Very short day (15 miles) because we arranged a Warmshowers host nearby. This is good active recovery before our final push to finish our trip by next weekend. But oh what a day.
The day truly started in the middle of the night. We were camping in like the only hiker/biker site for 90 miles so we were grateful to have it. Especially on the 4th of July when everything is sold out, packed, or uber expensive. However, this was a county campground in the middle of a fairly large urban area, thus it was filled to capacity and bursting at the seams both with traditional campers and those once-a-year campers. Such a robust concentration of people in one space in an urban area made me particularly concerned about theft of our shit, considering the tales of horror fellow cyclists told us about. As daylight dimmed to night, I grew ever more wary.
Which turned out to be rightfully so. As soon as night really hit, a second crowd began to roam the campground. We had heard that this campground played host to drugs and those under the influence thereof, but man…did it ever. A few people began weaving out of one campsite to the next. Strange behavior if you already have a campsite, so when they entered ours and walked towards our shit, I would sit-up and make it known I was plainly reading, plainly awake, and plainly aware of them. Then they would startle and leave our site. No biggie. Some other people, clearly homeless, went straight to the restrooms – which didn’t bother me because everyone needs to use facilities and take showers. It was the staggering drunk/others yelling and swinging items around (one guy incoherently with a baseball bat) that wandered into our site that made me wary. I did not want our bikes to disappear as had happened to some other cyclists we met.
As night wore on I drifted in and out of sleep as people would wander by. Finally, I decided at length to pass a bowel movement at 3:45 in the morning. I got up and headed to the facilities. The doors to the restroom work by entering a keypad code. I entered mine and headed for the stall in my usual attire of nudity. Suddenly, I heard someone entering the keypad. Whatever. Didn’t work. They tried again. Doesn’t work. Tried again. It’s a really easy code and the fact they weren’t entering it correctly suggested they were not guests of the camp. I’m about to shout out the code, because everyone needs to go sometime, when the person begins violently assaulting the door. They start cursing, then not speaking coherently with slurs, and then begin chunking rocks and bricks at the door. I reverse decision and sit as silently as possible. They throw bricks at the screened vent windows and beat the shit out of the walls.
Quickly I realize they are going to enter this room no matter what. I do a quick count of stalls and aghast it dawns on me that I am in the only fucking stall in the restroom. Not only that, but whoever designed this stall was very clever with a sense of humor because the walls of the stall and door don’t go down to the floor. Instead, they actually rise above your knees and waist while sitting on this toilet. Thus, if one felt the need, you could sit eye-level with the bottom of the stall walls and basically see the entire party happening on the other side in direct view.
I felt like I was on an episode of Naked and Afraid because…I was naked…and fucking afraid. There really seemed only one course of action when this person finally got in. I played it out in my mind perfectly. They would burst in, their body riddled with constipation unleashing its hold combined with some unknown-mind-altering-substance, see my stall, attempt to break in, but would invariably enter via the bottom where there would be an immediate throw down between me and him.
There would only be one thing I could do to defend. I would immediately make velociraptor screams while thrashing and lowering my naked body towards them. I felt extremely satisfied with this solution and smiled because I knew that no matter what state of mind this person was in, they would absolutely be impacted.
I braced myself for the encounter. After some final incoherent mutterings/rattles and punches, the person wandered away, and I was left disappointed for more.
Needless to say, I didn’t sleep much after that.
When morning came, we received word our Warmshowers host would only be available at 8 pm. Being distanced only 15 miles, we decided to enjoy the day until evening by seeing two movies – our first of the summer – (Inside Out and Jurassic World). The theater was really nice because they stored our panniers safely for us while we watched. We chilled in a Panera (thank goddess it was open on the 4th) and charged our phones before we headed to Guadalupe. Out host was awesome and converted her garage to a bike stay for passing tourists.