When we started our adventure, we had a plan. Rather I should say, Dave had a plan that we would make it to Quebec City. Sounded wonderful. I'd never been and have heard wonderful stories about that city.
As you know, after 3-4 days, "giant hills" became an issue for me and we flexed and decided if I did not want to hike all the hills to Quebec, we best choose a more doable route. Flexibility is important in any adventure. A couple days after Lancaster, PA we took a turn south and west and headed for the flatter terrain of VA, MD, and DE. More ride-able for me, though more boring for "mountain man", Dave.
We met the most wonderful people along the way, extraordinary people. Warm Shower hosts, good Samaritans that took us in in the midst of storms, individuals with wings and halos that saved me from hills and bridges, relatives (of Dave's) that housed us through storms and trucked us-- three times!! over high steep hills that were too much for me, cab driver Chris who made me feel good in spite of a forgetful morning, folks that drove 40 miles so Dave could get his bike chain repaired, and a hotel manager that took us in during a flood. For names and places, see the addendum to today's blog. Every person we met along the way, added to this trip. Biking is about the places we see, the exercise of pushing our bodies, the food we experience, but most of all the people and their pets we get to know.
Talking with people is a gift. And some of the folks I remember the most, I didn't even get their names, unfortunately. After I had chatted with a woman for about 15 minutes, one day, as she told me a little about her town, she thanked ME for talking to HER. That took me by surprise. I always felt like people were kind to talk to me and answer my questions. Never occurred to me it also works the other way. A good reason to open our ears and be interested in what others have to offer. It makes them feel important for a few minutes. We ALL need that.
We cruised through Delaware with headwinds, climbed (and walked) over Pennsylvania, dodged traffic in the cities of Virginia, and enjoyed the countryside of rural Virginia, bused and shuttled and biked bridges through VA and MD, cycled the adored endless, twisting and turning back roads of Maryland, and once again enjoyed the easy cycling through Delaware to make our way back to the Cape May- Lewes Ferry.
There were a few other cyclists joining us on the ferry ride back to Cape May.
Perfect day for a ferry ride. Cruise-like as the gulls circled and the folks on deck soaked up the sun.
The texts from home were already beginning. "When will you arrive?" Other texts were coming in about work related questions. Friends and family expectations. All good. But expectations none the less. I realized when you are on the road, there are no timetables (other than the setting sun), nothing to do but ride. Your biggest decision of the day is what to wear during the ride that day. That is the tough thing about returning to the real world. Expectations. Deadlines. Meetings. None of these things are bad, in fact without them we'd probably feel like we don't matter. When we matter, others are always involved. And that is a very good thing. It just takes a little transitioning to stop thinking about yourself all the time, lol.
I'm grateful for family, work, friends, activities, even deadlines. It just takes a few days to get my head there, after days on the road.
What an adventure it has been. 675 miles, dozens of remarkable and lovely people, mountains to climb, roads to ride, winds to laugh into, rain to put up with, muscles to push, tents to set up, hundreds of pics to take, beautiful places to see, boats and buses to ride, bridges to pedal (or get rides over), oh and all that lovely ice cream to eat!
What a day it has been...what memories I will treasure! And hopefully paint.
Thanks to everyone who helped along the way, my brother who persevered through much with me and taught me lots about bicycling and camping, and pushed me when I thought there was nothing left. And also knew when I was really "done" and could not be moved, lol.
And thanks to all of you who rode along vicariously and commented along the way. That means more than you know.
A great adventure!!
SPECIAL FOLKS THAT HELPED ALONG THE WAY---
Lisa and Dave Weiss--Buck, PA After a very tough day, so appreciated you!! Crab soup at the Bullfrog, delicious!
Shawn Hendrickson-- You came along at just the right time. Totally exhausted, thanks for the ride!
Mary and Marv Lapp-- and your family, you were sent to us at exactly the right moment. Mary, I will treasure our talks and your delicious meals.. And I am going to get Stabilo pens! And check out the coloring book. Marv the trip to the bike store, so grateful. And Glen will always be a special memory for me.
Kathy and Marc Withers--you guys were great! Marc thanks for all the rides and the shearing demo. And Kathy, seeing your wool process was so interesting. Thanks for having us all those days. Was so wonderful to sit inside and look out at the pouring rain. And I loved all your animals! And your beautiful farm.
Chris-- You were God sent. Loved our discussion and your website. May God grant you every desire of your heart, here and in Nigeria.
JIm Story--Thanks for hosting us. You were so gracious and your art collection was a special treat! Let me know when you sell your first Life Story table!
Isabella and Roger Hite-- Still marvel how we met you at your church. God is in the details. Loved your farm by the river!!!! And Hawk and Sunshine and your old dog, too. The horses and stories were great. And the nail polish! And the ride to town as we were leaving. So awesome to be eating with you as the storm came across the river!! Stay well, both of you.
Tom Mosca III-- Thank you so much for stopping and giving me a ride over the bridge! So grateful. Enjoyed hearing about your biking family.
John, Manager at The Cape Charles Hotel --You were so generous and we so needed a place to stay. And you were there. Thank you. Your hotel is beautiful. And your town is delightful. I'll be back.
Steve and Julie-- Thanks for sharing time with us and letting us put our bikes in your garage during the first phase of the storm, and recommending the hotel. It was lovely. Fun to hear and see your house renovations. Steve, hope you get to cycle tour with Dave sometime. It would be an adventure.
JR and Linda-- Grateful for your recommend of Newport News Campground. It was perfect distance for us and was a nice place. Glad I met you.
PLACES I WILL REVISIT:
Frederick, VA--great art galleries and consignment shop
Cape Charles, VA-- delightful town and Hotel
St. Michaels, MD-- will stay a little longer, lots to see
And would love to bike the back roads of VA and MD and DE again. So many pics I missed!
Belle Isle State park, VA
Tall Pines Harbor, VA --10 miles west of Temperanceville, VA