Day 54, 42 miles

Our luck with the weather this trip has been unbelievably good, and any time the topic comes up, we enter into a chorus of superstition, knocking on something wooden or throwing a pinch of salt over our shoulders or whatever else we can find appropriate to appease the gods and show our continued humility in the wake of their kindness.

So, it was with no lack of appreciation again today that we were able to get to Pittsfield in the morning, before a nice soaking thunderstorm came through in the afternoon. However, one thing before the storm which often does precede them was a stifling humidity, 100%, as we climbed up and down the Berkshires as we headed east from Albany, one final hoorah of hills, sweating and huffing like we had been back in Washington state. Overall however, it was a nice ride on old forest and farm roads, New England forests and farms, with their old world feel as compared to the ones out west. We passed by a summer camp and a replica Shaker village, mostly on back roads avoiding too much traffic.

There wasn’t much in terms of places to stop along the way, but one place, ‘Mama T’s country kitchen’ stood out as a good place for lunch. We were happy that we did, because Mama T gave us lunch on the house, taco bowls, complete with an ice cream bar afterwards, and took a picture with us to put on her facebook page.

There was one strange moment today, when pulling into Pittsfield, I began to recognize my surroundings, and something about the reality of our trip began to sink in, in a way that it hadn’t previously. To think that after 2 months of biking in one direction, east, through continually new environments, to suddenly come within a range of a familiar radius of home, roads that I have driven and places that I have visited, blew my mind in a small way, as if I had been expecting in some small way to be in somewhat alien surroundings for ever.  Perhaps this is the way that sailors used to feel when they would cross a sea, or pioneers when they travelled by horse and carriage, but there is a sort of incredulousness to it that perhaps only the likes of Gulliver or Bilbo Baggins could start to appreciate, that instead of falling off the edge of the earth somewhere, we instead struck a narrow path that has led us home, despite all of the obstacles of potential fates and misdirections along the way. Google maps has certainly greatly helped, as we were not simply following a compass, but two months is a long time to head in a single cardinal direction before reaching one’s home.

Spending the evening in Pittsfield we passed some time in a coffee shop before grabbing dinner and getting an early night’s rest, as we prepare for the final days.


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