This is Comanche, Texas. I don’t know where it is, either. I seem to be just a few miles south of I-20, which is sort of amazing and sort of not. After I posted on Thursday I ate some collaches (sp?), took some pictures of the Llano River, and went to San Saba. There were a lot of hills on the way, and a lot of water on the ground. I got to San Saba absolutely exhausted, but after hanging around a little bit to recharge my batteries, eat some chicken sandwiches (not very vegetarian right now), trade in a bad paperback for two good ones, and take a shower…well, at that point the sun was going down and I felt like riding some more, so I did. I rode to Goldthwait.

Got to Goldthwait about 10:30 at night, sat around and read Tishimongo Blues, by Elmore Leonard. It RULES. Unlike the book I traded for it, Book of Memories by some jackass named Nadas. I mention this only so that you know, do not read Book of Memories. Because it really, really sucks. Anyway, Elmore Leonard is a god, but only a minor god, like Pan or Loki…

I’m getting to the point here, hold on.

So I got bored in Goldthwait (it’s named after Bobcat, right?), took a little nap on top of a haystack, said what the hell and continued north. About 4:00 AM I got to a town called Priddy, which was closed. I drank a soda, ate some vienna sausages, read more of Tishimongo Blues (which RULES), said what the hell, and continued north. Here’s my favorite part:

I left Priddy at 4:25 AM.

I got to Comanche, Texas, at 5:27 AM.

That’s eighteen miles in an hour.

And my twenty-four hour total was 140 miles!!!! Sweet jesus, I rode 140 miles in 24 hours! I did not -even- know I could do that. My previous record was 80 miles, and that was way hard. This was a breeze. Except for the staying up all night, which I’ll get to in a second. But I’d like to give a big shout out to State Highway 16, which is the single finest road west of the Mississippi. Straight, gentle, not a single damn pothole did I see from Llano all the way to right here. The wind was behind me and the night was dark but bright enough that…well, I honestly couldn’t see where I was going, and I’m lucky there was no roadkill on the road or I would have had a real problem. I was going between 30 and 40 mph sometimes and simply could not see what I was going into. It was a little scary. But no harm, no foul, and 140 in a day is OK with me.

To celebrate being so far ahead of schedule I checked into a hotel and promptly fell behind schedule. Spent the last 24 hours lying in bed, watching the Deadwood marathon on HBO, eating strawberries, smoking, and writing on the comic book. I’s halfway through issue three now, if anybody’s interested. I’m still not sure what it’s called, and I’ve been working on it a year now. Right now I sort of call it Red Republic. If more people knew ancient Egyptian I’d like to make a play on the whole desh’hert and pera’a thing, but the way things are that just won’t make sense.

(desh’hert, the word that means desert now, is Egyptian for “red dirt.”
pera’a, the word that became pharaoh, means “white house.” It’s exactly like calling the Office of the President the White House.)

To sum up:

140 miles! Sweet jesus!
Deadwood is awesome. I love that show.
Elmore Leonard is also awesome. Peter Nadas is not.
It is possible to work intensively on the same story for a solid year and still not be done with it, or even know the title of the story. That can be sort of frustrating but also sort of fun.
Texans pronounce Llano ‘Lano,” like ‘Lando,” instead of ‘Yah-no,’ like we gringos do. They also say “See you next Wensdey,” which is very endearing.
If you only count the days I’ve been riding i’m making phenomenal time. If you count all the days I’ve been gone i’m making like 20 miles a day, which is walking speed. But I’m very fresh and comfortable, well-rested and clean-shaven, I have food and money and clean laundry. So by my standards I’m doing very well.

PS. Fucking Reagan. I managed to not speak ill of the dead for almost a week, but I’ve totally had it. Has everyone forgotten Iraq, Iran, Beruit, Guatemala, health care cuts, firing striking workers, and that idiot war on drugs? And I’m sorry, but the best way to end the cold war was NOT to bankrupt two countries.

I am really sorry about Ray Charles, though.