Max Chen delivered the goods to us once again. Here, I present to U the beautifully written account that Max transcribed from a fax he received from one most remarkable man indeed, Unicyclist Patrick Thomas. As U have seen in here, the UniMan is almost in Colorado now, but here is what his ride looked like after he left us in Folsom: California Day 5 Folsom to Placerville Tuesday, June 15 20 plus miles This trip will end up being an affirmation of my profound belief in the genuine goodness of human beings as a whole, or a partial or complete repudiation of this very conviction. I believe that the people, with whom I share this country and planet, for the most part, are kind, caring and giving toward their fellow homo-sapiens. During my two month odyssey, I look forward to putting my principles to the test. Dinner with Don, my recumbent cyclist companion and fellow cross-country road warrior, was superb. I thanked him, profusely, for having the courtesy to wait for me to eat. I had survived the extreme ravages of the Davis, Sacramento, Rancho Cordova and Folsom heat, as well as the wounds inflicted by my unicycle seat. After pizza, salad and drinks, I was born again. Though you could not tell by my account of the unicycling journey from Davis to Folsom, the path along the American River Parkway is beautifully designed, lush with nature and spectacular views throughout. One of my most enduring impressions of this route is the dozens upon hundreds of gophers (maybe, they were ground hogs) who, upon seeing anything or anyone pass by, would retreat, in a flash, to the safety and inner sanctum of their underground palaces. After dinner, Don and I pedaled through the streets of Folsom and made our way to Jack Martin's lovely, spacious home. Jack is a cyclist, software engineer, inventor, husband and father of five. He has created an ingenious system that allows cyclists to replenish lost liquids, without having to wear anything on their back (check it out at http://gomb-er.com). In light of the juggling that Jack has to do in his multiple roles, it was pretty amazing just how gracious he was as a host. Don and I failed to meet Jack's wife, who was sleeping when we arrived and off to work when we awoke. Nevertheless, Jack opened his entire family and home to us. Don, I, Jack and his oldest son talked in the kitchen, deep into the northern edges of the evening hours while I, almost single-handedly, drained a pitcher of fabulous lemonade. Following a rejuvenating shower, I could not have hoped for a better conclusion to a day that thoroughly tested my commitment to this ride. Sweet, luscious slumber overcame me with the quickness of a gazelle. A glorious, sunny and scalding day awaited me the following morning. Jack, without missing a beat, had a full spread of pancakes, juice, fruit, and coffee. I enjoyed hanging out with his kids most of the morning (my sincerest apologies to his middle son, with whom I never managed to play computer games) and then it was time to go. Jack's daughter, Rachel, was kind enough to give me a royal escort, on her bike, to the corner and I was off. I would miss the warmth and comforts of the Martin home, especially during the challenges I faced the following day along the Mormon Emigrant Trail. Natoma Street led me past the infamous Folsom State Prison (why are prisons, so often, built on some of the most incredibly scenic spots? Some examples are: San Quentin (near Larkspur, Calif) and a Nevada State Prison, near Connor's Summit, to mention a couple) to Green Valley Road. Along the rolls, twists, climbs and descents of Green Valley Road, I steadily advanced toward Placerville, at a blistering speed of 6 to 7 miles per hour. Somehow, somewhere, I strayed off Green Valley and ended up on Lode Road (in a town neighboring Placerville), which is where I met Miriam. She was getting the mail from her box, at the side of the road, as I pedaled up. I was lost and bewildered, at this point, and upon seeing Miriam, I was relieved to encounter a soul from whom I could seek guidance. It seemed that she was no less surprised to see someone, like me, riding a unicycle on a rural road. Nonetheless, Miriam was very hospitable. First she offered to give me a lift and, when I politely declined, insisted I come up to the house, for a while, to rest before heading into Placerville. I made my way up the gravel path to her house. This experience has moved me deeply. Whenever I find such trust, such friendly treatment, from a stranger toward me, I am in awe, particularly in light of tragic, tumultuous, events that have transpired in our country and world over the past few years. The flicker of the flame of human decency and hospitality, for one stranger towards another, endures despite the hostile gusts that swirl about it. Entering Miriam's house was like boarding a flight in which you're traveling first class (I've only imagined this experience.) She had fruit drinks poured before I'd even walked through the door. Inside, Miriam introduced me to her housemate, Sandra, and I also met Sandra's mom. We chatted, for awhile, as I told them about the purpose of my ride. We made our way into the living room, just as a playoff game was starting between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Detroit Pistons. I quickly learned that the best way to stay on Miriam's good side was to avoid talking during the game. She was a Laker hater and cheered whenever they stumbled. The game was exciting and while we watched the first half., I retrieved the Subway Tuna sandwich which I bought hours earlier in Folsom. It had wilted, like a flower, under the sunís merciless assault, and seeped a stream of mayonnaise, sauce, and tuna broth into my backpack. (for days to come, my backpack, and everything it held, smelled of tuna) As I prepared to depart for Placerville, Miriam gave me a bag of strawberries as a parting gift. I thanked them all for the kindness they had bestowed upon me and then left to pedal the last few miles that lay ahead. Later that evening, I reflected upon my day's journey. I started to understand all too clearly, just how significant the weather is during a cycle trip. The fact that I had completed 20 to 30 miles was irrelevant. Obviously, depending upon the nature and severity prevalent during a ride, the amount of physical, mental and spiritual exertion required can still be drastically increased.