A few days ago, we made a command decision to hop on a train. We looked at the maps and we looked at the calendar and we thought about what we wanted to do with the last bit of time before winter descends upon us again. And we realized that we have a long list of places we want to explore and people we want to meet… in states that are further North. Friends in Baltimore, artists in Central Pennsylvania, bike builders in Philadelphia, Laura’s cousins in New Jersey and alma mater in Massachusetts, activists in Boston. Winter comes early to Boston, and we realized that, if we are to make it that far north without trudging through snow, we need to get there by the end of October. So, today, we hopped on a train.

It feels weird to cut out a huge chunk of the country that we would otherwise ride through, and to fly past it all in a big metal box. We look out the windows at beautiful rivers, quaint towns, restaurants with intriguing names, and we want to be over there, experiencing it all in person. Yet, we cannot see everything that we are skipping in the way that we would want to see it, and also see the NE in the way we want to see all of that. It’s a conundrum that comes up again and again for us… we are moving so slowly and seeing so much, and yet we are still missing a lot. We have to make peace with the fact that we can’t see and do it all right now, and we take comfort in the fact that we’re seeing and doing anything (and that, hopefully, we’ll have many more years to double-back over all these places that we have skipped).

Ironically, even though we’re “speeding things up a bit,” we still aren’t moving fast enough to reach New Hampshire and Maine and upstate New York before they’re blanketed in white. (And we’re steering clear of the white stuff this year.)

Tonight we are in Baltimore. We’re going to lay low and explore the city and see friends and relatives for a few days (and finally finish our ebook!). Because we can’t take the bikes on the MARC trains, we will likely skip DC this time around (sorry everyone!). But, if you’re north of Baltimore, drop us a line! We hope to spend a week or so in Philly, and possibly another week in NYC, before riding through Connecticut and Rhode Island on our way to Boston.