I might be on candid camera

It looked like the Amazon pkg was out for delivery in GJ, so I broke camp and headed toward town. Since I didn’t know when it would be delivered I decided to look for a shower along the way.


Rec center showers are a pleasant discovery. For a day fee of ~$5 a person can use the facilities, including showers. One tip is that rec centers with pools are more likely to have open showers. I won’t ID the particular rec center for reasons that will become clear in a bit.

I googled “rec center shower near me” and found a hit a few miles away and on the general way to the package pickup. Hours were good and the stated fee was $4. Here I come.

This particular one was in the same complexw with the library. I saw the library entrance with no other markings so I headed back to the other side. There was no information about the rec center entrance. I headed back to the library entrance to look around the corner and check again, when I noticed a giant arrow pointing back to the other side.

Fine, I walked to the other side again. Nothing but chainlink fences. I walked back to the Library side and saw an unmarked/windowless door closer to the pool area that was visible through the windows. I pulled on it, expecting it to be locked. It opened poolside.

Ok, let’s see if we can find the office from here. I looked and didn’t see any signs, but did see the signs for the mens locker room. Whatever. I’ll shower first then find the front desk and pay.

The shower was pleasant and much-needed. The only annoying thing was the lack of a hook to hang one’s towel on, but I’ve learned to carry a large S-hook in my shower kit. I hung the kit and towel on the hook over the shower rod.

After the shower I looked again for signs and saw none. I went through a different unmarked and windowless door and was outside again. It felt like a Kafka novel.

I wanted to give them the $4 I had in my pocket but they successfully hid the front desk. I can only assume one accesses the rec center through the entrance marked LIBRARY. The whole city is like this; they don’t appear to be big on forethought.


After the shower maze experience I got a message the pkg was ready for pickup. I was disappointed to realize the shop was inside a shopping mall. Similarly I was disappointed to realize shopping malls still existed.

True to form, the mall entrance was closed with fencing around it and arrows pointing folks to a temporary entrance. I ducked the scaffolding and went in. I consulted the mall map, which had no alphabetical listing so you had to read the directory. The YOU ARE HERE marker was the size of a postage stamp. No wonder malls are bankrupting.

Despite the best efforts of the mall map to thwart me I did find the GNC. The first clerk literally ignored me, so I will assume he was the manager. A young girl who had been sweeping noticed me and came to help. On her way back out with the package she was already apologizing, so I knew this would be interesting. The package had apparently been torn open and resealed:

yay, UPS

I opened it up near a trash can (to dispose of litter) and saw almost everything was there. The J-hooks were missing for my walking stick project. I guess if I really want those I will have to order them a 4th time. Maybe the universe is trying to tell me the walking stick does not need to be further modified.

controller return

After 24hrs the ebay seller answered my query with a request for a pic of the damaged terminal. It’s really hard to see since the terminal is deeply recessed into the controller and the screw broke off deep inside the terminal.

Their slow response means I didn’t get it returned today. Either it will have to wait until I come down off the mountain (see below) or I’ll have to make a special trip. The refund would be $185 minus my shipping costs so we are talking about $150, or ~30% of my monthly budget.


After picking up the package I also picked up a low tire pressure warning.

The first place I stopped for air was card only. It recognized my card as CHIP so wouldn’t swipe. And the CHIP reader was completely unresponsive. No error, just nothing.

The second place I stopped at was card only with no CHIP reader. The screen was so washed out from sunlight that I could only make out the faint word “please” after attempting to swipe. The air never came on; who knows if I was dinged or not.

The third place hid the air center on the side of the building you couldn’t see until you passed it, at which point a divided highway had started and remained divided for 1.5 miles.

The fourth place had an air stand mostly blocked by a person selling flowers out of a vehicle. I got as close as I could and fired it up. All the tires were within normal range although one was a bit lower than I liked. I added a few pounds in that one.

Now when I started the engine it said “check air pressure monitor system” instead of “check air pressure” so I assume it was the TPMS messing up all along.

highway construction

Finally got on the one roadway that serves the spot I’m going to, and saw a flagger. He told me it would be 20 minutes until the escort truck came back. Fine.

People behind me gave up and turned around about 60 seconds before the truck arrived. I could still see them in my rearview mirror as I pulled in behind the escort.

Young Me would have been in a rage over the day’s events but today it felt more like being pranked by Candid Camera (if you can remember that far back).

base camp for the next 9 days

It’s about an hour’s climb up the mountain from the highway, mainly washboard. I stopped at the first campsite that had a Verizon signal (no Tmo, natch). Its’ closer to the dirt road than I like but dust is minimal due to recent rains. Not doing a 14d full pull here anyway; I’ll be here until the 9th at the latest assuming this package doesn’t go haywire.

It’s a solid 10deg F cooler than in GJ; 77 instead of 87. I can handle that. The July 4th “casual camper” chaos on the other hand….

Note: someone has dug an extensive fire pit; it’s about 2’ deep: mega firepit


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