Jeff says: I am ready for this to be over. The seven week mark seems to be the limit of my threshold. At about the same time on the tour in 2013, I was having similar thoughts. The bicycling is the only thing that keeps me sane, so I grabbed some breakfast food, stuffed two burritos in my jersey pockets, left early, and rode alone all day - outrunning a half dozen dogs that thought I was prey.
There are always a few shining moments each day that serve to re-energize you. For example, the Ramsey Creek Baptist Church provided our midday nourishment, for body and soul, and asked for nothing in return, just for us to accept it. We gratefully did and are so thankful to the members for this generosity.
People say bad things come in groups of three. Here are my three:
- My only pair of waterproof gloves disappeared from the laundry table before I could get there. I confirmed with the staff that they saw them and they remembered removing them from the dryer. Someone must need them more than I do.
- The overhead lighting at the hurricane evacuation center could not be turned off. It was as bright as daylight. We had a light right above our assigned sleeping location. Fortunately, we both had buffs that we were able to use as eye shields. It was too warm to cover your head with a pillow because the A/C was not working.
- The Verizon smart phone that I am using on the trip fell out of my pocket while riding. It was inside a waterproof bag to protect it and my wallet from the elements. My thought was it will also be easy to collect all the pieces after crashing to the ground at 20 mph. However, the phone survived with only a scratch.
Another rider, Sam, was nearly hit by a car today while trying to cross a highway relying only on his rear view mirror. Thank goodness, no one hurt.
Our friend Udi, and Lisa's main riding partner, is from Israel and is riding to fund raise for Holocaust survivors and today was a day of remembrance ( http://time.com/3813714/holocaust-remembrance-day-warsaw/ ) of the beginning of the Warsaw Uprising. Many Holocaust survivors are living in poverty, unable to pay for medicine, food, etc., after all the horrific and barbaric things they survived, and now they are having a hard time just living. It is hard to complain, yet sometimes we do.
We also bid a sad farewell to Stretch and Carole who had joined us for 3 days of riding. It was great to see our 2013 friends again and catch up. Stretch is nursing his feet back to health after extensive clawtoe surgery on both feet. He did great, but his feet were tender and swollen after each day's ride.
We have a long 82-mile day tomorrow, but we end on Dauphin Island for a rest day. Lisa is still hoping to find a Snoball stand that is actually open when we pass through--there is one on the island open at 3 PM tomorrow if we can time it right. Sometimes simple pleasures are the most satisfying.