I got a late start this morning. I was on the road before dawn, which may seem early, but it was later than I’d hoped: my alarm went off at 4am but I fell back asleep until after 5. I only had a couple things left to stash away, which is good because there were only a few remaining unoccupied nooks and crannies on the bike. North on I-95 out of Richmond for about an hour, and then start avoiding the major roads as much as possible. It’s not exhilirating riding: the Piedmont is generally flat, but the occasional bit of farm land away from NoVA is pretty. I started off fighting the GPS (a Garmin zūmo 395) pretty much right away. I had a rough route laid in to take me Northwest on 17 from I-95, and as soon as I got to 17 it wanted to take me back onto 95 and into DC. Hell no. It’s a terrible device. I blindly continued NW in the general direction of Winchester, trying to balance the desire to keep off major roads with the need to get at least one state out of the way so I’d feel like I’m making some progress. 522 looked pretty good so I started following that from the pointy top of VA through WV, MD, and into PA. Now we’re getting somewhere. At some point around Needmore, PA the GPS decided there were better roads to be found and tried a Hail Mary pass at redemption. It worked (for a bit) and for a couple of hours there were some great back roads through the middle of Nowheresville, PA (nb. not a real place, but it’s not a stretch given other places like Intercourse, Bird-in-Hand, and Burnt Cabins).
Around Lewiston I checked in with my mom and realized my late start and an unexpected shuffling of plans on her end made it so I really didn’t have a lot of extra time to burn. Fastest route it is, then: State College; Williamsport; Mansfield; Corning, NY; and now I’m back in familiar territory, riding roads I grew up on, retracing routes I could do (and have done) in my sleep. I took this area for granted: it’s beautiful, although economically depressed and grey 10 months out of the year. But the roads and scenery are great.
Not much in the way of photos today, just a neat little whistle-stop that loves its trolleys, and a rare blue sky over the old homestead.