Back to Day 11

Allow me to begin today’s post simply by stating I LOVE THE BARK-O-LOUNGER!

OK, enough about that. We started the day out of New Hope in the rain. It was cold, there was a headwind, and the first 10 miles were basically uphill. Nonetheless, we saw some beautiful countryside. Many of the homes here are built with fieldstone – the old farmhouses are my personal favorite, but the newer stone houses are wonderful, too.

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Then there are the old brick houses, and the old barns. I keep seeing houses I want to buy, which of course is silly. But today we saw a 75 acre farm for sale, and we both found that interesting. I’m thinking Amy can live there with us, and we can build a great big cat playground. Just imagine – 75 acres of cats!

Dana noticed something interesting about the local bike arrows today. It seems that most of the arrows here are made of some sort of tape, not like the permanent painted ones we have at home. OK, perhaps only interesting to bikers, but let’s face it, we have a lot of time to notice things like that.

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We had our first butt and food break at Sal’s pizza in Warrington, PA. It was incredible pizza! The cheese pizza tasted exactly like the Brooklyn pizza I grew up with. We each had 2 slices. Note: I realize that being from Brooklyn does not make me a pizza expert. It’s just nice to find pizza that tastes like childhood – wherever that childhood happened to be.

After lunch, we continued on to Conshohoken, via the town of Ambler. I only mention Ambler because, as we were coming into town, Dana said “turn left on Beth’s Hill Rd”. So of course I knew that would be the correct way to go, because it had Hill in the name. But then we got to Reiff’s Mill Rd, and I asked if maybe that was our road, so we stopped and Dana squinted at the map, then I squinted at the map, and then we figured “sure, if it rhymes, it’s close enough”. And it was the right road.

The biggest moment of the day came when we entered Conshohoken, which is the end of ACA Map 2, and a major hub on the ACA map network. I mean, we were so excited we could hardly wait for Conshohoken. And then we got there, and Dana said “this is it”.

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I must say, I was somewhat disappointed. I was expecting a parade, or at least balloons or something, but no. Nothing. So we went to Zoe’s Cafe and had soup, which was very tasty (and I know my soup!), but I would have preferred a parade. From there we got onto the Schuylkill River bike trail, which was really nice and traffic free. We knew that we were approaching a problem area – Debra and Camilla had warned us that the ACA route crosses the Schuylkill on Rte. 422, but that bridge is closed, so we should cross on Rte. 202 in Norristown. But once we were on the trail, we had no idea where Norristown was, nor where 202 was. So we stopped and asked a passing cyclist for help.

And we met Jerome, who was very nice, and told us we should ride the trail to 422, but we told him what Debra and Camilla had said, but Jerome’s biking buddy had told him the bridge was fixed, and we just didn’t know what to do. So we rode with Jerome for a while, and told him about our adventure. Turns out he’s planning to ride the DC to Bar Harbor portion of the ride in August. Note: If any of you want to do half of this route, and you don’t love hills, that REALLY isn’t your best choice.

So after much consideration, we decided to part with Jerome in Norrisville and find the 202 bridge. But we found the wrong 202 bridge, the scary highway one, so we read more maps and backtracked through Norristown, and found the 202 walking bridge across the Schuylkilll River.

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At this point we were off the ACA route, so we had to plan our own route, which was simply to ride on rte. 23 to our hotel. But rte. 23 was kind of nasty in some sections, and I ended up walking some of it. It turns out that, with the perfect combination of hills, messy or missing shoulders, fast cars, cursing drivers, frustration, and fatigue, I will always choose walking.

We got to our hotel – Spring Hill Suites – and they were so impressed with what we are doing that they took our picture for their Facebook page. More local fame. Cool. We are in King of Prussia, which reminds us of another Crayola fact. Turns out they retired Prussian Blue in 1959 because, according to school teachers, kids no longer knew where Prussia was.

We had a lovely Mediterranian dinner in the restaurant across the parking lot, and now we are sitting at the hotel bar, wearing tomorrow’s biking clothes, doing laundry. In 15 minutes, every single article of clothing we have will be clean and fluffy dry. Life is good.

Tomorrow we are riding 50 miles to Reamstown. Hopefully life will be good tomorrow, too.

On to Day 13

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