Saturday, July 19, 2008

The End; A Recap

The year anniversary of Ira and I finishing "the trip" came and went without so much a notice from us. It wasn't until a couple of days later, I remembered the date. Hum, I thought, "thats strange". When we first got back, I used to always be thinking, a year ago today, we were here. Now, we're back in Chicago and reintegrated into regular lives; the trip seems so long ago, like another life time.

Not that coming back was easy. It sucked. Looking back, it was by far the worst element of the trip for me. When we came back to Chicago, everything seemed different, as I chronicled in the last couple of posts. We had apartment trouble, which felt like it would never end. I did a lot of complaining. I mean, even if we had faulty electricity, horrible water pressure, a broken furnace and a verbally abusive downstairs neighbor who redefined noise pollution, we still had a roof over our heads right, so who's complaining? But, after being homeless for so long, I yearned for a safe nest. The lack of this left me feeling almost more vulnerable to the elements then I had ever felt out on the road with nothing but my bikes and the bags on it.

We finally moved and got settled in our current apartment located only a couple blocks away from where we lived before the trip. I love this neighborhood and I am so happy to be back. Our new apartment is wonderful and we are SO much more comfortable here.

Getting festive last Christmas!

Ira started back immediately to his old job with full benefits and a promotion! I took a little longer getting settled. I initially reintegrated myself into the work force by dog walking, and although, it was a good transition, to be working outside all day, dog walking didn't do much to satisfy my ambitious personality. In December, I was contacted about going back to work as a paper conservator (art restoration not recycling) for a firm I had worked for years ago. I decided to take the position to reestablish my career and financial situation. Going back to our old jobs has worked out for both of us, although we definitely get antsy and rebellious with the old 9-5!

From all endless hours on the saddle thinking, I realized I wanted to pursue my love cooking food, so I decided to start a food blog and start organizing underground restaurant events.

This past June, I launched, and have successfully hosted one food event and have another planned for the first weekend in October.

Ira, being the chicago socialite he is, has directed his blogging energies into Being Totally Sweet In Chicago!

This summer, Gertie the 110 lb. mastiff decided she wanted to live with us. How can you say no to a face like this.

So we are now a family of three

I have had multiple people, after meeting this sweet lovable hooch, volunteer to dog sit her if we ever want to go on an extended trip again, so I guess we have back-up!

So as you can see, by giving ourselves time, we have reintegrated into the Chicago social scene, and once again, we feel surrounded by interesting and diverse friends. So life is good.

Since we weathered the storm, surviving all the peaks and valleys of the trip and persevering the aftermath of reintegrating, we decided we can take pretty much anything that is thrown at us. So, after 7 years (I was tempted to add "long" years), Ira and I have decided to get hitched.

Yup, we're gettin married, Memorial day weekend '09.

People keep asking if we're going to bike across Asia for our honeymoon. The answer is, unfortunately, no. We are slaves to the working world now. Three weeks of vacation is all we get. Ahhhhhh! Sometimes I look down an interesting road, or I'll feel the breeze on my face as I am riding to work, and I get so wistful for our days of freedom and exploration.

We WILL go adventuring again, and it will be on bikes.

Don't worry, I am not riding on the street with no helmet. This is my parents' driveway.

But I have a feeling like the bikes will have motors!

Thanks again, to all of you who supported us throughout our adventures. We really appreciated the feedback on this blog, it made taking the time to document our experiences even more meaningful. One adventure over, another yet to begin!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Apartment Purgatory

As my life strays further and further from the interesting realm of travel and more into the mundane world of domesticity, it has become easier for me to not update these blogs. My explorations are no longer the intrepid maneuvers of a nomadic traveler across vast stretches of the American wilderness. I have recently been entrenched in the frustrating search for an apartment in the hostile environment of Chicago's west side. "Hostile" doesn't refer to gang-bangers or street thugs, it refers to something more insidious, the yuppie condo developers.

My old neighborhood was undergoing a lot of gentrification while we were living there, so I know I shouldn't be surprised that after almost two years of being away, the neighborhoods have changed. When we moved; PROGRESS was on its way. When we came back, we realized PROGRESS was here. Old buildings came down to make way for new poorly constructed tacky brick units complete with hard wood floors, granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances. Many of the old buildings which remain are being gutted and the inside apartments are being transformed to compete with the new development. Property values go up, taxes go up, rents go up. 30% of the available apartments have been gobbled up and spit out into condoland and the remaining units are more expensive and more desirable to the general market.

I know this is going to sound stupid and obnoxiously like an urban pioneer, but...I kind of miss our corner gangbanger/drug dealers keeping the equilibrium. There was obvious I mean, sure we had to deal with a shoot out now and then, but apart from the risk of a stray bullet, I never was worried the guns would be pointed at me. Because of what the visible street violence, the rents were low because the environment wasn't acceptable to the average renter. It didn't bother us though. As long as I didn't start dealing drugs which would impede on their business, they left us alone. In fact, they were actually kind of nice to have around. Our corner gang-banger, Alex, was always very friendly to me. He always said hello to me as I went past, and would hold the door open when I came home with an armful of groceries. He was always letting me know he was keeping an eye on the building for us so we didn't have to worry about anyone breaking in, that he was "very protective of his territory". It was sort of comforting considering he was out there on the corner almost all the time. This just came with small price of him always trying to look down my shirt or up my skirt as I went upstairs, but that was OK. And of course, we all knew if we were on the street when the guns came out, to quickly run up another block or into the alley. All in all, not too much a price to pay for a cheap apartment in an OK building.

With the development, the gangbangers have been pushed west. I am not condoning gang activity, I am just saying objectively for my personal situation, it wasn't a total negative. So with the development, it looks like Ira and will also have to go west. In the past Western (2400 W) was the borderline. No one wanted to live west of Western. I keep hearing Kedzie (3200 W) is the new Western. Well five years ago, we moved to 2658 W. Cortez, but that neighborhood is not what it once was. So now, we are fleeing to 3238 W. Augusta.

Ira and I have finally signed a lease. Well, Ira is the only one who has actually signed. I was out of town that day, so I was able to get out of the signing process. Luckily for me, that means if I don't like the place I can just leave and stick Ira with it. Whuh ha ha.

I am really not that excited about it. After looking at apartment after apartment, we finally just compromised on a place which wasn't perfect. It is a small 2ND floor flat with two bedrooms and a enclosed back porch. The block is in an industrial section of Augusta and has no trees or greenery. The apartment is in slightly rough shape. The front and rear entrances of the apartment smell of Cat Urine. This is a big problem for me. So, along with the lease, we signed an agreement that the landlord with clean the entrances and use enzyme treatment to rid the urine smell as much as possible. If they do not do a satisfactory job, we can break our lease.

I keep focusing on the negatives, which is frustrating Ira to no end. There are some positives though. The building has a back yard which was very important to Ira. We were able to negotiate the price down to $675, which for a Chicago 2bdrm is a good deal. It has a nice eat in Kitchen with new appliances. We also have the freedom of being able to paint the walls however we wish. The apartment will also be conducive to our entertaining. I made sure to communicate when looking at apartments that Ira and I like to have parties and need a place where noise won't be an issue.

People keep asking me about our situation. Have you found an apartment yet? Whats going on. Have you begun looking for a job yet. AHHHH. I can't take it anymore. To answer everyone in one fell swoop; I am not sure exactly what is going on. I keep responding "We have sort of signed a lease" and am answered in return with quizzical looks. We found a place which is OK, we decided we could take it, if the landlord agreed to fix some things before we move in. If the things are not done to our liking, we can break the lease. Until we know more, we are essentially in a holding pattern. I am not going to look for a job, until we get moved and settled in our new place. Right now, I am just sitting around, which in turn is depressing me. I've been really anti-social lately because I am sick of trying to give answers which are ambiguous to even myself. How can you help? Stop asking me questions!!!

We need to get settled. Maybe we could have kept looking, but I was getting the feeling that the apartments being listed were just more of the same. We decided to just pick one that was OK and work with that. The rent is low, which will work well for the time I am unemployed. I am just sick of this purgatory of maybe having an apartment, but maybe not, just waiting around to see how things go. I've been without a home for a long time. I just want my own space. Can you tell I am feeling cranky?

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Sweet Home Chicago

I've been back in Chicago almost a whole week after spending the previous one in Michigan with my parents. I have been done riding for 15 days. People keep asking me if it feels strange to be done with the trip. I've been hesitant to reply because I didn't know the answer. I would say, "well, it hasn't really sunk in yet", or "the trip won't really be over until I have an apartment and a job".

To repeat, I have been back in Chicago almost a whole week now, and I guess I can answer, that yes, it does feel strange; it feels disassociating and it feels uncomfortable, on many different levels.

Ira and I are both bone tired of the nomadic life. We want a home, an apartment, a safe place which is totally ours. Upon coming back to the city, Ira started back at his old job, doing tech support for a small computer company. He is temporarily staying with our friend Andy. I, however, am staying just a mile south with my Aunt Dottie. While I love Andy, I cannot live at his place. It is the ultimate bachelor pad. Now, when I say "bachelor pad", I don't refer to leopard print throw rugs, Martini shakers on a tiki style bar and light switches programed to throw on records of sultry french jazz while turning couches into beds. I mean bachelor pad as in a stinky bathroom with 2 years of scum in the tub, dirty dishes in the sink which will be cleaned with towels so crusty they stand on their own and a bike shop with random greasy components littering the floor where the non-existent dining room table should be. I've spent nights there, but I always end up waking up and feeling an utter sense of depression at how pointless life seems.

I know this seems extreme, but it is true. Its not just Andy's apartment which makes me feel this way. I find no fault in the way Andy lives. Its his life, and he can set up his apartment in any way he chooses. The way he chooses just isn't a way which makes me comfortable. When you don't have any place of your own, no safe haven to be yourself, you end up staying at someone Else's home and entering into their own version of what a safe haven is. You start living their life and it can be incredibly disassociating and hard.

When I was on the road, I experienced this sensation many times. It was both wonderful and hard. I enjoyed traveling around different regions of our country and experiencing first hand how differently people live their lives but, always only for short periods of time. Ira and I made a rule (which we only broke twice), that we would not stay with one host for longer then five days. We discovered five days was around the period of time where we went from just experiencing someones life in a periferal way, to starting to live their life. When this happened it got both oppressive for us, and annoying to our hosts.

On my return to Chicago, I knew before it would be easiest for me to cope with the reintegration to normal life by placing myself in a more safe and comfortable place. My Aunts house, besides being having family ties where I can count on a little coddling, is also located in my old neighborhood not to far away from where Ira is staying. I felt would be the best place for me. So, Ira and I are temporarily living separately.

While Ira and I are both incredibly appreciative of the hospitality shown to us by our hosts, we are both crying to get a place of our own. I long to be surrounded by my stuff; I want to have all of clothing to wear again; I want to see my pictures hanging on the wall; I want to cook a real meal and leave the dirty dishes in the sink if I want. The apartment hunt must begin immediately. We both decided, since Ira is already back working full time, and I am still gainfully unemployed, I will use my time to hunt through every corner of the appropriate neighborhoods for a place to hang our hat and hearts.

I have been looking for the past three days. My experiences with that is a blog post in its own right. To be brief, our neighborhood has changed in the past year or so we have been gone. We can't find anything near our old apartment and have been shoved, most indelicately west. All the apartments I have been looking at are small, cramped, and tacky. The buildings are gross or the amenities aren't to suit. One way or the other, after inquiring about 31 places and viewing 15 I've only found two so far which at best are on the maybe list.

Its hard because after a year on the road, having 8 hours a day to sit around and think, Ira and I both have a pretty clear and defined idea of what we want in our new apartment. As trite as this sounds, if I had a nickel for every time one of us said, "when we get back, I want.... in our new place", I would be rich. We spent so much time thinking of this dream place, it is making it hard for me to compromise with something lesser. Not that I had any grand or unrealistic tastes, it was just based on a city which existed 2 years ago.

The city is a fickle mistress; she never stays the same. You may come back to her and remember all the subtle details of her style and appearance, but she may not remember you at all. You may come running back with open arms to the places you once felt so attached to and which are intimately part of your memories, but the city has no arms to hug. It only has a stiff nod to give you as its 12 lanes of traffic speed on by without so much as a hello. Upon first getting into the city, (I came by train) I felt I was on the final home stretch of my trip. As I passed buildings, streets and landmarks so familiar to myself, I was overcome with emotion as if all the landscape in its familiarity was welcoming me home.

As I have been back for a handful of days now, I don't feel the same way. I feel how the city has changed on me, subtly, yet in so much a real way. Of the community of friends with whom we were so tightly knit, most still live here, but scattered about. I am mourning the loss of my comfort zone, my community and my home as I knew them to be.

I feel adrift and alienated. It is hard having to feel as though you are starting new in a place which is so familiar. I feel lost and pointless, being unemployed and homeless. I know, all of you pull out your fiddles. Play me your sympathetic songs. I can hear you crying "get over it!!! Did you think it was going to be easy? Just do the work, and you'll get re acclimated; you'll get your community back". I know it; I hear the wisdom in this. So everyday I've been getting out of bed and spending all day scouring the apartment listings, calling and recalling numbers, taking notes, hiking and biking all over town to view units and find signs advertising new leads. But its not fun!!!(especially in this 90 degree weather).

So, is it strange to be back? Yes it is totally, totally weird. Every time I get down, I keep thinking of how positive I felt when I first got back. I know I feel lost and alone because I have re-entered a city which has changed and I am searching for my friends whom have also changed. But I must not let it get me down. I have also changed. I need to just let go of the past Chicago and become part of the New City.

On the train, as we were pulling into Chicago, I quickly penned a couple of lines I was going to use as the finale to a sentimental post of being back. When things weren't going as smooth as I had hoped, I was planning on using them in a sarcastic way. However, upon rereading them, I feel they stand on their own. While sentimental, the words are essentially true, so I will leave them as is, and you can make of them, and the rest of this post, as you will.

"feels strange riding into Chicago. Not coming for a visit-but coming back...HOME. Home, the concept I've questioned 1000 times over this trip. Whatever the future holds and however many times the definition of the word changes, I know I've done the right thing coming back here. As I watch the familiar buildings and landscape file by I feel as if the city itself is welcoming me home. I feel the end of this journey. And the beginning of another."

Thursday, July 26, 2007

hiding from you and the future.

I've been at my parents house for the past 10 days or so. I don't know why, but I feel as though I've been hiding. Every time I think about the blog, I get this feeling of guilt, like I used to have when my final projects where due. I knew I should be working on them, yet I would put it off just one more day, the whole time knowing I was screwing myself over. I've been trying to figure out why I've been avoiding the blog, why I feel this guilt.

My last week on the road was jam packed full of emotions and experiences I don't feel I did full justice to in my last post. When I wrote my last post, I remember forcing myself to sit down and the experience was more just like me vomiting out all the words and just walking away. I haven't read that post so I know it is probably full of errors and run on sentences. I knew I needed to document it, but there was too much to talk about, that I just tried to get as much down as possible.

Now after the fact, I feel like I am getting more and more behind. I haven't updated the blog with pictures or filled in the blanks of what I wanted to talk about with my last week of riding and now I have been off the road for almost two weeks and I haven't updated with what I have been doing and feeling lately.

Besides the guilt of feeling behind, I have also been hesitating to write anything, because my emotions are so jumbled about how I feel being done. I am happy but also sad. I am excited at the prospect of my knew "getting back to a regular life" life but I am afraid I will find myself becoming bored with the monotony after the initial excitement wears off. I am not really looking forward to looking for a job. I am glad to be done with the heavy athletic work for a while, but I am not glad about the prospect of getting re-fat (I don't want the 20 lbs I shed back again).

All in all, I am in for a lifestyle change. I am trying to focus on the positives and accept the negatives as part of the experience. It is hard. So I guess it seems easier to hide on my parents deck, by the deck, beer in hand then spend too much time looking my future in the face. So while I am sorry, I haven't updated this sooner, I am also giving myself a break because I know the future will come whether I have completely thought it through or not. I guess, I was just all wowing myself to relax (of course I was feeling guilty about stuff, but I went to catholic school so...) and not worry too much, because one thing I learned on this trip was, Ira and I are really good at taking care of ourselves. We can improvise well with what we have to make things work. And after all this time on the road, all the fights and headaches, all the "I'm not sure I want to be involved with you anymore"s, we still love each other and still work well as a team. So we are going to forge ahead. Every day of the trip, we would wake up not knowing where we were going to find food and water or where we were going to sleep that night. And every day, not matter how much I stressed and worried, we always found food and water and a place to sleep. So keeping that in mind, I am trying to stay positive and not stress, because in this new phase of our lives, I know we'll find what we need to make it, and we'll always find a place to sleep.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Ok, so I cheated.

I wanted to announce I have made it back to my parents house in Flint. I know I haven't posted in a week. Perhaps you may have been wondering what I have been up to and where I was at. The long and short of it is I was on a mass exodus from Canada.

When I last spoke with you, I was on Prince Edward Island. The day after my last post, I went and toured all of the L. M. Montgomery sights, (author of Anne of Green Gables) touring Green Gables and her birthplace. After visiting these sights, I was ready to start heading west, back home.

I spent one more night on Prince Edward Island. Waking up the next morning, I rode to the bridge which connects the Island to New Brunswick and the mainland. From here, it was 60 miles to Moncton, where planned to take the bus across part of the way across New Brunswick to cut off some days of the trip. However, being done with all my sight seeing, I realized I just wanted to get home. I was really tired, and being on my own was making things harder. It takes more energy to travel alone, because beside having to be responsible for everything on my own, I also felt like I had to be "on" all the time. I had to be constantly aware of what was going on around me. I didn't have the energy for any more traveling. I didn't want to hang out in new cities, I didn't want to talk to anyone for any reason. I just wanted to get back to the U.S., I wanted to get back to the Midwest, to where things were familiar.

I got to Moncton around 4 and went over to the bus station to find out the bus schedule. The buses in the direction I wanted to go leave twice a day. One had already left earlier on in the day, and the second was to leave in an hour. Without really thinking about it, I bought a ticket on the later bus. Once on the bus, I kept extending my destinations. Originally I was going to get off in Fredericton, which was half way across New Brunswick. However, I decided while we were riding, that the landscape was pretty hilly and I was tired. I would take the bus all the way across New Brunswick to Edmonston. I would get off the bus there, ride a nice 80 mile bike trail I had heard of across Quebec, where I would get the train to either Montreal or Toronto. By taking the late bus, I wouldn't get to Edmonston until 11:30 at night. I had no where to stay, my bike was partially disassembled in a box and I was alone. The closer we got to Edmonston, the more I realized this wasn't a good idea. I found out the bus I was on went all the way to Montreal. When we got to Edomonston, I went in the bus station and bought a ticket to Montreal and got back on the bus. I arrived at Montreal at 6 a.m. the next morning. I was having so much fun on the bus, I figured, what the hell and bought a ticket to Toronto. So 36 hours after leaving Prince Edward Island, and $165.00 later, I had skipped ahead 850 miles or so.

I arrived in Toronto around 2 or 3 in the afternoon and immediately started biking. For the next two and a half days, I biked as hard and as fast as I could to get back to Michigan. I had horrible head winds which made every peddle stroke agonizingly hard. The wind was helping me to feel more and more satisfied in my decision to take the bus. I was wondering why I didn't just take it all the way.

My last days, I was riding like a madwoman to get home. The day after I left Toronto, I biked 80 miles into 20 mph head winds. I was averaging 8 mph. I usually go around 12mph. It took me 12 hours with a couple of breaks included to achieve this. My last riding day in Canada wins the record for the most miles ridden on this trip. I left Stratford at 6:30 a.m. My goal for the day was Sarnia, which is on the Canadian side of the border, Port Huron, MI being on the US side. Despite another headwind, my aching butt (my boils were back in effect and stinging like no body's business) and a total lack of food (I ran out of food and paper money. None of the stores and gas stations I went to accepted credit cards and the atm's wouldn't accept my American card. I was reduced to drinking some whiskey I had with my as my only source of sustenance for 40 miles.) I arrived at Sarnia around 4. I had already ridden 90 miles that day, but I couldn't stop when I was so close to being back in the USA.

I crossed the bridge, with the help of the bridge authority and made my way back into Michigan. I was going to find a place to camp and then ride the 30 miles north along Lake Huron to my Grandmothers cottage the next morning. When I started to ride north, I realized, the wind had shifted and was not coming from the south giving me a nice tail wind. I had so much adrenaline pumping in my veins, I decided, what was another 30 miles. So I didn't stop and camp, but rode north, ending the day at my Grandma's cottage. From Stratford to Port Sanillac, I rode 128 miles in one day, loaded with head winds. I was really tired.

I rested there for two days and then yesterday I hitched a ride back to Port Huron, where I finished my trip by riding 70 miles to my parents house in Flint.

So, 9216 miles of actual riding and this trip is over for me. I have completed the line. When Ira and I left Chicago, we rode to my parents house. So by riding back here, I have closed that gap. I rode a little over 600 miles on my own.

I was feeling a little bad about cheating and taking the bus, feeling like I wasn't being tough enough to stick with it. I know I will never look back and regret taking the bus though. I was so exhausted, I just wanted to get home. I wanted the experience of traveling alone, but at the same time I wasn't making the best decisions. When complaining of fatigue in emails, all my friends kept encouraging me to just come home. I knew emotionally, the trip was over for me. The last week was incredibly hard, and the trials and tribulations where more then I have described above.

I am glad to be done, and I am ready to move on. I am looking forward to reestablishing my life in Chicago, and having a home which doesn't move around. I am looking forward to waking up in the same place everyday and not having pack up all my belongings every day. Thank you all for coming along this journey with me, and please stay tuned. I have pictures to post that I never got a chance to do of this past week as well as previous days. Plus, I may be done traveling, but the trip isn't really over yet. All of the post trip details have yet to be ironed out. So if anyone knows of any good 2 bedrooms in Humboldt Park or any good paying interesting jobs, let me know. When I get things set up, I'll be keeping you posted.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Charlottetown, PEI

I spent the day roaming around the city.

First I went to the Farmers makert. It is more of a multi-cultural food fair then a real farmers market, since I only saw two or three vegitable stands.

The man in the kilt bbq'd up an awesome sundried tomato sausage which I ate with onions and saurkraut. YUM!

In case you are wondering about the kilt... The maritime provinces all have a huge Scottish population. The accent here actually has a bit of a celtic ring to it, It sounds like a mix of a Canadian accent and an irish accent. Everyone's name here starts with Mac.

Then I rode across town to ride through Vicoria Park, and all the beautiful old houses surrounding it.

Here is a better view of the lighthouse.

Then I went downtown.

And I went to the...

People here on the island love Anne of Green Gables a lot, which is good because so do I. Aren't these little girls cute!!!

They love Anne so much, most of the farm houses are painted white with green trim.

When I was done at the Anne Store, I went over the the Bluesfest going on in the street. I watched this awesome band- The Saddle River String Band. They play classic blues tunes with a bluegrass style. The frontman was even play the kazoo. It was really a lot of fun!!

Then it was icecream time. Cow's ice cream has been voted to be Canada's number one ice cream, and it was goooood! I had gooey mooey. Vanilla with caramel and chocolate caramel cups. Here is my host Savanah (on the right) with Stephanie. They are both totally enjoying their selections.

Then it was off home, to play with the kittens!

Because I can't resist...These guys above look big at 11 weeks compared to how small they were when Todd and Savanah found them in the ditch at two weeks. UHHHH!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Taking care of business.

I obtained a bike box yesterday in preparation for my flight to Chicago. This is one of those straight forward statements describing a task anything but straight forward. I'm staying in Dartmouth, Halifax's twin city across the river.

Travel between the cities includes the Angus L. McDonald Bridge, a mile long suspension structure over 150 feet high. The idea of crossing it on a windy day with a billboard sized box attached to my bicycle was nothing short of terrifying. Unfortunately, the closest bike shop in Dartmouth was too far away, so across the McDonald it was. I've learned to call ahead before making long bike trips in foreign cities, and the shop said no problem, I could stop by and pick up a box. Upon arrival, all of the boxes were too small, so I rerouted to the train station and got a huge one for six bucks. Perfect, except that was the moment the rain began. Maritime weather is fickle and unconcerned with anyone's plans to move large pieces of cardboard across town. One hand was on my handlebars, the other held tenuously to my cardboard sail. The first gust of wind almost laid me in the middle of the street. The rain was light but persistant so I pedaled toward the bridge before my cargo could turn to six-dollar mush. How I actually made the crossing, I'm not sure. I stopped a couple of times when gusts threw me into a swerve on the wet steel platform. I survived the gale without injury and only minor spattering on the box. It's the size of a Chicago bedroom, so I put my bike and so much gear in there that I'll only have one other bag to check. Everything's been double and triple checked.

All I could think of yesterday was how miserable Andrea must be in the rain. I'm having some major survivor's guilt! It's good to see that some nice people helped her out, but I still feel a little bad for being dry.

First Night On the Road

After I left the town I posted my last blog entry, it started to rain. It was a light drizzle so I thought I could ride it out. However, it kept coming and coming, getting more and more heavy every minute. I eventually ended up totally soaked. I decided I couldn't go any further and had to find a place to stay for the night. I finally found a nice house off the side of the road with the lights on in the windows. I decided this looked like a good place to start.

When I knocked on the door, I think I was looking particularly pathetic, dripping water all over the porch. Ross answered the door and as I explained my situation, he initially looked at me in a confused sort of way, wondering who I was and where I came from. He finally replied that yes, I could camp in yard if I wanted to do that.

The MacCallum Family: Pam, Mary, her son Dawson, and Ross.

He invited me in, and his wife, Pam offered to cook me up some dinner, even though they and their daughter and grandson had already eaten. I thanked them profusely just for letting me come in let alone the food. They served me up a chicken dinner with mashed potatoes, and Rhubarb pie to boot! Fresh rhubarb from the patch, you can't get any better. Except when you drink it with Chocolate milk!

I had a very wet night outside, but I got through it all right. They let me come in this morning to shower, and gave me breakfast with chocolate milk! So even though the weather was total crap, I had a very good evening.

Its been raining on me all day unfortunatly and everything I own is wet, but I have a house lined up to stay at tonight on Prince Edward Island, so I'll be ok.