I managed to actually get out of the bed and hit the road and get an early start.
Arrived in Baltimore Maryland and was greeted with copious amounts of Trash laying on every corner and broken glass. I guess from the city’s perspective it could be considered the people’s way of artistic expression
Certainly Baltimore is more beautiful in other areas just with a bit of unfortunate turns my route just happens to send me on the more scenic Route through mid-city. please fix your streets baltimore and that can go in many ways.
With so many interesting sightings as I passed along I chose to not stop for any water or food till I found a town more suitable to my taste.
I Crossed into virginia than had to backtrack 4 miles back into maryland as i did not expect virginia to be so steep so i went back down hill for 4 miles till i found a town to settle in for the night but of course to conclude my night I first had to tackle a Hill so steep it can become its own personal ski resort, who thinks to make hills so steep.
Before departing, I prepared my mind for what’s ahead today. I came down that 4 mile hill to get to this hotel,now I just need to go back up. riding 70 miles in hills is equivalent to 140 miles on the flats.
Before dark I met an amazing guy
At The only gas station in a small town with a population of around 700, half of those numbers are probably babies. I have to ride 25 more miles in wild territory and it will be dark going up these mountains. I need to think up a plan fast.
I was warned by the locals in gas stations that in these mountains are known for cougars and bears and over populated deer.
I approached the guy who appeared friendly and modest I offered him a generous amount of money to take me 25 miles into the next town as he understood and agreed it was a smart choice and said sure
As i’m riding in the passenger seat with my bike broken down in his back seat. I felt like i was cheating but then again this is no competition and i need to stay safe on these highways and riding after dark would not be a wise decision as i don’t know what I’ll encounter.
25 miles in just 25 minutes we arrived in a large town where I can sleep safely for the night. He also assured me that asking him was a smart move.
Preparing to leave I already know I’m going to have a lot of climbing today, 25 to 30 miles uphill with no rest and mild graduation I was told in advance.
I stopped at a gas station in Liberty, virginia to top up on water and snacks and was greeted by my numbers 444 on the icebox machine letting me know that in on the right path
25 more miles until I arrive at Parson West Virginia the gas station attendant said to me that there’s a downhill on the way and I have already conquered the hardest part of the mountains. I’m still skeptical as she tells me this but I’m going to take her word for it.
The Headwinds are repelling all my efforts as I try to gain some speed up this hill. Finally, after 26 miles the land became bike friendly and I was able to cover a bit of distance so I tucked into my aero bars and pedaled as hard and fast as I could keeping my attention focused on the pavement watching for glass and potholes.
I Don’t take this beautiful scenery for granted. It’s just once you see so much your focus will move to something else. Stuffing my earbuds in, I turn to some rhythm and blues to boost my morale as I climb a few more hills. At this point I don’t want a decent one as I know I will have to climb back up.
I Passed through a small town speeding around a corner as i do so a bug flew into my eye forcing me to stop a brief second two ladies come running out of their house with a big blue container they offer me some spring water i kindly accepted while flushing my eyes they told me i should stay the night in their town it’s better looking than parson i declined and said i needed to cover distance as it’s still early and plenty of daylight.
After 30 more miles I Arrived in Parson, another tiny town which is much more beautiful than the lady’s have described. I’m happy I followed my judgement and proceeded forward.
Before going to the campsite, I Stopped into a subway and had a foot long veggie in whole wheat sub. Who knows when I’ll get my next real meal. I’m sick of granola bars and trail mix.
Once I arrived close to the campsite there were not many to be found for information.
only a select few were friendly as i’m trying to get into a campgrounds i wave at a older lady who is at her home walks over to her rocking chair i attempt to get her attention and l loudly but politely ask who do i speak to for the campgrounds, she uncomfortably ignored me and proceed to sit down.
Whatever energy that was, hopefully I don’t experience it again as I pedal off.
I try another person, a man sits in a truck with a woman and a child as i walk up with my bike by my side, i can see the lady slowly rolling her windows up as i approach the driver side window the man rolls his down i can see the women from her body language nervous as she tried to keep her attention forward attempting to not lock eyes. I asked the man and he pointed me in the right direction.
70 miles I completed today and ended up in a town with campgrounds , my first night out hammock camping since last year’s adventure in the Colorado mountains.
I was greeted by the owner John who had so many words of encouragement.
Whatever dreams I have live them out now while I can , life is very short and moves extremely fast. He left a 90000 job to attend to his dreams and now owns a successful campground.
I picked a spot and hung my rain wind fly over to give me some privacy and protection from the elements
I Then made a fire to listen and smell the crackle of wood as the stream’s relaxing melody plays in the background.
It was smart for me to camp out to night as i only have 138 more miles to go before i arrive in Ohio i plan to leave out early morning to tackle these mountains
In The mountains of west virginia i wake up on my birthday. Shivering cold at 4am, I leave my hammock and urgently blow The coals from last night’s fire to regain my body temperature.
i knew i wouldn’t be as comfortable out here in my hammock like i would in a hotel which is just the perfect reason to get me going early.
I Left campground at 638am very foggy and low visibility
My ride Started off cold while traveling, sleep deprived, I took a few brief breaks while climbing the hills, I leaned over my handlebar and I instantly went into a dream state on the shoulder of the highway for a few minutes. I snapped out if it pedaled and after around 60 miles I started to descend.
After riding to California last year and all the problems I encountered along my journey, I thought this ride would be easier but these Virginia Hills are a non-stop battle. the entire battle was from Portland all the way back to Ohio as I have had nothing but headwinds and hills. today’s obstacle was the brutal heat and skin penetrating sun. I was so exhausted but couldn’t stop even if I wanted to, as the only thing that keeps me cool is the wind as I pedal.