June 28, 2013
Port Jervis, NY to Mt Pocono, PA
As the title of this blog post suggests, I took my first turn at sweep today. Basically what that means is I and one other person are the designated last riders of the group. We are not allowed to pass anyone because we are responsible for making sure everyone makes it to the host site and nothing is left behind. In my head it meant taking it slow to stay behind everyone and getting to stop at all the places groups we run into have stopped. The day started off pretty cool with a visit to the Tri-State monument. This is the spot where New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania all meet. I think we may have gotten a picture with the wrong rock, but it was close enough.
From there we made our way into New Jersey for a few hours. Almost immediately we ran into a group stopped for breakfast at a local joint. We joined them and as we were leaving the people working behind the desk informed us we were going the wrong way if we were headed to Pennsylvania. With their guidance, we realized that the cue sheet was off on the mileage and so we headed back down a giant hill and took a short cut to the bridge that leads into Pennsylvania. Getting to Pennsylvania was awesome! I can't believe we've already made it this far. We took a bunch of pictures with the state sign, waited for everyone to reach this point, and headed on towards lunch.
Just before lunch, we ran into a long stretch of construction that was only allowing one lane of traffic to go through at a time. We caught up to the rest of the group here just as they were being let through. Since we were on bikes, we took a little longer than a line of cars would so by the time we got to the other side there was a loooong line of cars waiting to go through. A few people waved and one even yelled out "yeah bike and build!" It was funny to see everyone's faces as we passed. Lunch was along a creek, which was amazing. I almost wanted to take a nap it was so calming. Alas, there was no time for a nap and we headed back on the road, prepared to climb the hills to Mt Pocono, PA.
Right out of lunch, we ran into a group playing bumper boats! It looked like a lot of fun--doing crazy things like that is what bike & build is all about. Not long after, we came to our first wawa of the trip! I didn't get anything but it felt like home.
Up another hill, we ran into a group that had stopped at a HUGE candy shop. Putting my bike away, I realized that I didn't have my phone with me. After some retracing of my steps in my head (and using a friend's "find my phone" application, I realized I had left it at the wawa! My phone clearly didn't want to leave. I called the van and thankfully they went back and picked it up for me. In the meantime, the guy I was sweep with got a text from one of the directors if Bike & Build, telling him that the wawa had my phone in their safe. It was crazy to see how quickly the word had traveled! Waiting at the candy shop, I went in and treated myself to some of my favorites--gummy candies and giant smarties on a stick. Once my phone was back in my arms, we started our final stretch. I had heard that the final 3 miles were all uphill, and they were not lying. Slow and steady, with one stop for a back bend stretch, got us up that hill. That night we were provided dinner by the church we were staying at and it was by far the best meal we've had all trip. They were also super enthusiastic about what we were doing and taped us giving a presentation on Bike & Build to show the whole congregation.