Crater Lake To Stanley, Day 5 : Amusement

While I’m loading my clothes up at the laundromat, in the town of Christmas Valley, a woman and her six-year-old son come in to do laundry. The kid gazes in awe at my bicycle, which is resting on its kickstand by the door.

He turns to me and exclaims, “You’re a world traveler!”

I look up, from sprinkling soap into the open lid of a washing machine. “A little bit of one, sure,” I say.

“Are you going to go all the way around the world?”

“I’d like to! It would be really cool to bike around Europe. But it would be hard to get there.”


“Well, I’d have to go all the way across the country, to the East Coast, and then I’d have to put my bike onto a boat, and sail across the Atlantic Ocean.”

“Oooh. … That’s a long way.”

“Yup. But you don’t have to go that far to have a good time riding. There’s lots of cool places to ride around here.”

“Like Summer Lake?”

(Summer Lake is a body of water about 40 miles south, next to a marsh and an RV park.) “Well, yeah, but I mean… Places in this country. For example, I’ve been thinking about riding my bike up to Alaska.”

“Cool!!” He turns to his Mom, who is roughly organizing a mound of laundry on a sorting table. “Mom! He’s going to ride his bike to Alaska!!”

The Mom glances over at him. “Wow, really?” she says, in a placating voice.

“Yeah! Vreeeooowwwm, vrooooom…” He runs out of the laundromat, pretending he’s a bicycle zooming along.

The Mom grins at me. “Just let me know if he’s bothering you,” she says.

“Oh he’s fine,” I say, and close my machine.

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