Friday, July 1, 2011

day 1: Alfie meowed.

Standing outside our house at about 8 this morning, I stared at our loaded up bikes feeling like I was going to puke. There was nothing left to distract me from the start of this trip. The house was as clean as it would get for our dear subletters, the bags were packed, and I even watered the garden this morning. I'd given a half-hearted goodbye to the cats, but kept my distance in attempt to hold it together. Then, as we were about to convince ourselves to shove off, Alfie stuck his head through the curtain and between the shudders. He peered at us, then his mouth opened. And again. Again. This is a cat that meows probably four times a year (okay, more if a vet visit is necessary). "Alfie meowed!" I shrieked to Aaron. Then, like any 28 year-old who considers herself strong enough to bike 3000+ miles, who's weathered her share of adversity over the years, I began to weep.

I don't know what exactly I was crying about. Sure, it was partly Alfie, but I don't pretend to think he knew what was happening. I was terrified to leave, even though I've been loathing Philly and its summers off and on for years now. I'm not unlike the rest of the city, I guess, booing its teams when times are tough. (But don't get me wrong - go Red Sox!)

When Alfie left the window, probably distracted by a gnat or the urge to groom himself, I told Aaron we had to leave before he came back. So, we did, and I collected myself along the Schuylkill path.

Now, we're 94 miles from home, stealth camping near the train tracks by the Susquehanna River in Columbia, PA, home of the National Museum of Clocks and Watches. (Sorry, Dad, I ain't carrying no clock around for you.) We had a pretty tough day out there. The hills rolled and rolled. The bikes are heavy. But we had a good dinner at George's Italian and Pizza Castle, a little stroll along the tracks and river, and we're feeling good. Aaron reports tomorrow will be even more brutal with hills, but we're not planning to go as far. I'm hoping we can happen upon some fireworks - and just as I type that, we see a glimmer through the trees, across the river. Now, it's 9:22 and I don't expect we'll be up for more than another hour or so. As you might guess from my morning meltdown, I didn't sleep so well last night.

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  1. Andreas says: "If we were going to leave our cats for two months and Jovie started meowing at us? I'd cry the shit out of my face."

  2. I posted a comment but it seems to be gone! I said something about how impressed I am by you. I am impressed.