I was tired after dinner, and it was getting dark already in Crescent City, and it was only 7:30. We'd biked about 60 mi that day, and had a bigger day coming up: our longest climbs and 79 miles. I had hoped to take my new mp3 player to my tent with me, loaded with an audiobook, since I'd found it tough to prop both myself and my 900+ page novel, Shantaram, up in my tent each night.
But we kept losing the internet connection at the campground, and I couldn't load anything. I figured I'd try to keep myself awake until 9 pm by studying up my new user manual.
Then I discovered that the new player had come with a few songs on it! I had no idea how much I'd been missing music since I'd left Seattle last Wednesday. After I listened to all six songs, I pressed "menu" and found the FM player. I ended up rocking out in my sleeping bag until I decided I'd better get to sleep so I could rise early next morning; with the long day ahead, I wanted to be packed up and out of camp early.
It was a restless night, damp and worried I'd oversleep the morning. At last I woke and was delighted to see "6 am" on my watch. I immediately unscrewed the valve that keeps air in my air mattress, then lay there thinking what a good invention an alarm/valve unscrewer would be for campers.
I sat up when the air was out and pulled on the bike clothes I'd laid out the night before, then put my watch on. Which is when I noticed that it was now 5:15. And my air mattress was flat. There I lay, on the cold, hard ground, a phrase long associated with lonely graves that had now acquired new meaning for me.
Nevertheless, I managed to fall back to sleep, which meant it was 6:45 when finally I did leap from my bag. I didn't get out of camp that day until 9:15, but I still made it to camp last night before dark, and that's good enough.
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