Home. I like it.
After cirumnavigating the Mid Atlantic States, for a total of 1466 miles, I am pleased to report that the world out there there is still OK, except the the hills seem to have gotten slightly steeper.
It's hard to summarize this entire trip in a few paragraphs. All I can say is that it was like moving through a giant outdoor art museum, for five weeks, where your head gets filled with all kinds of curious images of the landscapes, towns, streets, architecture, industry and most of all, people.
I've never felt so alive, being outside every day and traveling across huge sections of land under my own human power.
I met some great people along the way and experienced, up front and up close, all kinds of communities where people live and work. Both oppulant, and, on the opposite end of the spectrum, completely deteriorated. I could tell which towns had money, to take good care of their streets and parks, and which were poor. Although, I can't say I was never afraid to be in certain sketchy places, I never felt threatened by anyone.
People out there are just like they are here at home. They live on streets, they have kids, they hang out on their front porches and I assume they are all trying to make it this world just like we are. . Some of the neighborhoods I passed through seemed to be made up of people of all one color that spoke a different language and others were very international. I see that America is indeed a melting pot. Well . . .perhaps more like a frying pan.
And it smells! Sometimes good and sometimes bad. And it sizzles!
One of the things that I will always remember, from this trip, is how noisy traffic is. As you approach a large city you can start to hear the din of the ambient vehicle noise from very far away and it gets so much louder as you get closer, and it's the worst when you are in the thick of it, on a bicycle.
Regarding the September 11th Memorial Trail, well, I layed down a few ruts. I have to say that I was very impressed with the number of off road trails, rails to trails and park trails that this route took me on. Those were the best parts of the ride and I looked forward to being on them. So many communities have developed beautiful trails and they are used my many. Getting connected, from trail to trail, on surface streets and highways, however, was the most difficult and challenging part of the journey. I wish that we could develop more off road bicycle trails, extend our current trails and find ways to more safely connect all of our trails together into one great network of trails. I see that progress is being made toward this goal already and I hope we can keep it up. I saw that so many people loving their trails and more extensive connections of trails, like the 911 Memorial Trail and the East Coast Greenway, would be great assets for our country.
Thank you for reading my blog. I enjoyed writing it and was happy to share my adventure with you.
This is Pat Baechle
Reporting to you, live, from my mobile device; the 36 speed, 1/4 ton, Salsa Marikesh
C Ya down the road