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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Days 06 - 14 /// Finding a Rhythm

This bicycle travel thing is harder than expected!  Don't get me wrong, I'm loving it, but haven't had much time to write.  I feel like we finish each day ~5pm, and by the time I've unpacked, showered, set camp, eaten dinner, planned routing for the following day, and contacted friends/loved ones, it's time to head to bed.  I'm sure I'll get better/quicker at the routine, which should allow more time to write.  For now, let me get caught up.  

So far we've bicycled 14 days, through five states, and 697 miles.  My legs and glutes (i.e. ass) are killing me, but I'm seriously loving this form of travel.  Moto travel is stellar, but being on a bicycle really slows things down.  All of my senses have been on high alert.  The sights have been great, the countryside has had a sweet smell the majority (most likely from the flowers and honeysuckle blooms), and the birds are chirping and cheering us on.

Here is the breakdown of our stops thus far...  

Day 01 - Brooklyn to Warren, NJ
Day 02 - Warrington, PA
Day 03 - Elverson, PA
Day 04 - Mount Joy, PA
Day 05 - Jarrettsville, MD
Day 06 - Ellicott City, MD
Days 07/08 - Washington, DC
Day 09 - Prince William Park, VA
Day 10 - Orange, VA
Day 11 - Afton, VA
Day 12 - Lexington, VA
Day 13 - Troutville, VA
Day 14 - Blacksburg, VA

Here are some pictures of the ride thus far.  See captions for add'l info.  We have a 'day off' tomorrow, so I'll try to update with another post that includes more on highlights, lowlights, tips, tricks, recommendations, and shout outs.  

Until then, 
First campsite of the trip at French Creek State Park
The Amish doing their thing - truly a throwback
Made it to D.C.
Somewhere in the middle of nowhere - dirt road for days
Blue Ridge Parkway 
Blue Ridge Parkway

Death hills - BRP
One of the most special places I've ever had the honor to see and/or stay in.
We glamped in the house, and made a warm meal.  HIGHLY recommended
for anyone passing through on the TransAm.  RIP June Curry (Cookie Lady)
Inside the Cookie Lady's house.  Absolutely filled with postcards,
letter, and gifts from all around the world.  Dating back 40 years.
Headed into Blacksburg, VA 
Headed into Blacksburg, VA 
Troutville, VA is the friendliest little town. They cater to Appalachian
through hikers and bike tourists on the TransAm. Free camping in the
city park, and laundry/showers/gym at the fire dept.
Headed into Blacksburg, VA

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Days 01 - 05 /// New Adventure Underway

So, I packed up the remainder of my things into a POD Thursday, June 9th, wrapped up my final day of work Friday, June 10th, and my father and I set off on our adventure Saturday, June 11th.

Watching the skyline disappear into the distance was a pretty powerful way to 'move' out of the NYC.  Once complete, I put my head down and have ridden a solid five days. At last count, 281 miles and four states, today crossing into Maryland.  Amish farm country in Pennsylvania was a real highlight, and provided gorgeous scenery.  We've had a touch of rain here and there, but overall the weather has been perfect.  It took a day or two, but I feel like I'm back at 'home' traveling long term/distance.  Pedaling is certainly more challenging than twisting a throttle, but both options provide distinct thrills and difficulties.  

Today I remembered a section of Andrew Pham's Catfish and Mandala...  "Touring solo on a bicycle, I discover, is an act of stupidity or an act of divine belief.  It is intense stretches of isolation punctuated with flashes of pure terror and indelible moments of friendship.  Mostly, it is dirty work particularly suited for the stubborn masochist.  I was suckered into the adventure, the elegant simplicity of its execution, and yes, even the glory of its agony."  

That's all for now.  Tomorrow we continue to pedal SW to another MD state park to camp for the night.  After that, we plan to make way to WashDC for a couple of days.  On the agenda - rest, recuperate, eat like a fat kid, be a tourist, and shower multiple times per day.  

Until then, enjoy some pictures...