Yesterday started with a gorgeous view of the sunrise at our fabulous free campsite alongside the Susquehanna River.
The ride was full of intense climbs through mountainous parts of Pennsylvania. Some sections so steeply wound around bending roads with almost absent shoulders that we had to pedal in the granny gears for 50-100 yard stretches, stop against the guard rail, regroup, and resume the struggle when we caught our breath. The other side of it, of course, was an intensely fast and curving downhill roller coaster!
We made it to Maryland in the afternoon and were greeted by rolling hills with 6-feet-wide shoulders that gave our legs and nerves a break. We took in even more gorgeous pastoral scenes and even a little puppy nap.
We were hoping to push onward to a convenience store to replenish our depleted food supply before trying to find anywhere to camp, but we were losing steam quickly. Luckily, we were greeted at the top of a small hill by Bob and Ginny of Jarrettsville and their two big brown dogs Holly and Sam. They offered us some much appreciated cold water and a couple of Snickers bars (which were immediately inhaled) and Petunia got a bag of Milkbones!
We stopped and chatted on their cozy back deck (super plush red cushions were a nice respite from a day of being in the saddle) and they showed us their pretty koi and goldfish pond and shared stories about their hiking and adventuring experiences. When they offered us a hot shower and a place to spend the night, we were overjoyed– and then they suggested a trip to the grocery store to restock our supplies. How awesome! We were so touched by their kindness and hospitality. Petunia got to play Goldilocks and tried out the different beds in their home, worrying Ginny that the wandering puppy had gone missing. Tunes was just happy to be off the sleeping mat for the night.
To top it all off, we were treated to strawberries on cake with ice cream and whipped cream (Jamie’s favorite summertime treat). Wow!
We got a great night’s sleep and after Holly the dog impressively fetched the newspaper, we waved and rang our bike bells goodbye and headed out. After a little pastoral roadside breakfast, we are ready to head toward Marriottsville.