Three point seven eight five liters, move the decimal point to the right 3 spaces for milliliters. I do this european conversion so often that it's hard not to now. It's the constant chatter that goes on in my brain, a distraction from whatever subconscious desires I have from moment to moment. In this moment there's no need to delay emptying the half full contents of the gallon water jug in front of me. Nonetheless, I'm stuck in the same situation I was at the last controle.
The jug is on the darkly stained wooden railing that surrounds the general store, the general store is perched on a hill. When a rider enters the parking lot from the west, as prescribed by the queue sheet, their trajectory wouldn't allow for them to miss the sweating cloudy plastic container.
It's meant for me.
When I summited Searsburg I took a long pull, when I stopped half-way upSearsburg I took two, when I turned from route 100 to route 8; three short ones.
A drop rolls down the jug and etches it's way through the fine dimpled maze that gravity forces it to take. At each dimpled junction it hesitates and negotiates it's own capillarity. It never reaches a conclusion, this drop, or at least I don't wait for it too.
I exit the general store, crumple the receipt into my palm using the thumb and forefinger of my right hand while reaching for the empty jug on the railing. The full jug in my left hand partially collapses when I pull water past my my sunblock smeared lips. I stand in the shade of the general store and pull three times, crumpling the empty jug in right hand against my chest at the same time. I put the three quarter full jug down where the half empty one had been.
My altruism is satisfied. I now feel like I'm apart of a vast hidden network of jug placers. This feels right.