Total Miles: 898.63
Longest Day: 68.16
Shortest Day 19.4
Rest Days: 7
Motel/Hotel Nights: 7
Tent Nights: 20
Rustic Cabin Nights: 4
Total States: 4 (NC, SC, GA and FL)
Favorite Town: Neptune Beach, FL. These are our people.
Items we have lost: Five bagels to clever raccoons. Two bolts, one from the trailer and another from a rear bicycle rack.
The longest we have worn a single shirt: 3 days (why change shirts and get a clean one dirty?)
Most important, all four of us have been very happy and healthy. Knees and backs have all been holding up and not causing us any issues. For the humans, there was one 2-3 day bout of intestinal distress and a few minor passing aches and pains. For the pups, there has been a few burrs/thorns, but outside of that they have been super healthy too [B: Death to burrs!]. The fresh air and exercise has been good for us all.
We finished the first month almost 22% under budget [JB: Yay! This means extra treat money!]. We feel pretty good about that because it’s a tight budget that allows us to spread our funds out to last until the end. The numbers are a little off because we brought a lot of food with us that was not part of the monthly costs we tracked, including 30lbs of puppy food. We also know that FL is going to have higher expenses, because everything costs more…the campgrounds, the food, etc. Also, Georgia has been working 2-3 days per month for her old company which requires us to pull off the road and find a dog-friendly wi-fi enabled hotel. Thanks Lifesprk for the nice hotel break and extra income!
By far the most popular part of our trip is the puppy hauler. And we gotta say, it IS pretty cool. People on bikes? Folks see that all the time. People doing a bicycle tour? We are following established bicycle routes, so that isn’t uncommon either. People doing a bicycle tour towing two dogs in a 6’ long bright orange covered wagon? Unique! The most common comment from women is “Awww!” The most common comment from men is some version of “That’s a great rig!” Several people wanted to know where they could get one and several others wanted to ride along with the pups! [B: Come on!]
Yesterday, we were passed by a gentleman on a beach cruiser bike. Yes, we get passed a lot. So far, I think we have caught and passed only three riders. As he went by, we received a big hearty thumbs up and a smile. A bit further on, he was on the opposite side of the road with his camera ready to take a picture of our bicycle train. He called out, “you inspire me.” We don’t know his name and we won’t ever see him again, but those kind words gave us smiles for the rest of the day. It was a 5 second instance from one day, and we won’t ever forget. One of the most fantastic parts of this trip has been our interactions with people…friends and family, and new people we have met along the way. A kind word, a comment, a like on Facebook all mean so much to us. We have been given nourishment, shelter, and many times been told, “if you need anything, let me know.” If you need to restore your faith in humanity, take a bicycle trip. There are some great people out here. We know that for a fact, we meet them daily. Not only do we love receiving the support and encouragement, but we also love hearing about them and their lives. Everyone has a story and something valuable to say if you listen.
In just one month this trip has stripped away most of what we took for granted in regular life. Some simple things are now hard to come by. A good night of sleep. Cool water. A real meal. The security of being behind a locked door. A chair. Those aren’t complaints, not at all. Neither of us would trade and go back. Our lives are now more raw, more immediate, more real than we feel they have been in a long time. The experiences we are accumulating are rich, deep and will be memories for a lifetime. We both feel that we already have many positive experiences, so much ahead of us to look forward to, and the current moment is quite fantastic too. Is this easy? No. It is all sunshine and roses? No. But we aren’t dwelling on the negatives. Life is too short for that and this trip is already going fast. Enjoy what you have, experience what you can, get out there and live. Do it. #justride
Mark, Georgia, Junebug and Biscuit