January 20th, 2011
Total Distance for today: 43 miles
Total Distance for Tour: approx. 718 miles
LOCATION: Charlotte, NC
STATUS: Couchsurfing, in route to Atlanta, GAJanuary 16th, 2011
My interview with the Salisbury Post went quite well, as I really felt the reporter captured the many details of my story and journey. You can read it here.
When It’s Hard
I want to give you a glimpse of what it’s like on the road; the Flip Cam sort of captures it, but only a little. You really would have to be here to experience it all: The pebbles that are like unpredictable little land-mines on the narrow shoulder in front of you, the salt from the sweat that pours down from around the sides of the helmet into your eyes, the weight of the pack, the pull of the flag that drags like a parachute in the wind, the fire in your legs and blisters on your feet, the dizzy delirium you find when you feel you’re at the end of your rope, the relentless flow of traffic that constantly forces you off the road and onto the grass, the bigger hill that comes into sight just as you crest the one you’re on, and the smell of diesel fuel and rush of wind reminding you of the danger after an 18-wheeler barrels by – These are the sensations that constantly bombard the intrepid one. Of course, it can be… difficult. Yet, you go on.
As harsh as this thing can be physically, I think the hardest part is the loneliness of it all. There’s something about the fact that your this lone, bizarre, character out there, and people just see a glimpse of you before they’re back to their jobs, friends, families, and normal lives. Skating on from one place to the next, you never know who or what you’ll find. It’s like the only physically constant person in your life is you, and you live in a strange universe that is pure solitude. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wished I had a skating partner out here. Anyone wanna come join me for a day? I promise to take it easy on you!
In spite of the difficulty, I’ve caught myself, on multiple occasions, saying something like this:
Don’t take this away from me! Don’t you ever take it away! This experience, this fight, and this journey – THIS is mine, and no one will take it from me.”
I don’t know who I’m saying it to. Maybe I’m saying it to myself. All I know is that I say it when the pain is the worst and that I mean it.
I’m moving on…