We had to ride on the interstate for 10 miles yesterday. It wasn't bad at all though. In fact, we had a sweet little interaction with a gopher on the side of the road.
Sojourner and I were maneuvering through the town of Altoona, PA when I saw Walter at the light up ahead with his blinker on to pull over into an empty parking lot. Soj and I cut up the hill and met him there. He told me the road was even worse up ahead and he thought we should just get up on the Interstate.
Altoona is not a walker or biker friendly town. It is very busy, sort of like the business area of Manchester, NH and there are no sidewalks or cross walks. In fact, there are little signs with a walking man on it with a big red X through him. We haven't come across a town like this yet where being outside of your car is not recommended near roads.
We have been up on I-10 and I-25, but there were less guard rails so I could zip down the median and we were only I-10 for a short amount of time. The thing is, I don't really know if it's allowed. We debated calling the cops to give them a heads up, but then if they said "No" we wouldn't be able to go up there...well, then where would we go?
So we decided to just do it. It ended up being a nice ride. We had a 35 mile day and it flew by. The weather was absolutely perfect and Walter's mom and stepfather, Stephen, were driving down so we were both excited. Sojourner was absolutely incredible. I guess he's just in magnificent shape now because he is really moving. We moved at 8 miles an hour for quite a while and ended the day early.
The fact that we are getting close to New York is starting to really hit us now. I look at Soj and get a little choked up all the time now in the evenings while I watch him eat. I just can't believe it. I can remember being in California thinking about what it would feel like to look at him in an Eastern state and know he brought me all the way there. I'm in awe of him and really can't believe we're here.
I rode him every single day for a year and a half before we headed out on this ride and I would day dream and day dream about what it was all going to be like. I actually had a person come up to me and say (a cool guy who I really like, but he said...), "You're not going to make it. It's too far". Point blank. Just like that. I joked a little with him and told him I would send him a post card.
And people look at us cross-eyed all the time which is as to be expected, but here Soj is and here we are and we're so close now. I think I might crumble when we hit NH. I am so proud of Soj and I am so overwhelmed by Walter's heart and to have made it, to get there...I'll thank every person we've met along the way and all of you following this blog who offer us support and encouragement for as long as I live for helping to make this possible.
And Sojourner...oh what a horse. I can't wait to get him a buddy!
Right now Walter and I are enjoying a nice morning in The Hampton Inn. Walter's parents got a couple of rooms for all of us for last night and tonight. Today we are just going to play around. We plan to shop a little, hike a little, eat, laugh, maybe hit some garage sales...
Beware of continental breakfasts in hotels. Goodness gracious. People turn into something different. They become starving and impatient and the cheap muffins and little box cereals have never looked so good and must be had, must be had, must be had at this instant, this very instant, please move! This very instant!!
One woman really, really, really wanted the milk I was about to pour for myself. She stood so close to me intently watching everywhere my hands went. Finally she couldn't wait any longer (I was having trouble figuring out how to get the cereal out of the big plastic holder) so she said "excuse me" and nuzzled herself in between me and the milk!! It was really weird! Walter had a similar experience, too, with his waffles. Finally the lady near him got impatient and asked if she could just help him.
It was so interesting to watch! What is it that happens at a continental breakfast? Something about it makes people really uncomfortable and a little jittery and impatient. People bonk into each other and stuff.
Well anyway, we are back up in the room with our tea and cereal now. I should probably head downstairs though because Walter just told me his parents are up. It looks like it's going to be another beautiful day....time to get outside!