I tried to leave Walden this morning, but didn’t get very far. I woke up at 05.00, only to find that it was still snowing and that over a foot had built up over night. By 06.00 things looked to be clearing up, so I decided to try and make a move. I packed up and went to have a look at the roads, but it was quickly apparent that I wasn’t going anywhere. The snow plows hadn’t come through at that point, so the roads were buried.
I made my way back to the motel, slipping extravagently in my plastic-soled bike shoes, only to find that I couldn’t get back into the building without my room key, which I had left with my bike on the other side of the door. I slid over to the office, and found it deserted, so I wandered into town. It was utterly silent, with every surfice covered in pristine snow – white ruled as far as the eye could see. I walked passed several closed cafes, and had just about given up hope of finding anywhere (how many resturants are there in a town of less than 1000 people?) when I saw an ‘open’ sign flicker on. I stumbled inside, alarming the waitress – I’m sure the last thing she expected to see at 07.00 on a snowy morning in the middle of nowhere was a lycra clad Brit! I explained to her that I had locked myself out and that everything – wallet included – was on the wrong side of the door. She was great and 1 cooled breakfast and a few dozen cups of coffee later I was begining to defrost. It was quite good fun spending the morning there, and talking to the locals coming in for breakfast. One guy had just been towed back into town having spent the night stranded near a mountain pass, and another was preparing to go out and check the power lines for damage.
I finally got back into the room at around 10.00, and changed out of my lycra. I spent the rest of the morning talking to the motel owner, Dave, about everything from hunting permits to world politics which made a nice change form the usual ‘so you’re from Australia?’. I had a relaxed afternoon, only wandering out for lunch. On the recomendation of Dave I tried the local bowling alley which reportedly had the best food in town – only in America does a town of less than 1000 have a bowling alley!
The day was overcast and some of the snow had started to melt by mid afternoon, but by 17.00 it had started to snow again. I don’t know If I’ll be able to get going tomorrow, I’ll see what the weather does overnight and have a look in the morning. I have to be careful though, as they only use the snowplow in town leaving the roads impassable by bike. Although it’s annoying to be stuck here, i’ve had a look at the route today, and reckon I’ve only got around 20 days to go – so the coast isn’t too distant.