Wednesday, August 17, 2016

117: Valley Forge

Last night, I was headed up the stairs to our room after posting the day's blog entry in the Inn's public room (the wifi connection was not quite strong enough on the third floor to get the job done.) These were 'very old house' stairs, which is to say they were narrow, and steep, and they even sloped a bit from right to left.  At the corner, they narrowed to nothing at the apex. The first time I went up them, earlier in the afternoon, I had mentioned to our hostess that I felt like I had fallen down the rabbit hole, like Alice! This time, I was holding the computer in one hand, and using the other to come up the stairs like a crab on three legs. Just barely getting up there, late in the day.
Roger hates this sign

Midpoint of the bridge

Earlier, I had gone up and down the stairs several times with creaking knees. At least we didn't have to push the tandem up the stairs tonight! 

We had to walk about .3 of a mile down to dinner tonight, and Roger's knees are still giving him trouble. His elbow is better; the swelling is going down. He ices it every day several times after we get off the bike. The saddle sore is not really improving, but we are managing it best we can.

I wonder if we are just breaking down. We ask our bodies to do a lot of work just about every day, and we don't take a day off in between as we do when we are home. Sometimes I wonder if we will manage to hold it together long enough to complete the ride we have set out to do. Like today, Roger and I were snapping at each other at some point on the road, and I thought man - we are just hanging on. 
Cabins built by the troops at Valley Forge
And then the ride today! Oh, man. What a day. We started late, as we typically do if we stay at a B and B, because we are enjoying a nice breakfast. The hosts and other guests were very interested in our journey, and we chatted with them while we finished loading the tandem and took a few pictures. So we didn't roll until 9:40. That's a very late start, and given the terrain today, it made for a long day. We ate lunch late, due to our late start, and we were both cranky and tired when we finally stopped for a bite. Plus we had the stop at Valley Forge. So we didn't get to the hotel until after 7 pm. Whew! 

On the route, there were quite a few of those 12 - 18% grades again today. Roger had inadvertently restarted his computer while we were at Valley Forge, so he was able to see that the second leg of our journey (about 16 miles) took us two hours. This is hard work! 
General Washington quartered here. Rank has its privileges!

I was pleased when another guest who was interested in our trip offered to give us a ride to a restaurant so we could have dinner. YES!  We enjoyed visiting with Bruce over beer and burgers.

So why title this entry Valley Forge? Well, we were there, for one thing. I probably would never have gotten to this place if not for the fact that we are right here by it. Plus there is this:  In the third winter of the American Revolutionary War, when the Continental Army was near the end of its rope, General Washington pulled them all together for the winter and, as one young private wrote, "We were determined to persevere." 
Bruce, Roger, Kathy

I guess I needed to see and hear that message today. And so we, like they, will regroup, take rest as needed, bind our wounds, find supplies, and soldier on. 

The day's report:  Stockton to Exton, 56.5 miles/5619 to date.


  1. Good analogy! Hang in there troops! Some days are longer than others but in the end every day is different with challenges and joys! Once you get home you can take some double digit days off the bike.

  2. Hope you both had a great day! It was an unexpected pleasure to spend some time, chat and throw back a brew with the two of you. I hope your journey continues smoothly and joyfully. Good luck!


I'd love to hear from you, but want to know who you are. If you are not registered to comment, please include your email in your comment so I can respond directly to you.