Day 126: October 5: In Mount Vernon

Taking it slowly, I waited for the rain to stop, then carefully dried off my tent. After all, I'd be shipping it back to Mountain Hardwear for replacement, and I didn't want them thinking that I packed the tent while wet.

I had breakfast back in town at a good though somewhat pricey place in an old brick building. By the time I was finished with breakfast and some writing, and reading in the bookstore it was about noon. While I was in the bookstore (reading Joe Kurmaskie's new book about cycle touring, which is called Metal Cowboy) an older man came up to me and talked about bike touring. Seems that he and his wife tour frequently in Europe and New Zealand, and he gave me some more information about NZ touring. For instance, he said that the best time to go there was January and February. I picked up a book about travel in NZ, and it confirmed what he said about the weather: unless I want more cool wet weather, I'd be better off postponing a trip there.

I went by the outdoors store where the tent was being sent, and found that it had arrived. I set up the tent in an unfinished area of the store, and sealed the floor seams and some spots on the rainfly. They said that they'd be around for a while after their six o'clock closing time, so the seam sealer would be dry by then. But it meant that I'd be spending another night in Mt. Vernon, with the rain approaching.

So I went by the brewpub and had lunch and a couple of good beers.

When I went back to the store, I got an offer of lodging on someone's couch from Urie and Darrin at BCO. So I took them up on it. I was really impressed by the friendliness of these guys (Urie, Darrin, and Eric, whose house I stayed at). They went out of their way to make sure that I had a place to stay, dry the tent, etc.