We rolled out early and were immediately hit with the harsh reality of Newton’s Law – the last thing we did last night was ride down a mountain, so this morning, we had to ride up one. The climb was so steep (9% grade!) that Hillary eventually ran out of steam and fell over again, like in DC. Only this time the fall wasn’t onto cushy grass but onto rocks and pavement, so she got a skint knee. She was alright though. We kept going, and the hills were so steep and so frequent that it was really quite demoralizing. The extremes of rushing down and crawling up evened out to an average of 6 mph, an unbearably slow pace that got us nearly nowhere all morning.  Four hours into the ride, we had only travelled 30 miles. Luckily, after lunch, things started to change as our route took us down to the banks of the Susquehanna. The hills became gentler, the wind less headstrong – we were entering Lancaster county, home of the Pennsylvania Dutch, who farm on hillsides we could manage at a faster pace. Plus, the view was so fun – now we passed a sweeping valley of silos and wheat, now a team of horses plowing, now a small boy in his straw hat and dry-goods store slacks, now a family hoeing in bonnets, and so on. The road’s shoulder where we rode was marked with the tracks of buggies. A mysterious Amish (?) or Mennonnite (?) man on a cruiser bike appeared in the distance, and we tried to catch up with him but actually couldn’t no matter how hard we rode.  Once we passed him when he stopped to talk to another man who was plowing a field beside the road, but then he overtook us and passed us again and totally outran us within minutes. We were really laughing because we were in cycling kit with modern roadbikes and he was wearing pants and a button up shirt and riding an upright cruiser with huge tires and a shock absorbe that should have made him superslow but he was actually going incredibly fast like to the point of blowing our minds.And this is the kind of thing that keeps you entertained when you ride your bike through farmland for nine or ten hours every day.  Anyway. Eventually, we had to ride out of Amish country, which we were sad to do, but we were greeted by the gentle and beautiful mountains of Berks county. Soon we were at our campsite. Of course the campground was on top of the mountain, and we ended our ride with some vigorous climbing that made us feel like we were barely limping in. But we made it, and made dinner, and set up the tent – and then it started to rain. We weren’t upset about it, since we’d been so lucky with the weather thus far. We shuffled our stuff around into dry bags as fast as we could, then got in the tent, falling asleep right away, feeling tired and sore after an 80+ mile day with so much climbing. The rain patterned on through the night, and we tried to stay dry as best we could.

20140521-175415-64455683.jpg

Susquehanna River

20140521-175414-64454584.jpg

um a field

20140521-175412-64452307.jpg

hills

20140521-175413-64453498.jpg

20140521-175456-64496114.jpg

real big hill

20140521-175459-64499673.jpg

countless really big hills

20140521-175458-64498565.jpg

the susquehanna

20140521-175457-64497224.jpg

just hills

20140521-175843-64723049.jpg

We ate lunch under this. It was attached to an old abandoned shoe factory.

20140521-175844-64724162.jpg

David at lunch

20140521-175841-64721967.jpg

20140521-175910-64750024.jpg

20140521-175911-64751146.jpg

20140521-175908-64748907.jpg

This is the shoe factory where we ate lunch. it was kind of cool.

20140521-175935-64775052.jpg

20140521-175932-64772645.jpg

Amishlooking woman plowing her field with some kind of motorized thang. We saw lots of people that were amishlooking but we didn’t feel right snapping pictures all blatantlike

20140521-175933-64773823.jpg

the very mysterious very fast fast man we could never catch

20140521-180009-64809093.jpg

20140521-180008-64808002.jpg

Plowing with a horse

20140521-180010-64810570.jpg

20140521-180053-64853523.jpg

David in his element studying the map. David does all the navigating. Exclusively. Sometimes Hillary says, Where are we? or, I feel like we’re going in circles. Just leave it to david okay

20140521-180052-64852332.jpg

 

 

20140521-180111-64871544.jpg

lil creek

20140521-180154-64914004.jpg

road to our campsite

20140521-180155-64915203.jpg

20140521-180152-64912833.jpg

These cows ran to us when we stopped for water!

20140521-180233-64953975.jpg

Advertisements