Day 3: From Good to Not-So-Good

32 miles

FarmToday was a good example of how a day can go from good to bad.  The day started with fairly easy biking through scenic fields of wheat, soybean, and corn (always corn).  We enjoyed pleasant smells along the way as many roadsides were thick with honeysuckle and flowers.  We even stopped to watch an Amish man leading his team of horses around a field, cutting down some alfalfa.  Sights and smells like these are why I think bike touring is such a great way to see the world.  You have more time to soak it all in rather than just whizzing past in your car.

Susquehanna RiverAfter about ten miles, the road went down a steep hill as we approached the Susquehanna River.  It was a fun downhill, but unfortunately we had to climb uphill again soon after.  In fact, this was the first of several down and uphills we had to deal with today.  We climbed a total of 2300 feet during today’s 32 mile ride.  The ACA really didn’t shy away from any hills when mapping out today’s route.

The last of these long climbs was extra stressful since a traffic detour resulted in many more cars passing us than usual.  The hill, traffic, and narrow shoulder were a bit too much for Caroline and we had to take a break so she could vent her frustration.  So today saw a couple milestones: our first ice cream break of the bike trip as well as our first emotional “rest stop” of the trip.  Yes, I look forward to one kind of rest stop more than the other, but both are to be expected from time to time.  On my bike trip to Alaska, there were numerous times I had to vent my frustration by yelling at the wind or the bumpy road.Caroline in Wheat

We eventually made it into the town of Marrietta, PA where we knew there was primitive camping available from a local river outfitting company.  Nothing fancy, but for $10 a night, a patch of grass and a porta-potty is about all you can expect.

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9 thoughts on “Day 3: From Good to Not-So-Good

  1. Sounds like a challenging day; certainly not the last. Remember to keep your perspective and keep taking those “rest stops”. And, keep taking pictures, those shots from Day 3 are beautiful!!

    • We will, Jeff! Lancaster County is exceedingly picturesque, there are such beautiful farms. But oh, the hills!

  2. So excited you’re underway!
    So, the kids have lots of great questions. I do too. Wondering how best to put them to you? Here?
    From the ACA maps, it looks like you’ll come through our area via the Erie Canal. That’s definitely the best route. I was thinking that we’d meet up with you out on the trail, ride a small part of the journey with you and escort you to our place. And as a bonus, we live less than a half mile from the Canal. Super convenient!

    • Posting questions here is fine.

      Meeting on the trail sounds great. We’ll coordinate that a few days out.

    • Can’t wait to see you all! And that will be so cool to have an escort into Rochester. Definitely post questions here, it will help me think up blog posts!–

    • I know, I know….but we hardly know where we’re going to be day-to-day :). But we’re on our way to New Hope and hopefully we’ll meet up!

  3. This is so exciting–to see you underway at last! Where are you headed? What part of the Erie Canal, for example?

    • Hi Lee! We are coming your way (kinda)! We’ll be arriving in New Hope Wednesday, and staying a few days. Hoping to come over to Princeton to say hi if you will be around. I haven’t had a look at the maps much beyond the Philly area so not sure yet where our route goes with respect to the Erie Canal.

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