Day 18 – Carlisle, PA to Brookfield, CT
The odometer started the day at 27,350. I continue to marvel at how often the days end with the last digit of the odometer ending with either a 0 or a 5. We rode through NJ (state #24 of the trip for me) and stopped for lunch and fuel I checked to oil level. I needed to add another 1/2 quart of oil. And the odometer reading? 27,525. Again?
We’d tried to make Harrisburg the night before, but decided to stop just shy of there in Carlisle, PA at another Super 8. Riding in the cold was difficult. Mentally taxing. But for the most part – I was never cold. Seriously layering. On the trip north I added a silk turtleneck under the polypro long underwear shirt. Then the cotton turtleneck, then the polypro pullover, then the fleece sweatshirt, then the fleece jacket and then the First Gear lined riding jacket. Two pairs of SmartWool socks – one thin pair and then a heavier pair. My winter riding gloves and the grip heaters on high kept my amazingly comfortable. But when we stop I love pulling off my gloves and wrapping my bare hands on the hot grips. Boy does that feel good!
So today we decided to take it really easy and aim for Brookfield, CT (close to Danbury) to stay with Pat O. a long-time friend of my family. No doubt that Fall has come to this part of New England. The light was lovely, but there was a definite chill in the air. All layered up, balaclavas and neck-ups on, grip heaters on and winter gloves.
We arrived right on time at about 3:30 PM and had a lovely visit with her. We went out to eat at The Hearth and then proceeded to camp out on the living floor with our Therm-A-Rests and sleeping bags.
This is going to be our last night on the road. Bittersweet. Bitter because I am not yet ready to come in off the road. And sweet to be able to spend it with Pat.
I feel a bit like Frenchman Bernard Moitessier, who turned around just before finishing, forsaking fame and fortune for the isolation of the sea, and sailed an additional 10,000 miles to Tahiti rather than pulling in and winning the 1968 Sunday Times solo, non-stop round-the-world-yacht race. Ever read his book? The Long Way. Another great read is The Strange and Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst about that same race and don’t want to be spoil the story – it’s a very interesting story.
The facts are: I am not ready to stop riding. I loved these past three weeks far more than I ever thought I would. I am now hopelessly addicted to long-distance riding. I am already thinking about my next long ride. I’d like to leave a little earlier next year and try for CO and UT.