Pastures in Pennsylvania

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We're in Maryland! We just arrived in Hagerstown, which is just south of the Pennsylvania/Maryland state border. Luckily, Pennsylvania's been a lot less difficult than Connecticut; there are a lot of nice rolling hills and pretty farms and pastures!

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Here in Hagerstown, we will have our 2nd build day with Habitat for Humanity! I and everyone else on the trip really value these "days off" - our butts get a break from the bike, we get to sleep in an extra hour and a half (7:30 am wake up), and we don't have to repack the trailer right away! And, most importantly, we get to really participate in our mission: working towards the affordable housing cause and spreading awareness about the issues we are riding for. We even got featured in the local paper at our last build site; you can see me on the roof removing the shingles! 

http://www.poconorecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140619/NEWS/406190325/0/wap

 

Anyways, a few highlights in the past few days:

- Today, we had several hours of downpour again, and everyone was really really cold. Of the days we've ridden so far, my optimism and positivity today was the lowest. I just had to keep telling myself that hardship builds character and that these are the experiences on this trip that will help me grow; but sometimes I really couldn't help thinking, "What on earth did I sign up for?!!"

- We passed through a town called Jim Thorpe (named after a well known athlete). It was so quaint and colorful, it almost looked like Disneyland!

- I think someone put too much detergent in the last laundry load! On one day it was raining, I looked down and I had suds all over my butt and in between my legs! Turns out my chamois was doing some self cleansing.... 

- We met the owners of a cute local bakery, Patsy's Piece of Cake. They offered us coffee and donuts for free! After talking to them, we learned that they're relatively new, that business is mediocre, and that they have limited funds for advertising. So, as a small gesture in return for their generosity, we created a Yelp page for their business and wrote their first review!

- My group on Friday found out that singing really helps pass time riding, and decided to sing our vocal signals (e.g. "left turn") barbershop quartet style. We did a really good job harmonizing  :)

- I got mail! It's so great to see your name on care packages! 

 

Some pictures: 

 Rainy day selfie of the harmonizing riders

Rainy day selfie of the harmonizing riders

 My friend Sascha going up one of many hills.

My friend Sascha going up one of many hills.

 Sunset in Schuykill Haven, PA. It was an adorable town!

Sunset in Schuykill Haven, PA. It was an adorable town!

 I've decided on my state line pose!

I've decided on my state line pose!

 In the farmland of Pennsylvania!

In the farmland of Pennsylvania!

 I got care packages!

I got care packages!

 Selfie with my turkey and emu friends

Selfie with my turkey and emu friends

 Bag balm is a staple of riders on our trip. Apparently, in addition to humans, it's also a favorite of cows??

Bag balm is a staple of riders on our trip. Apparently, in addition to humans, it's also a favorite of cows??

Also, I wanted to share the hard work of my friend Michael, who has been compiling short videos of our days using footage from his GoPro camera. The video below is from our day going up Bear Mountain in New York!

 Enjoy!