Tuesday, June 22, 2010

DAY 1 & 2 ~ Systems checks

Day One.... Monday 6/21:
Bike was packed, photos were taken, and all geared up, my family hugged me and waved goodbye and good luck. This is the day that I had planned for over a year. I did not race off... it suddenly hit me that the moment was now... it was time to go. I gathered in all my white light, and took a deep breath, looked back at my family all standing in a row waving and rolled away.

It was an unusual feeling...I kind of expected to feel as though shot out of a cannon, but instead it was almost like I was putting one foot in front of the other as the first few hundred yards rolled away.... I am sure much like how my mom feels when she starts a long hike on the Appalachian Trail.

The first day is pretty much all about the business of making sure things are right... rolling systems checks as tanks of gas are refilled. Mentally checking mileage and how the packs are holding up. These days my bike looks not unlike one of those Dr Seuss contraptions from one of his story books. I have gadgets and fandangles attached to my handlebars and packs and lumpy things bungeed to the back.Add in the long striped tassles that fly when I ride, and it is suddenly clear why people
break out in big grins when they ride by. :)

The landing spot at 400 miles, was Wellsboro PA, a picturesque town on Rt 6 with not a lot of motel choices... The Terrace Motel sounded pretty good online, but it was far under what I expected. The saving grace was that the rooms were clean, but the view of the waste water treatment center across the street was a little on the ugly side (eew, not even worth posting a photo). The advertised free wifi was so weak that I could not connect, and anyone that knows me, knows what a challenge this is to not have internet, especially when I knew that so many are following my progress! I have a friend with me for the first few days of this leg...
which makes my husband and many others very happy.

Day 2 Tuesday 6/22
It dawned grey and misty, the rain gear was on before setting out. The first stop was The Grand Canyon of PA. I think they are doing this beautiful gorge a disservice by calling it that, because of the expectations of what the might really be and the fact that it looks nothing like our Grand Canyon of the West. The gorge was misty and foggy, with tall pines emerging from below. Although the viewing was extremely limited, it was beautiful in the fog.

The only adventure of the day was when I searched my gps for a fuel station. It listed choices that were all at least 6 miles away in all directions, but not directly ahead. hmmm... I chose to ride the 11 miles north in search of an Exxon station. Eventually a tiny general store with one pump out front was the old fashioned kind, where you have to turn little lever at the top to zero out the pump and then flip the big lever to turn it on. Remember those?
So, back on the road, pointed south to route 6 again... turn onto it and no kidding, about 200 yards down the street, around the corner was a little gas station! Nothing to do but throw my hands in the air and laugh at that! Technology is great, but it is not perfect. I was happy to have found fuel on a rainy morning in an unknown place.

The rest of Rt6 was a lovely ride, I was constantly surprised as to how many tractor trailers use the road though. I got pretty good at passing them. It wound through towns with interesting names, like Sweden and Roulette, Conewango and Brokenstraw. In these hills of Pennsylvania lies the town of Titusville, where the oil industry of the US began. I would have thought it would be in Texas.

Day 2 landed in Canton Ohio, to have dinner with an old friend.
A total of about 300 miles today, pretty easy all told.
A cold beer and a plate of pasta sure does taste wonderful after a long couple days on the bike!
My guess is that food is going to taste better and better as the journey goes on. :)

~thanks for coming along for the ride!
peace, bee


  1. Toot that fandangler thingy, Bee-bop. Great to hear from you and see the pics - enjoy!

  2. You were in my neck of the woods. I have family in Kane, Pa. Beautiful in that area.

  3. Kate,
    I've been following your spot a couple of times a day. Your making good time and I'm happy to read that you're having a good time too. I'll be looking for the blog when I have my coffee in the morning.
    Be safe,