Wow, here we are! Day three of biking across the United States! Six months ago it was nothing more than an idea in our heads, a dream that we shared with our friends. Now it's finally happening and its almost unreal.
Three days ago we all arrived on Woodland Beach, Maryland, just outside of Smyrna. After unloading our bikes we roamed up and down the beach for about an hour, hoping to find a worthy place to pitch our sleeping bags. We quickly realized this would not be possible - the high tide line and the insane biting black flies made sure of that. Luckily we met a man named Ed who so kindly granted us the use of his backyard. So, after a nice walk along the pier and some interaction with friendly (if not a little drunk) fishermen, we all enjoyed a wonderful dinner of pasta and wasabi soybeans and went to bed feeling happy and healthy.
The next morning, day one, we were all finally ready to begin our epic quest. After a few pictures on the beach and few tweeks to our bikes we were ready to hit the road - a wonderful flatland cruise along a quiet backroad surrounded by water on either side. Very shortly after we began, a couple other bikers caught up with us, seeing that we were packed to the brim with gear and sensing we were amateurs. Their names were John and Ed. It just so happened they were from Altoona (so close to home!), and had had a great deal of experience riding on the east coast. They pointed us in the direction of a good bike route through Maryland and wished us well. That positive energy carried us all the way to Elkton, Maryland, where we spent the night in Elk Neck Creek State Park. We all had the pleasure of a real campfire, and Will and I got practice some cooking techniques. We cooked some more pasta with some fresh vegetables we had picked up earlier in the day, and had a glass of warm sassafras tea sweetened with honey for dessert. Absolutely wonderful.
Day two. Oatmeal and sassafras tea for breakfast. Mmmm! Stopped briefly to fill our depleted water supply and we were off. This day turned out to be quite slow, as Will and Tina kept having trouble shifting on their bikes. By midday we made it to Port Deposit, Maryland and had a wonderful lunch on the Susquehanna river. The next leg of our ride was a comfortable trek until Dublin, where Tina's shifting was in dire need of attention. We paused at a convenience store, and met an amazing man named Steve. Him and his daughter Eleanor had just happened to be walking out when they spotted us and realized we needed help. Steve and I (Charlie) got to talking, and I learned that he had biked across the country back in '91. His experience gave me great confidence that no matter what our group may be up against, the odds will always turn out in our favor. You always meet amazing people in the most unexpected of places, don't you? Soon we parted ways and spent the night in Rocks State Park. Dinner, music, and a solid night of rest. Can't ask for much more!