The beginning has been a smooth-ish ride. We met up at the Washington Monument in D.C. yesterday morning, George Washington watching down on us. Our 8am depart time turned into a 12pm departure, which was fine, except it meant we had to deal with more of the heat of the day (which was VERY hot). We broke the 35 miles that we had to conquer that day into three more conquerable chucks. In the first chunk, we passed through Alexandria (and a swarm of bees) before settling for some tuna and peanut butter sandwiches approximately 12 miles into the ride. After the first chunk, the next two were much more manageable (I think the rest of the team agrees) because we understood our pacing and hydration needs better.
We arrived at our first WarmShowers host, Cindy, precisely five hours behind schedule, but the sweat of the day was washed away when we jumped into the lake behind her house. The sun was setting and the bullfrogs croaked in the background (which we later discussed at dinner is becoming higher pitch b/c of global warming) as we splashed around in the water. Cindy and her husband Jerry were wonderful hosts who spewed generosity by making us a beautiful dinner and breakfast, which we ate on their porch while talking about our past travels and the adventure on which we were embarking. They told us about their community, their family, and the countless other people they have hosted over the years. Cindy and Jerry- you set the bar high.
p.s. lack of wifi is to blame for late post