Week 3 - We made it to Savannah!
Quick Recap of Week 3
Week 3 brought us from Palm Coast, FL to Savannah, GA. We had another great week.
Big thanks to Mark and his Wife, and thank you to Virginia, for giving us a safe place to get a restful sleep. One of the highlights of the week happened on Thursday. At one of our stops, we bumped into a group of cyclists in the midst of a Transamerican triathlon. It's surprising, (and also not so surprising) to bump into "like-minded crazy" while on this expedition, but it also happened to be someone Shan knew! Small world. See more details below.
The East Coast Greenway route has been mostly pleasant during Week 3. Saturday and Sunday (4/30 and 5/1) we had really lovely rides on both A1A and some amazing bike paths through Amelia Island. We were celebrated when we made it to Georgia on Monday (yay!), especially after surviving Route 200 from A1A to Route 17. We were prepared to spend more time on busy roads once we reached Georgia, but so far it has been (mostly) enjoyable. One stretch leading into Richmond Hill on Route 17 was a bit challenging. It's a busy road with a modest shoulder, but one of the wheels of my trailer was in the rumble strip the whole time. It was a lot of work for 5+ miles. We're aware this will get even more "interesting" once we reach SC, so stay tuned for updates!
Working out a system
I wouldn't call it a routine. It's hard to find a routine when we're in a different situation every day. But we are getting into a bit of a rhythm (we think). In the afternoon, when we arrive at our lodging quarters, everything inside the trailer comes out of the trailer and is laid out all over the room. We set up charging cables for our phones, blinky lights, GPS, etc. We have sacks of clothes, both clean and dirty. We have toiletries. We have coffee supplies. All of it comes out of the trailer, easily accessible for morning prep.
In the morning (starting at 5 AM), we make coffee (Kapik1) and we have a little bite to eat (oatmeal, granola). To prepare for a day in the heat and humidity, Shan applies TwoToms, bandaids, and sunscreen. As we get closer to departure time, we return our things to the trailer. This part is getting easier each day - I'm mastering the art of tetris, which is critical for getting all of our things nicely stowed away. It's getting so easy that once Shan leaves, I can be ready to hit the road within 5 minutes if I need to. The day's schedule is always changing and depends on a number of factors - work schedule, distance planned, mileage with/without services, etc. Up until now, three weeks in, we have had no trouble adapting to whatever comes our way. Hopefully, we can sustain that level of flexibility and go-with-the-flow-ness for the next couple of months. :)
Some fun facts from Week 3
Miles this week =
Shan (running) - 265.82
Josh (cycling) - 273.06
Total Running Miles = 785.33
Money raised for ECG = $3449 -- THANK YOU!
Week 3 Highlights
Most delicious meal: Our chicken and steak meal (pictured below) at the Local 7 in Richmond Hill. It was the least amount of buttery and fried food we'd had for awhile, and also extremely delicious!
Favorite local beer: It's a tie between Hop Dang Diggity by Jekyll Brewing Co. in Alpharetta, GA. Definitely gets points for the cute name and is deliciously hoppy, and an IPA from Westbrook Brewing in Mt. Pleasant, SC.
Awesome people we met:
An amazing guest bedroom with Mark Palmucci, a local cyclist who works with the ECG in Palm Coast
We had a lovely dinner and a super nice place to stay with Virginia DeRoy, another avid cyclist who has done similar multi-day trips with her friends. We loved Amelia Island.
We were very touched to see a gift card from Terry and Darlene Langreth at Camden Bikes as we were checking into our hotel in Kingland, GA. Thank you so much for feeding us, Terry and Darlene!
I loved riding with Terry in Kingsland on Tuesday - he was great company! He also shared a lot of information about the town and trails and rides, etc. It was a joy to meet (and ride with) such a passionate cyclist and trail advocate.
Small world story - I bumped into Jeff outside of a restaurant who was a part of a group of Transamerica triathlon nuts. As we chatted about our equally crazy journeys, I immediately knew we had something in common. I was recognized by one of their team members ("hey, I'm following you guys!") just when Shan came out of the restaurant and greeted his old friend Wayne. So funny to bump into someone you know in the middle of nowhere, GA.
In Midway, GA, I chatted with a lovely couple as I waited for Shan to meet me at Melody's Cafe. They were excited about our mission, but more importantly, told me I had stopped for lunch at the best place in town. Lucky us! And, turns out, they paid for our lunch, too. People. Are. Awesome.
We arrived in Savannah on Friday where Shan met with Caila and Brent, both cycling enthusiasts and trail advocates (Bike Walk Savannah and ECG). I got comfortable on a bench in Forsyth Park and worked for several hours. A reporter from the local news stay was on his way to interview Shan when a breaking story pulled him away. So that was too bad...
While waiting for me to finish my meetings, Shan was invited to help some SCAD students with their school assignment, a commercial they were filming in the park. The picture of Shan with the star of the show is below. :)
Jen and Brendan (our friends) were on vacation in Savannah/Charleston for a few days so we were able to see them for dinner while in Savannah. It was a fun night - thanks again for dinner!
The hardest day: It was hot - very hot - on one of our longer days, just as we were leaving Kingsland. There was a nice long stretch of beautiful, quiet country roads, but the heat and lack of shade really did a number on us. We pushed through, of course. Once we hit a store we stopped for beverages and ice cream and made the final 5 miles no problem. It was hot, though. Really hot.
Favorite view/stretch of trail: From Mayport through Amelia Island. The path meanders along and through the parks, completely off-road, with lots of peace and wildlife, too. It was awesome.
Most exciting animal encounter: Turtle crossing a busy section of A1A on Amelia Island. I was ready to assist if needed, but he seemed to understand traffic patterns and made his push when there were no cars coming!
Most interesting historic site: St Augustine Fort - we had a lovely picnic in the park there, right across from the visitor's center. Wish we could have stayed longer!