Woken up at 6 am, which, if you’ll recall, was sub-5 hours of sleep. NOT HAPPY. Actually, beyond not happy, not coherent or really alive at all. But the weather felt my vengeance, and delayed our start by offering a torrential thunderstorm, which made us hold a town hall meeting in the morning instead of that night.
Each day, two people, designated “sweeps,” ride in the back of the group to keep track of where the group ends and to provide help if needed. Alex and I were sweep for a day of almost constant rain.
The route started off along a bike path cutting through algae bloomed swamp, then continued along a larger state road. And we biked through the Styx. Both in that this was a rural, poor community with breaking down shacks and trailers and bugs and woods, but also that we biked through the river Styx because wow there was so much water on us at all moments. At one point we approached dry, but the sky quickly took care of that.
Quickly the scenery grew wealthier, with golf courses and signs for developments written in Papyrus. We saw lightening at one point, and took cover under an open garage with a boat and swing that overlooked the gulf, albeit with a full gauze of fog covering it.
Lunch was scarfed under the tent the van crew had pitched, then back on the road only to find a hoard of our group waiting out the rain under a covered picnic area outside of a gas station, a corner warmed by a pot of peanuts boiling.
Alex and I joined up with another group and stayed with them at their fast pace until he asked me about my gears, I slowed down to fiddle with them, and no amount of sprinting could catch us back up with them.
Our host was a Catholic community hall, and dinner was fresh-caught shrimp, a salad with spinach and tangerines, edamame, corn, and sausage. I went to sleep as soon as I could (10:20), on my second pull-out couch in a row, brought to me by the grace of providence.