No need to stealth camp tonight because there are no cops in this town. I learned about the city park from the bartender, Linda at the only bar in Irene. She used to work for the city council, specifically for the parks and she said there's no one that will bother me here. I'm sitting under the pavilion, I have outlets to charge my electronics and there is a fully functioning bathroom with running water and toilet paper right next to me.
I am in paradise. It's great to meet new people and stay with them but, sometimes a night to myself is exactly what I need. Well, today I got the best of both worlds. Riding down the steep hill into town, I came upon the Irene Bar and Grill. The place was completely empty except for Linda who was taking care of Belinda and David. They're an incredibly nice couple just passing through Irene to go to their camper for the weekend.
The 3 of them had so many questions about my trip and for anyone wondering if I get tired of answering the same questions all the time, I do not. If I can inspire one person to go out and do something out of the ordinary, all my efforts on this trip will have been worth it. Anyway, David and Belinda decided to pay for my lunch before they headed out – yet another act of kindness I hope to pay forwars one of these days. Shortly after they left, the bar started to fill up with locals.
Boy, they could practically smell that I wasn't from the area, they could just tell something was different. All really warm, friendly people just trying to pass the time on a Friday afternoon. I knew if I didn't leave soon, I would've speent all night there or I would've gotten in the van with Big Earl and Matt, a couple other outsiders (not as outside as me) headed a couple towns over to play some music at another bar. So, here I am at the park around the corner, my wet clothes hanging on my makeshift clothesline and the rest of my stuff spread out on the picnic tablea in the pavilion, just trying to get caught up with documenting this ridiculous trip.