A Long, Tough Slog to Manassas

We awoke at our warm shower hosts farmhouse Saturday morning refreshed and ready for what we thought would be a fairly easy day. Turns out what we had figured to be a 60 mile day became our second longest day of the summer. We covered 85 miles today, most of it on busy roads with little or no shoulder, and in 95 degree heat, with humidity to match.

Seems that when you have 60 in your head, and it increases to 85, it somehow takes a mental toll on you. Kind of like when you think the paper you have due is supposed to be 4 pages, and then last second you come to learn that it must be a minimum of 8. Or when the deadline to get the project done is Wednesday, and then you find out it is actually Monday.

But, we’ve been here before, and we just hopped back on and pedaled away; what else is there to do? So now we are at a motel in Manassas, Virginia. Just a stones throw away from DC, our final ending point. The riding today was long, but it was as green as ever, and the sky was perfect with lots of sun and postcard perfect little puffy white cumulus clouds everywhere. We are at 1,195 total miles for the trip, and will go over the 1,200 mile mark as we head into the town of Oakton on Sunday.

We suffered our first flat today, but got it repaired quickly and were back on it in 15 minutes. We also had a really wonderful conversation with a young mom outside a small store along Hwy 17 this morning. She was very interested in our shark campaign and asked lots of good questions. Eventually we went into the store to buy a drink, and when we came back out, she was gone, but there were several bills tucked into Devon’s helmet. She had left them there as a donation for sharks! On top of that, the store manager, Peter, was also very interested and said he would be telling all his friends back home (he’s from Britain) about the plight of sharks. We feel good because we believe we have started a conservation about shark conservation with many people who would not have otherwise known about it.

We continue to hope that our efforts, joined with the work so many other people are doing, will be enough to tip the tide in favor of these most magnificent creatures.

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