Tuesday, June 30, 2009
After a quick stop for breakfast, we were off to Richmond. While this would be a short day, we figured it would take us a while to get out of Ohio due to some stops we needed to make. But before we even made it out of Vandalia Kate and Justin had to hunt us down - we'd left a water bottle in the hotel room. Thanks guys!
Just west of Vandalia we passed through Englewood, which seemed like a nice town to make our stops in, and possibly the only other town we'd see before lunch. Our first stop was at Aldi's, where we picked up some awful tasting granola bars that we eventually threw away and a new bag of bagels. Although we rarely actually stopped to eat our bagels, we always try to keep a bag with us, in case we're ever stuck somewhere that we're starving or can't find other food. I think of it as a $2.39 a week insurance policy.
In addition to new groceries we also had to stop at Goodwill. Jillian keeps freezing at night when we go out to eat and she never has any warm clothing to wear. She keeps insisting she needs a big sweatshirt to wear at night, but I keep insisting there's no room (there isn't). She's also looking for a pair of modesty shorts - shorts to wear on top of her spandex when we stop somewhere to eat during the day. She eventually found both a black sweater and a pair of blue "balla" shorts, which are just blue basketball shorts that go down to her knees. Unfortunately I didn't think to get a picture at the time, but she walked out of the store singing "I Wish" by Skee-Lo.
The rest of the day was... boring. Winds picked up again, though not as bad as the day before, meaning we had slow going for a long time. Everyone always assumes that hills will be the worst part of a trip, but they're not. On a hill we might move three miles an hour, roughly the same speed we walk. But at least there's an end to it, and you know you'll reach it eventually. Wind is invisible, and it slows us down to a crawl with no reward in sight. It was so demoralizing that we took any opportunity we could find to stop. The day before we'd ridden three or four miles out of our way for a Wendy's and an opportunity to hide the bike on the leeward side of a building. Today we stopped at a park and hid near a tree.
There was nothing to see anywhere we rode, so we took to making up songs for each other. None of them were very good, but they kept us amused.
We reached Lewisburg in time for lunch, where we stopped at Sarah's Subs and Pizza.
Inside we had conversation with friendly ODOT workers, which was a nice change after the ridiculously mean ODOT woman we spoke to a few days ago. Food was wonderful and reasonably priced.
Unfortunately it wasn't long before we were off and riding in the heat and wind again. We passed through Gettysburg, which shared a town name with the town where we'd gone to college. Unfortunately this Gettysburg wasn't really much of a town, not even having a gas station for us to use.
Not too many miles later we passed into Indiana.
We'd planned to ride a few miles into town but we passed a Day's Inn that was advertising a good price and wifi. We couldn't pass it up, even though it would add another few miles to the ride tomorrow. Unfortunately we had to hand wash clothes to wear tomorrow. But there was a Cracker Barrel across the street, which made for a filling place to have dinner.
We also started seriously considering if we could seriously do this trip. We looked through all our maps, studying places in Wyoming and Kansas that seemed empty (130 miles without services?). After two days of punishing wind where we couldn't make any progress, as well as serious saddle pain, we had good reason to doubt ourselves. Across the street from our hotel was a UHaul - meaning it'd be easy to rent a truck, throw the bike in the back and drive home. But Jillian decided there was no way we were going to quit unless the bike was broken. So we decided that we'd at least make it to St Louis, so we could at least say we crossed the Mississippi. Tonight is probably the lowest point we've had on the trip.
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