With our second week on the road now under our belts, I finally feel like the overwhelming stress of cycle touring is wearing off a bit. Looking back to our first week, I can now see how jet lagged we must have been. We literally fell asleep every time we sat down and would nap for hours at a time anytime we weren’t pedaling anywhere. We’re now into a bit of a rhythm for finding food and water and a place to pitch our tent and have made much more progress in routing ourselves on roads that aren’t so busy. Although our trip still feels stressful at times and I know there are going to be some trying days before the trip is over, I finally feel like we are reaching a sustainable pace and we can really enjoy ourselves and each other. I think the realization that we have nowhere we have to be until we fly home took a little while to set in. Almost every day we have discovered something we never would have found if we were traveling primarily by train or tour bus. We have learned to rely so heavily on each other to make sure our needs our met and I am loving the uninterrupted time we have together. Every morning I wake up and feel so lucky to be here!
As we move from campground to campground, I think back often to the time we spent in our RV growing up visiting national parks and hanging out on the lake to ski every morning. My parents were pretty brave to haul all of us with a boat in tow to all the places we went and hindsight, they really put a lot of work into getting us to all those places. My dad always said it was more fun to be a kid because you just show up to every fun trip, and now that we are on the adult end, I think he is right!
We had planned to stay put outside of Florence one more day to get some plans firmed up and see a few more things, which turned out to be a great plan based on the terrible weather. Instead of rising with the sun, we rolled over and went back to sleep for another couple of hours and then snacked on cookies and chocolate for breakfast as we researched some new route options. Somewhere around that point, the pounding rain rolled in. At home, I don’t mind the rain much, but for whatever reason even cloudy weather out here makes me so grumpy!
I was so relieved not to be out in it, but instead tucked inside our tent listening to it fall. The whole day turned out to be pretty chilly although by late afternoon it had cleared quite a bit. Realizing that we were pretty much out of any adquate food, we headed into town to stock up on our first grocery run since we obtained our stove. There were so many new options of things we can now make for ourselves!
As always, we snagged a carton of gelato (rest assured they are roughly half the size of cartons of ice cream at home) which we promptly downed upon arriving back to our tent. Something about not being able to save any for later makes eating the whole thing such a guilt free experience and based on the calories we burn out here, I don’t ever feel one bit bad about it!
Post ice cream, we realized we probably ought to make some actual dinner and we had lots of new grocery options to try out. After yesterdays tasty gnocchi, Ben was in love and was determined to make some more. We boiled it up and stirred in some ricotta and pesto and had a delicious meal by our tent.