This year is one of the longest trips that the rails to trails organization has ever done. The last time that there was a trip this big was actually the last time they did it.
This trip is almost like a salute to a trip that happened about four years ago. This was my first trip that I actually went the entire way on. The year before, I had been in 3rd grade and had started on the “trail” to biking. Since part of the trip was moderately close to where I lived, I would meet up with my grandfather a couple miles into the trail but only for two legs of the trip. I would follow him all day until we reached the camp site. This is where I got it easy. While my Grandfather had to set up his tent and tough it out through huge rainstorms (which there were quite a lot of that trip) and squelching heat (also a lot of), I got to drive home with my mom and sleep in my nice, comfy bed. The next morning I would wake up, get dressed, and start the routine all over again.
However, the next year I decided that if I was going to do the trip, I should do the whole thing, camping and all. Little did I know as I told my mom of my “brave” choice, that the length of the trip would take a huge leap from the measly two-day-50-mile trek I had done before to a whopping 335-mile, eight-day, D.C. to Pittsburg beast. When I was told the info for the trip, I was half tempted to refuse the ticket. Nevertheless, I kept my word and went on the trip. Even though there were times along the trip where I wanted to just get off my bike and take a nap in the ditch, there were just as many times that I was having a blast. Swimming in the river and pretending that I was an ape-man, playing tag around the campsite with the other kids that had come, a nine year olds paradise.
Now I’m embarking on the trip once again and looking forward to reaching the giant banner waiting at the finish marking 335 miles right outside of the REI (product placement much?). While many of the things on this trip may be the same, there will be many things that have changed. For one, now, instead of just doing this for fun, I’m actually using it to help a friend in need. Plus who wants to say that they didn’t do anything all summer?