Where does the time go?
It feels like only moments ago I took a microcosm of an idea, added some ambition and a kick-ass friend, poured it all over route maps and the Midway-to-Cape May seed was planted.
Now it has been three weeks – and I haven’t written a thing. Well, not here anyway. I’m a writer in my other life, so I have been putting pen to paper. Just no digital ink on the blog.
But you’ve been waiting! You’ve been so excited about the trip and now, let down.. In a funk. Melancholy with wait and want.
I will try to weave for you a tale of our trip.
We left on a Friday afternoon. A little later than I wanted, but with all kinds of great gear onboard.
Prepping to Leave
Locked, loaded and ready for Lift-off:
We pedaled some more.
We pedaled even more.
We found our camp.
Set up our tents and left campus to procure adult beverages after the long, flat trip. We found a biker bar.
They did not have any vegetables on the menu other than cole slaw. Death slaw. They had fried coconut shrimp with a raspberry dipping sauce so hot it caused 1st degree burns. We procure additional beverages from the salty barmaid, and head back to camp. We showered. We enjoyed beverages in front of a fire and bonded. It was nice.
And then, it was not so nice. Turns out, it gets cold at night. Really, really effing cold. And guess who didn’t bring a blanket. That’s right, this girl. Did I look at the space blanket before I left and thing, “nah, I don’t need that – it’s July”? Yeah. This girl right here. Anyway, I think I stole about 30 minutes worth of sleep with my arms in my shirt and my hands down my shorts, Al Bundy-style. When the sun came up and the air started to warm, I slept about 3-3.5 hours. It made for a long next day.
The next day’s ride was going to be the longest of the three, but it was pretty painful in the morning. A night filled with no sleep, shivering in a ball on the forest floor is not conducive for the relief of lactic acid in one’s legs. It took some time to work this out.
The road was long to Egg Harbor City, which we had picked as our next stop because it was the most densely populated on our way. The Pine Barrens are.. barren. There are many hunting and gun clubs. There are many signs in the trees with religious connotations about repenting. There are Republicans. There are lawn ornaments made of unused vehicles and their parts.
There are also many cranberry bogs, which was rather cool. We rode past an Ocean Spray processing plant and several family farms which produce for Ocean Spray. There were also many beautiful sights which were trees, and in one place, a field of ferns on the forest floor. It reminded me of someplace truly special in the woods of Michigan.
It took for-ev-er to get to Egg Harbor City. I thought we might die. I asked a local about the nearest diner, and when we figured that out, dreams of salad with grilled chicken propelled my legs lazily forward. We ate. Drank much diner tap-water.
Don’t ask, don’t tell:
The waitress aided us in pilfering electricity for our mobile phones before the crabby manager came in for the evening and then, we left. With many, many miles to go.
Ordering to-go, please:
We needed a blanket. Two, preferably, because it was so damn cold the night before. We looked for a blanket store. The closest we got along our route was a Dollar Store in Mays Landing. We haggled the owner down from $35 to $20 for a very large, yet unattractive blanket with a stunning image of a whale.
That’s right. We bought a $20 whale blanket.
Meanwhile, unbeknownst to us, our fixation on obtaining a blanket has lead us astray. Off course. And we didn’t know it until we stopped for wine.
Thank you, Rita of the Balic Winery in South Nowheresville, NJ, for dropping that knowledge on us.
Here is the end of Cape May Report: Part 1!
What happens next?! Will we meet South Jersey Rednecks who save the day?! Will we make it to the Shore?! The lighthouse?!
Stay tuned for further details.