We just checked into a really nice hotel in Cockeysville, MD. We prefer tomorrow’s rest day to be in an upscale hotel, preferably one that is somewhere. There is a shopping mall, a Wegman’s, and a movie theater down the street. We are definitely somewhere, and we are happy.
Today was a pleasantly uneventful day. Our first stop after breakfast was at the dollar store to buy Gatorade. Even Dana has had enough lukewarm motel bathroom sink water for a lifetime. Dana watched the bikes in the parking lot, and I went in to buy the Gatorade, but we kept our headsets on so we could discuss flavors. (OK, colors. Everyone knows Gatorade is really about the colors.)
So there I am, standing in front of the drinks cooler, talking to him, but there’s nobody there. “They have blue. They have yellow. Oooh, green!” A lady gave me a VERY strange look. Then when I went to pay, I asked Dana if he needed anything else, but the cashier thought I was talking to a bottle of Pepsi. I tried to explain, but I wasn’t feeling any love there.
Not long after buying Gatorade, we crossed the Mason Dixon line into Maryland.
The following picture explains a lot about the terrain we’ve been riding, although today wasn’t as bad as this implies. On the other hand, it reminded us that yesterday, leaving Wrightsville, we rode on Long Level Road for a few miles. May I just say that sometimes the road names lie.
Our butt and lunch break was in Jarrettsville, where I finally got my liverwurst.
After lunch we left the ACA route, because it doesn’t go into Cockeysville. It felt like we were cheating, but when the route had us turning off the road to Cockeysville – probably to go uphill for 5 scenic miles and then back down for 5 more – we just stayed on the main road. The main road was pretty busy, and the noise and traffic helped me appreciate the ACA routes – hilly and isolated, but also scenic and safe.
Right outside of Cockeysville we crossed a nice new suspension bridge over the Gunpowder River. We stood on the bridge for a while watching the birds – swallows, red wing blackbirds, hawks, and a plethora of LBJs.
When we got to our hotel, a nice lady from Baltimore asked about our bikes, and when we told her about our adventure, she prayed for us.
We are looking forward to our rest day tomorrow, after which the terrain will get steadily flatter into Virginia, after which there will be no real hills. Unfortunately, Dana thinks the scenery will become more boring, based on what he calls Escher’s 3 Laws of Biking:
- A bike ride is always uphill and into the wind. A corollary is that if you are going downhill or with the wind, you are probably lost.
- The beauty of the scenery is directly proportional to the steepness of the hills.
- Hills always look steeper when viewed from across the valley from the previous hill (this is sometimes referred to as the valley effect)
Here is a rule I added: If I can climb up a hill, it isn’t really a hill.
We just returned from dinner with Mike, his wife Katy, and their daughter Ginny. It was so nice to have a home cooked meal – it’s funny how a restaurant can be a break from always eating at home, but eating at home can be a break from eating in too many restaurants. I want Nancy T to be assured that we had ice cream for dessert, but I cannot post a picture of it because Dana took a picture of me actually eating the ice cream, and no one needs to see that.