. Discover trails are closed! I knew there was a race there, but I had been told by several people just to go ahead and go ride there anyway, that the trails would be open, especially before the race. Even the guy in charge of the races told me I could ride before they started. I got there well beforehand, and found huge signs saying “TRAILS CLOSED TO UNREGISTERED RIDERS.” Thanks a lot, Brian!
– Call Sarah and tell her what’s up. She looks up some other trails I can try riding.
– Drive to Bourbon, Indiana, about 20 minutes from Warsaw, hoping Zedsalt from DMusic.com would call me and we could do lunch. I seem to remember him saying he lived in that area. He never called.
– Drive to Columbia City, where one of the trails about which Sarah found information is located. Get ready, hop on the bike and start riding.
– Realize I’ve forgotten my helmet in the car, and forgotten to put on my gloves.
– Go back to car for helmet, take gloves out of Camelbak and put them on.
– Ride about 2 miles. The trail is pretty cool, or at least would be if it weren’t so muddy. It’s a pretty small course, which doesn’t cover a lot of ground, but has a lot of technical challenges. There are no lengthy climbs, but some steep drops and climbs that are fun, some logs to jump (I did a great job on those parts), a wooden ramp, and some other things. I had trouble going up the wooden ramp (I’m not even sure if I was supposed to be going in that direction — there were some arrows marking the way, but I didn’t necessarily follow it). The wood was slippery since it was wet, and my rear wheel started spinning under me. I managed to get to the top, and put my foot down.
– Try to go again, hear a weird sound. Thinking it’s just a stick brushing my wheel, I continue riding. I soon realize that it is not a stick.
– Look at chain. See rear derailleur flopping around!
– Realize I have broken the derailleur hanger.
– Walk back to car.
– Curse a lot.
– Somehow decide that the best course of action is to remove my (just-replaced) chain, thinking it would screw up one of the derailleurs. End up breaking the chain by the master link. Throw it away.
– Drive back to Fort Wayne.
– Decide to get a room in a better hotel.
– Drive around looking for the Best Western we had seen the night before. End up somewhere else. Try to go back and correct my mistake, and somehow end up downtown.
– Go to Starbucks while downtown. There don’t seem to be any Starbucks stores in most of the rest of the city, or any other coffee shops as far as I can tell. An ambulance attempts to thwart my coffee-acquiring attempt, but I manage to successfully execute it nonetheless.
– Drive back toward where I think the Best Western is. Screw up again. At some point earlier, I called Sarah, and she said she’d probably be done in about 2 hours. Now, it’s been probably an hour and a half. I go to a Handy Dandy (convenience store) and decide to just wait there.
– Wait at convenience store for an hour and a half.
– Pick up Sarah
– Go to Best Western. Check in. Lock bike to pool fence.
– Walk to Applebee’s for dessert and drinks. We each have a couple of drinks, once again.
– Walk back to Best Western. Now, it’s cold as hell and raining. We don’t have an umbrella.
– Go to bed shivering and watch Exit Wounds briefly. Fall asleep.

Pretty good overall! Not making a long list for this day. Drove home uneventfully, it was beautiful outside. Stopped at Cracker Barrel for lunch. Dropped Rachel off at her dorm. Tried to get bike fixed at Bicycle Garage, but they didn’t have the right part. Will try other local shops tomorrow. Sarah and I have just been hanging out and enjoying our 2-year anniversary!

2 Responses to “Exit Wounds”

  1. i, squub Says:

    Wow. That is many events. That sucks about your chain thing and then your chain.

    Bikes are just so much goddamn trouble sometimes.

    Did you take any pictures of the 60s hotel? That sounds awesome.

  2. Ear to the Breeze » Blog Archive » Winona Lake Says:

    […] IN (about an hour’s drive west of Fort Wayne). I had tried to ride there last year, but that didn’t work out. Needless to say, I was excited to ride on this trail. It was also a bit of a scouting mission to […]

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