Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Dresden to Camden- 55 miles

I did it.

I can not thank everyone enough for their support.
More to come later...

Friday, September 20, 2013

So we're in Dresden...

...At Jeremy's brother's place!
Charlie the cat just invaded my personal space, and it is a beautiful day. We will spend tomorrow with Jamie, Jeremy and co. at the Common Ground Fair, and then play it by ear the rest of the week.
Maine's hills are relentless and tiring. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Day what the hullabaloo. 1,000,000 miles.

Bloggedy blog blog blooooog.
I'm so close to the end that I feel like I've earned the right to not write anything, which is a load of dung, I know, but....
Some pieces of the challenge have become a bit routine. It's still a load of fun, and there will definitely be some sadness upon reaching the Atlantic, but it's no longer quite as much of a novelty to recount how much food I just ate, how many miles I just rode, what ridiculous situation I just got myself into, and what sort of guardian angel just pulled me out of it. Don't get me wrong, I feel no less awe and gratitude towards the people who have helped us along the way. It's just that trying to recount day after day after day every kind person I met, every incredible view I saw, and every cool amphibious animal I saw squished alongside the road today gets a little bit tiring. There are only so many adjectives to describe something OMG AWESOME, am I right? And there is only so much space in my brain to awe at everything before my head explodes and I have to step back to look at the bigger picture. I still appreciate every tiny gesture of kindness, every little streak of pink in last night's sunset, and every car that gives me more than six inches of space in passing, but the greatness of it all has been a theme, not a bunch of pockets and puffs of niceties.
Jeremy, Jamie, and I spent yesterday chatting with our Couchsurfing hosts, Mark, and Lorie, getting a grand tour of Middlebury by Mark and Lorie's 11-year-old daughter, Te'a, driving to Bristol for ice cream (Curried peanut ice cream? Check.), and then into Burlington to Asiana Noodle House for dinner. We were waiting out a storm, predicted to be nasty and imminent, which never really came. But with bellies full of curry, hearts full of thankfulness, mouths full of midnight chocolate cupcakes (and Jamie's nails sparkly purple thanks to Te'a), we have no regrets.
Of course, we woke up to rain and a headwind, but... no regrets.

Since I blogged last, every single day has been great. I love riding with Jamie and Jeremy. We work well together. Jamie is the big sister I never had, and Jeremy is the big brother I have too many of. The three of us have giggle fests every other mile. When you're living under unusual and challenging circumstances in close contact with another, you get to be good friends pretty quickly. And everything gets hilarious pretty quickly.
I split off from them this morning- they went up and over Breadloaf Pass, and I went north into Burlington to wait for my dad, who is arriving tomorrow at noon. The two of us will depart from Burlington on Sunday, and meet up with Jamie and Jeremy in Dresden, ME, at Jeremy's brother's farm. Depending on how long it takes my dad and I to arrive, what Jamie and Jeremy are up to, etc., we hope to ride to the coast together and spend a day or two there celebrating, relaxing, and eating lobster (and drinking good beer and getting tattoos and pouring champagne on our bicycles and generally having a jolly good time).

That's it for now...

Friday, September 6, 2013

Day 55- Buffalo to Lockport- 57 miles

We met up with Ken and Emi today! I started my trip with them on July 1st, and we travelled together for two days before meeting Jamie and Jeremy. I split off to ride with Jamie and Jeremy because Ken and Emi were going to take a rest day- not because they were evil monsters. It was good to see them. They rode down from Ontario, where they were taking some rest days at Ken's mom's place, and we hung out and picnicked at Niagara Falls together.
Somehow I failed to get a picture of them. 
I did, however, get some mediocre pictures of the day.
Leaving Buffalo.
Crazy bridges with life-saving, albeit narrow, pedestrian paths. 
Not built for wide loads.
The rapids.
The falls.
Devil's hole whirlpool. 

Arrived in Lockport where we hit up a Rite Aid for groceries, because apparently if you don't shop at the hip food co-op that closes at 5 o' clock, you have to choose between Kwik Stop and Rite Aid. Rolled down to the public marina, having been told yes, you can camp there, to find what would have been an excellent campground, had the bathrooms been unlocked. And so with full bladders and only a few tablespoons of water left in our arsenal, we called the police department and asked if they could unlock them for us- not an uncommon request in many parts of the country. 
"No, I'm sorry, that's just not something we can call the parks department in for."
So we begrudgingly began setting up our tents by the pavilion, and I rolled back down the trail to where we'd spotted a faucet earlier. I pulled up on the handle, and not even a sputter of water appeared. I looked around indisgust and   desperation, and a van pulled up and honked. Out walks a cute lady. "Are you looking for a place to stay?" 
After explaining our situation to her, she gave me her address, and insisted we come on over. I booked it back to our site, spread the good news, and we packed back up and rode carefully in the dark and rain to Marie's house. She had showers, fresh water, tea, toast, and a beautiful backyard for us to camp in. 
After cooking up our Rite Aid loot and taking showers, we all crawled into our tents and crashed. Thank you, God, thank you, Marie!