17 August 2014
Lofer, Austria to Bergen, Germany (49 miles; Total = 774 miles)
I didn’t mean to do it. I only looked away for a split second, but that was all it took. There he was, right smack in the middle of the path, and me with no time to swerve. SQUISH. I’m pretty sure I spliced him right across the middle (ICK!), but I wasn’t inclined to look back to confirm. I only hope it was painless and I apologize, Universe, for running over that slug. I really do hate to take an innocent life and I really do make an effort to not hit anything that’s crossing in front of me, from slugs to cows to small children. But sadly now I’ve got slug bits glued to my tires which leads to gravel bits glued to my tires which leads to the whole mess making a GALUMPING CLACKETY CLACK sound as my tires goes round and round, slug bits and gravel scraping the underside of my fenders and my now guilty conscience. That I’ve managed to run over a slug on the sunniest, driest day of cycling we’ve had in FOUR WEEKS is an inescapable irony.
Yes, it’s sunny out, and we are pedaling our way from Austria back into Germany, Stage 3 of our trip (the Tauernradweg in the mountains south/southwest of Salzburg) complete and Stage 4 of our trip (catching the Bodensee-Konigsee in a roundabout way back to Munich) underway. We’ve ridden part of this route before, only back in 2006 we were smarter and took a short-cut, cutting off some hilly miles that caught up with us these 8 years later. Probably should have done them back then when we were also younger and stronger.
Tonight we’re in Bergen where Gina managed to find us the last room in town. As if that wasn’t excitement enough, we’ve spent half of our evening feeding a Euro coin into a cold beer/soda machine in the lobby that must be from at least 40 years ago, if not another planet. It’s the same Euro coin we keep feeding into it because the machine keeps popping it back out. Why we don’t give up is because the first Euro coin we fed it produced an ice cold bottle of Pepsi, so now we are like Pavlov’s dogs, expecting the clink of the coin to produce another ice cold Pepsi. Only it’s not, so I guess it’s time to go sniff at my blanket, spin around a few times, dig a little at my pillow, and plop myself down to sleep with a big dog sigh.