Day 5 : from Bancroft to Minden.
Went to bed way too late the night before and woke up dead tired. Took forever to pack up all the shit and somehow managed to do a horrible job of it: the top bag kept getting in my way when mounting/dismounting. Eventually found my way into town to have breakfast and stopped at a horrible restaurant: Dixie breakfast something. Didn't even finish the eggs.
Got back on the bike and having fuelled up, headed out for the next part of the TCAT. At noon no less!! As soon as I hit the gravel road I knew something was not right, was just not feeling Big O, through no fault of his own. I was just too tired and the bike was riding me and not the other way around.
At first, it wasn't a problem as it was easy gravel roads. Then the gravel road turned into well maintained two tracks with some water puddles here and there, baby stuff. Still, I was very hesitant in negotiating any obstacles that we where encountering, which is somewhat out of character for me (the awesome players can attest that I kind of drive a bit faster than my skill level would suggest. :p )
Anyway, after maybe 40min of having turned off the tarmac, we entered the section that the TCAT description warned as tending to be a bit muddy after rain. Shit! It's been raining every second day all spring this year! The trail proved to be just a series of slimy, slippery mud puddles riddled by deep slippery ruts from 4x4s trying to get back to china or something. Speed dropped to nothing. This was going to be a long ass day! And I was tired to start off with. Hum...
No very far in, 20min?, I came upon this little mud puddle:
I walked it just to see how fun it would be (yesterday's water crossing had given me a new appreciation for explorative prevention). That was one slimy, and deep, cesspool! Just the idea of getting stuck in that and spending an hour huffing and puffing to get Big O out of that quagmire made me take a breather and ask myself: I'm I doing this for the enjoyment of it or the bragging rights? Ok, I'll admit it, a bit of both. But mostly for the fun of it and this was not shaping up to be a fun day.
It was an easy decision to just turn around and skip this leg of the TCAT. Big O even felt better under me on our way out of there. And that's how we ended up doing hardly any trails on day 5 and just a bit of tarmac: stopped at the first campground we passed, which was right outside of Minded, pitched the tent, unloaded Big O, sat down and did some Spanish lessons while trying not to dose off with some degree, if not complete, of success...
To finish up the day, we went into town for grub and found this nice little hotel/pub that had GUINNESS and butter chicken. Wait a minute! Butter chicken? Out here? Gotta have me some o that!
Sheeeit, the only thing they got right about the recipe was that is has chicken. But still, was good anyhow.
Big O's take on today's events
I must say that I'm most disapointed with my rider's lack of displine and comitment to my little adventure! Going to sleep at 1am, after a day like that! Next thing you know, he'll expect me to do all the work, while Monsieur doses off in the saddle!
And that was day 5...