Day 009 – Jarrettsville, MD to Ellicott City, MD

I was a bit reluctant to get out of bed today at 7am, but heard people awake downstairs and wanted to say goodbye to Elaine and Tom before they took off for work. Once downstairs I was greeted by Elaine and their other daughter, Ashley, at the breakfast table with a steaming cup of tea waiting for me. I’m still getting used to accepting such warm hospitality so when they told me to eat whatever I wanted in the kitchen I said I would toast up some bread I had in my pack.

Ashley took one look at me and said something to the effect of , “We get 10 eggs a day from our chickens and you don’t want to eat them?” I’m thinking – yeah right – turning down fresh eggs does seem a bit stupid. So we cooked up some scrambled eggs to share and got to talking for a while. I had heard the night before that there was a bearded lizard in the house – so I had to see him. Too bad he is alone so no matting dance – look it up on youtube – It’s very cool.

Ashley is staying with her parents for a bit to recover from surgery, which I’m sure is a challenge since she leads a pretty active life. Thanks for breakfast and I hope you have a speedy recovery.

I wish I had made arrangements beforehand to stop over longer because it would of been great to talk to Elaine and Tom for a while longer about their experience with Obama Care and life in Jarrettsville in general. It’s a certain type of person that opens their home to cycling strangers and they always seem to have lots of interesting stories.

Not having enough time to spend at places I’m enjoying is becoming a theme on the trip. I may have to revisit everyone on the way back.

I thought I would make it to WA DC today, but it was too far so I ended up at the home of Jenny and Stan in Ellicott City – another couple I met on Warm Showers and avid cyclists. Their house is about 7 miles off of the mapped bike route so I wasn’t sure about staying with them initially, but very glad that I did. On the way to their house I took Main Street through historic Ellicott City then got on a converted trolly line right to the backyard of their neighbors.

After a warm shower (see a theme developing) Stan took me out for Indian food (unfortunately Jenny had a swim class) and I got to hear about some of the tandem bicycle tours they’ve taken around Europe, Puerto Rico and the US. I’ve never thought about touring that way, but they both make it sound like a lot of fun and it’s also a good way to never lose your spouse 🙂

They’ve both commute to work by bicycle, which came in really handy for me when riding to WA DC. Stan took one look at the bicycle map and said, “you’re not going to like this ride,” and put together a cue sheet from Google Maps from their door to Tina’s door. He even went throughout it with me turn by turn and told me about the road conditions and other hazards to be aware of – FROM MEMORY. I’m talking 36 turns at least. Local knowledge is a great thing to have and I’m very envious of your memory Stan.

They both had to go to work in the morning and told me to help myself to what ever I needed in the kitchen before taking off in the morning – I’m overwhelmed by the generosity and trust people have shown me so far on this trip. I hope to be set-up in a way to do the same in the future.