Well. The Blog Honor Code Society may tell me I’m cheating with this post, but I’m going to go ahead and do it anyway. I received a very nice email from a good friend of mine this week. I haven’t been able to get it out of my head all week. One read-through and it was stuck. This friend of mine, Jeffrey Hains, has always been a writer, even if he doesn’t know it. I wanted to figure out a way to share it on the Blog, so I am just going to paste it all here. They are his words and his feelings, but they mirror perfectly my excitement and anticipation for this trip. It begins:
“I’ve been a scheming schemer.
What you are planning to do is so audacious I can’t help but laugh giddily every time I identify it in my head. Then I go back and read your plan for the 10th time and my schemer brain goes to work. I think about sitting in an airplane, looking down at the ant villages and highways and I think that you will be tracking your way across this vast country. Then I try to imagine four consecutive 20-mile days. I try to imagine even one 20-mile day, double what I’ve ever done in a stretch, which makes me sore and hungry all at the same time. Then I think about your style of expedition; essentially self-sustained a la push-stroller, camping most nights, trying to link together couches when you can and holding out for a hotel room maybe once a week. I think about my own bicycle journey. The difficulties; getting lost most every day, sourcing and storing enough food and water, finding a place to crash every night and unpacking and repacking, flat tires, bad weather, the New Jersey Turnpike System. I think about the rewards; exploring new and mind-bogglingly beautiful landscapes, the kindness of strangers, the self-confidence of eating miles and chasing hills, the total re-organization of reality around the daily experience of moving fast and well under your own power. This journey you are to embark on will force you to look at yourself and the world in ways that are hard to replicate “in the real world.” It is curious to imagine Zoe coming out on the other side with these new perspectives. I want to help you on your way.”
The guy is a writer, no? Thank you very much Mr. Hains : )
And P.S. new photos are up!! The one you see here was taken by my roommate, it is in the Japanese Gardens in Maymont Park. Anyone living in Richmond who hasn’t been there, get off your couch and go check it out!