Friday, May 31, 2013

Virginia (part one)

First day in Virginia was hot and slow, and I was still having difficulty dealing with the bike. All that was quickly forgotten about once I was introduced to the southern hospitiality. The pace in Virginia is a lot slower than any of the states I have visited so far. Everyone has time to stop and talk, sadly sometimes I don't.

Finding a place to set up my tent has become a lot simpler, which is easing some budget concerns I was having the last few weeks. It's only now that I'm becoming aware that I'm close to living the life of a hobo. I always liked the idea of the story tellers who used to travel around Ireland, telling their story for some food and board. I feel like I'm "singing for my supper" lately and I enjoy it. People have bought me lunch/beer and let me stay at their home just to hear the wheres and the whys. I still wonder if this would be the case if I didn't have a bicycle.

View Viriginia part one in a larger map

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Washington DC

On my way into DC my front rack broke off. It was a long hot day and I still had to find somewhere to spend the night. My mood had taken a downward turn for the first time. Once again I was saved a kind stranger. He welcomed me into his home and I spent the following two nights with him and his equally welcoming house mates.

As for DC itself; I felt disconnected from it. I guess partially because my bike was on my mind and that the fact there was none of the neighbourhood mentality I experienced in the previous cities I visited.

The day I left DC was the hardest day I have experienced so far, the new bag arrangement meant the bike was off-balance. The new physical strain and humid weather almost broke my spirits...almost.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Baltimore (Maryland part two)

After a weekend at a Faerie Festival the logical step was Baltimore. I'm happy to report that my experience of Baltimore was nothing like The Wire, the centre is pretty safe but like any city there are areas best avoided. Abandoned buildings seem to be an issue with the city. 

The locals have a great pride in the city and some of the benches state that it's the greatest city in America.

I met a great group of people while I was there and I got to cycle with other people for the first time since I started this trip.

View Maryland part two in a larger map

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Maryland Faerie Festival

My detour to York led me to another detour in Maryland. Within an hour of entering the state I found myself in the middle of the American Faerie subculture. It was a strange and wonderful weekend full of people from all walks of life. It was interesting to see the transformation people undertook once they got into costume. I got the sense that some people were more themselves in their faerie attire than in their everyday clothing.

View Maryland Faerie Festival in a larger map

Monday, May 13, 2013

Pennsylvania (part two)

The couple of days on the road after leaving Ambler was the first time I felt lonely on the road, I guess thats the price I paid for staying there longer than planned.  Quiet roads and empty campsites did not help.

Unemploymet seems to an increasing issue the further south I travel in Pennsylvania. Some of the smaller towns I passed through seem closed off and not very welcoming to outsiders. This lack of contact drove me to York, my first detour.

View Pennsylvania (part two) in a larger map

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Ambler (Pennsylvania: part one)

Once I crossed the Denver River I was in New Hope Pennsylvania. Lambertville and New Hope might as well town, they both share the Shad Festival which I just missed the night before. It was raining heavily so I decided to check into a cheap hotel and take the day off, thinking that I would have a few long days ahead of me.
The next day was sunny and mostly downhill. I decided to have lunch in Ambler before stopping to Conshoshocken for the night.

I stumbled upon Forest & Main Brewhouse and my plans quickly changed. It's a charming little town with some equally as charming people.

View Ambler (Pensylvania: part one) in a larger map

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

New Jersey

In the two days I spent in New Jersey, I was overwhelmed by the generosity and openness shown to me. On both nights people whom I just met welcomed me into their homes. I was particularly desperate the second night after cycling down a dark dirt track along the Delaware River. I think people are more open to me because of the bike.

View New Jersey in a larger map