Monday, June 15, 2009

Where in North America is Uncle Rod? 2

June 15, 9:30 2009
Newark, Delaware
355 miles (856)

tourist telescopeI didn’t think it strange yesterday when I started away from home, to be remembering last year’s first day of the journey. As I left Charlotte yesterday afternoon, and headed eventually hit headwind four-lane for a long hard haul, I remembered the 691 miles I rode last year into Arkansas. That night I crawled into the tent without unpacking the bike and fell immediately fast asleep. That is what I expected to do last night as well, but each attempt at accommodations, no matter how humble, failed. I kept riding.
I did find it strange today though, that I began thinking about last year’s second day as well. Perhaps it was because the day started out similarly. Last year I awoke before dawn to a thunderstorm, and when light came, I headed back across the river into Memphis to see some sites. I kept getting turned around and crossing back over the river into Arkansas. This happened several times. This morning, I started up the wrong road, crossed the sound, rode on land for a few minutes, and crossed another sound. After 21 miles I arrived back at the very place I’d started. I started making progress 21 miles and 40 minutes behind. Last year I dodged rain all day through the Ozarks, and today, I dodged rain along the outer banks, across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, and through Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Well into Delaware, the blue sky coaxed me out of my raingear only a few miles before I rode into another storm. Last year, I rode out of the Ozarks and into Tulsa soaked.
Perhaps it’s not merely comparing, and remembering first and second days between the two trips. In fact, it just feels like this trip is the second leg of last years trip. It is as if no time has passed. Last year I rode from Chattanooga to Columbia, and yesterday I left Columbia for Nag’s Head. Just the next destination. Today, I remembered more details of last year’s trip than I did when I tried to write about it last year.

Virginia’s Eastern Shore is extremely beautiful. Vast flat farmland stretched in the narrow space between the Bay and the Ocean. Gorgeous old houses stand in the midst of fields.