The Group Sees Dinos

It’s been a busy first week for the spokesamerica team as we’ve started our journey across America. After stuffing two cars full of workshop material, everyone’s clothes, plenty of snacks and 7 bikes we trekked from Boston to Philly and finally to Silver Spring, MD (s/o to Margalit’s boyfriend’s parents for letting us crash at their place). It was the first time most of the team had ever been to Washington, DC. Naturally we embraced our inner tourists and spent the day meandering around our nation’s beautiful capitol.

After a day of scrambling and site seeing, we gathered on June 10th to have a late start at the Washington Monument in the middle of the east coast heatstroke. Half way through the day Thi ate a record-high 5 cliff bars! We safely coasted our way through Alexandria and Lorton before taking a quick rest stop in Occoquan, (where Cody inhaled an ice cream cone in 30 seconds flat). Our day came to an end upon arriving at our warmshower hosts for the evening in Montclair. It was incredibly hard to convince ourselves to leave in the morning, Cindy & Jerry we’re two of the most interesting people I’ve ever met. They were incredibly kind and hospitable, offering up their home to 7 smelly college students and cooking two amazing meals to boot!

It’s been an eye opening experience to meet so many kind hosts in this first week who are so quick to open up their homes and share a meal with complete strangers. We’ve been incredibly lucky to have such interesting hosts, sharing in tales of previous biking adventures and future endeavors across the world.

We’ve been averaging 50 miles a day, carving through Fredericksburg, Barboursville, Natural Bridge, and Shawsville. A special mention needs to be given to Natural Bridge. While Natural Bridge would have offered a breathtaking view, we decided instead on stopping off at Dinosaur Kingdom II. It was an amusement park re-imagining the American Civil War with one catch, the Rebels miraculously have a dinosaur army at their disposal. Yeah it’s exactly how it sounds: amazing, inspiring, dinotastic, and incredibly historically inaccurate. There was a time machine, an old scientist, a rush to find a priceless gold treasure, slime creatures, and oh so many dinosaurs. The main plot through the park?…We’re still piecing it together. On our way out we ran into the artist himself, Mark Cline. Upon asking, he revealed that the conclusion to the park’s cliffhanger will be revealed in his comic book next week. Needless to say, we’re sold.

Each new day has brought us interesting challenges in this long first week. Between tackling steeper and steeper hills, prepping workshop material, finding places to crash, and keeping well hydrated we’ve all kept plenty busy.

We’re all smiles as we prep for our first learning festival in Hazard, Kentucky in two days!!

~Cody

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