Sunday, October 19, 2014

Balanced loads down a mountain= very good.

Yesterday was rough and I slept off my aches and weariness.
I woke up early at the Levi Deal and wondered: when was breakfast? I neglected to ask Jan, the innkeeper about breakfast... I had inquired about dinner having heard that Jan serves an excellent dinner... but alas, she had only made dinner for guests when the Morguen Toole was closed for the fire. I heard she had served polenta and I had polenta on my mind. I grew up having polenta on a regular basis. Polenta and sausage with (tomato) gravy is a Sicilian dish I loved as a child in a home where my mother of Irish heritage tried to learn to cook Italian dishes for my father of Sicilian descent. Her polenta and sausage was very good, the bragiola excellent too. The lasagna: not so good.
I dressed and looked out the window to see Jan working feverishly in the kitchen. Maybe soon? I also saw SNOW. Good lord, it was sleeting and snowing! Are you kidding me?

I went over and Jan had coffee ready. Yaaa! This would count for Coffeeneuring#5

The Mansion is simply gorgeous inside. I poked around while Jan made breakfast and I chatted with the other cyclists staying in the main house who were by now, coming downstairs from their rooms.
It turns out there were 2 other parties staying there and we were all heading down to Cumberland. There were 3 tables set up in the dining room, one had 4 settings, the other had two and there was a third table with one set of silverware. Gee, I wonder who that table's for? The couple from Tuscon invited me to their table so they wouldn't have to talk across the room to me. It turns out they were using Sara P's Bike the GAP services and their bagged lunch was already waiting for them. Gotta love that service!

Jan brought out a breakfast of freshly baked bran muffins, a vegetable egg quiche and (drumroll.).....polenta! It was fantastic. I scarfed down the eggs and polenta and wrapped up the bran muffin for lunch.

I loaded up Fizz and was underway, but the other cyclists got on the road before I did as they didn't have as much baggage. Yes, they poked fun at me for having so much stuff.

I loaded the third pannier on the top of the back rack instead of the front rack today and this was a vast improvement.

I played leap-frog with the other two parties most of the day, but in the end, I was the first one to reach Cumberland. I win!

Sometimes, I watch where I'm going. I'm looking out for things that might puncture a tire, etc...
In my head, you might hear this: "Rock, stick, hole, rock." Today it was "Rock, hole, rock, baby snapping turtle, rock..." Wait, what?
OMG! How cute!

"Lady, one day I'll grow up and have the ability to bite your fingers off. Now, put me down! I'm formidable!"

I replaced him over to the side of the trail he was heading in the hopes he wouldn't get crushed by a bike. I think I came within a millimeter of squishing him.

It was cold, but bright and glorious.

We all helped one another get pictures in scenic spots along the way. I made sure Fizz photobombed all their shots.

I remembered to bring pickles.

This is my "I made it!" pose
I remember this nursery rhyme. I had an ear worm for a while today!
Cumberland was reached quickly.

At the Fairfield Inn, nice amenity!

Damn kids! You're ruining my self-timer shot! Go away!
Much better.

Another 32 miles, but much more comfortable, more 'wheeee!' and much better weather.

I took lots of photos, you can view them at FLICKR

More of the GAP gaps are getting filled in!

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