July 27th: Stamford to Lincoln

Some historical scenarios had Harold traveling through Peterborough to Lincoln, west to Tadcaster, east through York to Stamford Bridge to deal with the Vikings. 

I built a Lincoln contingency into the trip to account for a break to the east or the west. I decided that I’d figure it out when I was there. Now I was there. I would visit the birthplace of my hero, Margaret Thatcher, Grantham. I’d decide about Lincoln after that.

Challenged at her last question time on income levels, Thatcher said, “All levels of income are better off than they were in 1979.”

“He would rather the poor were poorer, provided the rich were less rich,” she said, finishing him off.

Outside Thatcher’s house I pondered Lincoln. A huge drop of rain hit my phone, then many more. It was a deluge. So I retreated to the Grantham museum, a modest place, where I poked around, dried out and charged phone batteries. And waited. I finally decided that to wait made no sense. So I charged into the rain.

It was wonderful when I got over myself. The rain was warm. When cars passed they splashed me. Would I die of pneumonia? Sure, but in Lincoln, not on the side of the road. I was free. I couldn’t get anymore wet than I was.

Heard in a pub in Lincoln

I sloshed into a pub and had one of the best meals I’ve had in my life, and when in Lincoln, dried out, I drank with locals. The next day I’d find a laundry, go to church at the cathedral, and see the Magana Carta.

At some point along the ride I realized, “I’m the guy who’s riding to Lincoln in the rain. That’s what I am doing.” If I could live life like this, I’d stay free.