I'm tired. 

I'm tired of swatting flies away as they try to crawl on me.

I'm tired of basting in my own sweat. 

I'm tired of competing with pickup trucks. 

I'm tired of people not understanding what I'm saying because I'm from the north. 

I'm tired of being surrounded by endless crops of fresh produce, but stores only having processed foods. 

I'm tired of being away from my mom, sister, and girlfriend. 

I'm tired of smelling the road kill before I see it. 

I'm tired of having a farmers tan. 

I'm tired of a town consisting of a gas station, church, and a closed auto body shop. 

I'm tired of my seat.

I'm tired of farmland.

I'm just always tired. 

I asked Chris today if the trip is what he was picturing.  He said, "some things yes and some things no."  That's probably what I'd say.  Maybe it's because I tend to romanticize things, but I was imagining this trip a bit differently.  I knew the towns would be small, but I had no idea they'd be this small.  

The windshield temperature of 104 probably aided in my voicing some of these complaints to my girlfriend, Mary, today.  She asked if I regretted the trip.  I didn't need to think of my response since all I can do pretty much every day is think.  No, the only time I regretted this trip was the first day leaving Yorktown.  Mary then asked if I was having fun; that was more of a loaded question.  It's been several hours since she asked me and I still don't have an answer.  

My motives behind this trip weren't to have a care free summer of fun.  I decided to join this ride because I knew it would be a challenge; I knew it would be difficult and I wanted to prove to myself that I could do this.  I wasn't a cyclist before this summer and don't think I will ever consider myself one, but I knew that I could accomplish something like this.  I had gotten too comfortable at my job.  Every day felt the same and I feared that that would be the rest of my life.  I'm turning 24 a week from today and feel like the past 2 years after college went by without me even noticing.  Also, with photography and writing being two of my passions, this trip gives me more areas to explore than the metro north train I would shuffle onto every day for work. 

When I was still in New York, one of the reasons that I often gave in response to the usual question of "why?" was that I wanted to see the towns I've never heard of and will never need to see again.  Well, in 20 days, I've done exactly that.  I've recently become very interested in seeing things from other people's perspectives.  That may sound like an odd thing to say, but I've always been extremely opinionated.  I still am, but I'm much more open to seeing the different sides to an argument now.  Sure, this trip is just giving substance to my preference of living in New York, but now I don't have to wonder about what small town America is like.  

In the past 20 days, we've been allowed to camp behind a grocery store, behind a bike shop, in and behind churches, hostels, picnic areas, parks, and have been offered plenty of lawns.  We've climbed mountains and battled storms.  We've had several stores willing to make us food despite being closed and had one woman lend us her car without knowing our names.  Maybe this trip wasn't exactly what I was picturing, but that's ok.  This way is more interesting.