Tuesday, July 27, 2010

day 71

today we got up early to head out so we got a bowl of cereal then headed out the door around 8:30ish. we took a bike trail all the way down to the mall which we will take tomorrow to head out of dc. since it was early there wasn't a lot of people out so we decided to hit all the major tourist attractions at the mall like lincoln memorial, washington monument, ww2 memorial, vietnam wall, capitol hill, then we headed to do inside stuff like the library of congress, botanical gardens, native american smithsonian, air and space museum, and the old post office tower. granted we went fast through a lot of it but we have both been to dc before and you can only spend so much time at certain things like the monuments and memorials, its the smithsonians that i wish we had days to explore, o-well, i will be back for 8 hours when i train from connecticut to michigan so there are some things on the list that we didn't get to. so i will share some highlights of the day instead of rambling on for pages about what we saw. my most favorite exhibit i saw today was in the native american museum which was a section by an artist named, brian jungen. he created some cool pieces out of ordinary materials and it just really impressed me so i will share some photos of them and hope to do them justice. my most shocking moment of the day was seeing the hubble space telescope at the air and space, it just blew me away how huge it is and they had an exhibit next to it showing a ton of pictures it has taken and i was literally flabergasted that it was right in front of me. best smell of the day went to the entrance of the botanical garden with is hundreds of exotic flowers, i was just loving it. most disappointed part of the day was the library of congress because we went to the jefferson and madison buildings and they weren't as impressive as i had in my head and i think i might be thinking of a different building in my head from the movies of what the library was supposed to look like. we biked everywhere we went which helped us go faster around town so we were just cruising through the busy streets of dc. we hit up some bookstores and some good hole in the wall restaurants. we were very protective of our bikes so we would normally u-lock our front tire to our frame then use our wire locks to wrap around our helmets, saddles, and to each others' bikes and that would be around a pole or something. most terrorist moment was when evan tried to sneak in a knife into the library of congress and he had to go back out and put it with our bikes, but he accidentally had it in his backpack. it was a good busy day and our legs are tired from it. we are heading to baltimore tomorrow. can't wait to come back and do some more exploring.

day 70

we got up around 8:30ish to pack up and eat some breakfast before we setoff towards dc. we said goodbye and thanked our wonderful host, sarah, when she headed off to work. we got underway and it was a very hot and muggy day already. we were biking on a very heavy trafficked highway that would lead us all the way to dc so that was good to have pretty much a straight shot there. we were about 20 miles or so away from warrenton and evan's backtire to give us some more grief and a spoke was broken. we were shocked and upset cause it just doesn't make any sense so we busted out our trusty "bike broke" cardboard sign that we've had since before cedar city, utah but we didn't expect much of anything to come from it since it was a roaring highway. after some time we founded out there was a bike shop maybe 3 miles away so we were just getting ready to start walking when 3 different vehicles stopped to pick us up; the first was a small car that would take awhile unpacking and trying to fit 2 bikes and gear in it, the second was a van that we thought had an empty back (it wasn't empty but didn't know until later), then after we agreed to the van a truck offered but had to take a u-turn to get to us but we told him we'd take the van up. evan somehow crammed his bike into the van and set himself in a contorted way while i started to bike towards manassas which was still 7-10 miles away. evan got his spoke fixed and retrued and i met up with him at the bike shop. we then started our way back up to washington dc. we stopped off at a mcdonalds to get out of the heat and i grabbed some extra calories. the traffic died off after manassas for a bit then it picked back up and got more and more hectic the closer we got to dc. we were just taking hwy 50 and were a few miles out of dc when a cop car pulled up and told me the road was too dangerous and had no shoulder and that he would escort us the rest of the way into dc. i was shocked cause i thought he was going to tell us to get off the highway but he was cool about it. he followed us and guided us with his loud speaker and no cars messed with us or got in our way so we had our own lane and traffic pretty much stayed behind us. when we crossed the bridge he said, "have a safe trip" and jetted off to who knows where. it was a pretty epic way to enter the capital. we found our way to our couchsurfing house to unpack all of our gear and find a bike shop so evan could get a new back rim. we spent a good 2 hours at the bike shop then struggled for an hour or more to find a place to eat dinner. we decided on a mexican restaurant that was super good but when you walked into it you would think it would be a cheap place but it was pretty expensive. just a different adjustment coming to a big city instead of being in smaller towns. we then headed back to the house to meet our wonderful hosts! we enjoyed getting to know gil and nancy; we sat in the living room and chatted for a couple hours about our trip, their lives, d.c. and any other topic we stumbled across. we then decided we should get some sleep to conquer tomorrow.

day 69

we awoke to a sweltering room and everyone was asleep still so we tried to pack up quietly. we said goodbye to brian and thanked him for a great weekend. we went to bodo's bagels to grab some breakfast then started to make our way to warrenton. we were making great time since we were taking the highway straight up to it and did about 40 miles in 3 hours. we arrived in a town and decided to go see inception since we didn't get to see it the night before so we hit up a grocery store for a snack then waited in a cafe for a bit till the movie started. when we got to the movie theater we met lone cyclist who was riding up the atlantic coast for a bit. it was nice to take in a movie and inception was a good one, a thinker for sure. just nice to do normal things instead of just biking. we got out of the movie and there was a bad storm north of us and we were hoping to not get hit by it since we had 25 miles left to ride. we busted out the remainder of the miles in good time and made it to warrenton and found sarah's house at the top of a steep hill on high road. ha. we stored our bikes inside her shack then went inside and enjoyed a great home cooked dinner of salmon, greek yogurt, vegetables, and cider; it was so good. we then enjoyed some ice cream as we continued chatting about college, traveling, our trip, and her work as a pastor. she is a super nice lady and has been to some great places including boston and washington d.c. so we wrote down lots of sights to visit while we were in each city. for the rest of the evening i caught up with my dad and friend, chris, on the phone and i believe evan and sarah talked for a bit longer. we all then headed to bed for the evening. i past out right when i laid down since we haven't been getting much sleep lately, but we had to be up early to leave when she headed off to work, so still not enough rest. i didn't take any pictures really because there wasn't anything that caught my eye or that was too exciting, so get ready for d.c. there will be lots of pics, i promise.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

day 68

we woke up in the attic where brian's room is and the a/c doesn't work cause of a weird circuit braker, so it was super duper hot up there. we sat around watching tv for a bit before strolling down to the bagel shop, bodos bagel, which was very good. we headed back and got ready to head to blue hole which is a river pond with a rope swing. a good group of us went there and hiked in which was super hot out so when we swung into the water it felt so refreshing! there were tons of people there so that was great too. there was 1 guy who was doing some cool moves off the rope swing, then his friend almost killed himself several times by almost smashing into people or the rocks on the other side. luckily no one was injured from the rope swing. one of the guys that came with us bent up his big toenail so that ruined his day for the rope swing. we hungout there for hours because it was so refreshing. i wandered around for a bit taking pictures and exploring. we then headed back to the casa where we were going to have a grilling party so we enjoyed burgers, steaks, hot dogs, and chips and salsa. as i said these guys are super cool and chill, we felt like we actually lived there with them. evan and i wanted to go see inception so we rode over to the theater but got lost and finally got there, its 5 miles away from their house, and found out it was sold out! grrrrr. we've been wanting to see this for some time so we biked back. we got back and just updated the blog and sent out couchsurfing requests for our next sections of the trip: d.c. and baltimore. hope to get some good sleep tonight.

day 67

we were awoken by the sun and its heat so we packed up and headed to kroger to grab some breakfast. we then headed out on the short ride to charlottesville. only rode for about 3 hrs which was nice. we didn't have a crazy hill to climb, just a bit of a gradual incline then had a wonderful long downhill where we could catch glimpses of the shenadoah valley, sadly there weren't any places to pull off and take pictures, i tried! we got into town and met up with brian, the guy we would be couchsurfing with. he lives in a college house that is exactly what i picture in animal house. there are a handful of guys that live there and they are all great. we hung out with will and brian and then we got showered and did some laundry. we then headed downtown to the historic mall which is a cool place where we hit up a bookstore, eco store, sign shop, and then saw the music pavilion down at the end where they have live music every friday night and it was friday! we grabbed a burger and fries at 5 guys, which was super good. we rode our bikes down there then tried to hit up a boise bike project style shop called community bikes, but they were closed that day. we went back to their casa and chilled until returning to downtown to meet up with some other guys they live with. we then hit up the show where jebus was playing, they weren't my kind of music but it was fun to just hangout and chat. oh earlier that day brian showed us a mural he did just a bit ago for the university. it was the 4 seasons and we had to lift up a grate and climb down the ladder to see it since it was for the faculty offices which were in the basement. we then went back to their casa and hungout till late that night. we met a ton of their friends and got to chat with them about our trip and what they're up to. it was a great evening. did i mention we wathed who framed roger rabbit and jurassic park 3? ha! we also went to a cool pizza place, like the pie hole, twice that night. it was that good!

day 66

we didn't get much sleep last night either because it was so hot, we were sleeping on concrete, and we were literally right next to the tracks where they hookup the trains together so they were either honking their horns all night or slamming into one another. then people started coming to the park to walk around it and the path led them right next to our tent and its so hot out we are both in our underwear so we got up and got dressed so we wouldn't scare anybody or get arrested. we packed up and i got some milk at the store so we had cereal for breakfast. then a bus full of kids pulled up and took over the pavilion where we were so we headed out. today we were just going to have another short day to vesuvius but we took some alternative routes that made it a lot faster so we headed all the way to waynesboro which bypassed the blue ridge mountains which was our last big climb for the rest of the trip! we tried to go see the natural bridge but they were charging for that and the wax museum so we passed on through. when we got into waynesboro we grabbed a blizzard to cool off then hit up a cool bookstore/soup shop where we chilled for an hour or so. there was supposed to be a church hostel but they were closed till next year so we found a camping spot next to the ymca. we then found a chinese buffet and refueled. it was dark when we got to the campsite so we setup the tent and i took some pics while evan called some friends. we then tried to get some sleep.