Drip by Drip: Day 2
I awoke at 6:00 and heat was already in the air. I took some time to relax in the churchyard and talked to the groundskeeper before getting on my way before 7:00. I rode 2 miles and then popped into a restaurant to use the internet and catch up on social media for about an hour before really hitting the road. A huge part of me wanted to get on the road early to beat the heat but I just had things I needed to do online. When I left there I had just under a half gallon of water left from the fire hydrant in the Bronx and temperatures were near 90 degrees already at 9:00.
I rode on highway 1 for the morning and for the most part the heat didn’t get to me. Pedaling along at 10 to 15 miles per hour created a nice breeze and that kept me cool. At one point though for about a mile the sun was scorching down and the concrete was radiating the heat at me like a furnace. The creeks of sweat running down my back turned into flowing rivers and the heat certainly got my attention. Each down hill ride cooled me off enough to pedal up the next hill. About 20 miles into the day I found a brilliant creek and cooled off in it under the shade of the trees. I laid in the creek to bring down my core body temperature and got out when I my body had enough. Lowering my body temperature in this manner keeps me cool on the road for close to an hour.
I stopped into a grocery store and got three massive locally grown cucumbers. They are 90% water and were probably close to a pound each. I figure I got over a quarter gallon of water from eating those throughout the day. This allowed me to conserve the water that I did have and that lasted until close to 2:00 when I had pedaled 40 miles. I happened to pass the Connecticut Post so I popped in to see if they’d be interested in doing a story and sure enough they were. Check their website www.ctpost.com for the story tomorrow. I spent an hour with them and from there I had 10 miles through the heat to get to a leaky faucet. I ate 7 oranges and got some wasted ice from a fountain soda tray in a gas station which tided me over a bit but boy was I thirsty. My mouth was stinging from too much citrus and my hands were sticky with juices from the oranges. I found a half full bottle of boiling hot water on the side of the road and drank that too. I would imagine it was 100+ degrees but I was happy to be drinking it.
Also I stopped in at Patagonia Westport to say hello and tell them about my adventure. I am an ambassador for 1% for the Planet and this 103 day journey is ending at their headquarters in Vermont. The founder of Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard, is also the founder of 1% for the Planet and I love everything they are doing. They hooked me up with an autographed copy of Yvon’s book Let My People Surf. I’ve wanted to read if for a solid year now I’m excited to dive into it when this journey is over!
I arrived in New Haven at 5:00 and met Rachel Marcotte who had found me online through social media. She had a small water bottle (about 20 ounces) worth of water that she had collected from her friends leaky shower. She even cooled it off for me in the fridge! I gulped it down with a smile on my face and chatted with this hitchhiking traveler for a while. I needed to get into a creek or lake and cool off so I pedaled about 2.5 miles north from Yale University and on the route met a group of four young cyclists who took me to this awesome water fall where this photo was taken. I spent a few hours just hanging out in the water and cooling off from the heat of the day. It got up to 97 degrees today and I rode all day long through the worst of it.
I happened to be at the water lab at the Eli Whitney Museum (www.eliwhitney.org) and there was a leaking pipe where I managed to get close to a gallon of water! What a life saver. I would have been ok with out it but this water cured my aching head. A couple of women who worked there explained the water lab and it was so cool what they were doing. There were a series of five water tanks for kids to play in and learn about water and that system was set up to water their garden with the water that is changed out daily. The water treatment plant was right there as well and I learned all about how the city of New Haven gets its water.
The young group I had met before came back from their ride out do a different swimming hole and offered up a home for me to stay in for the night. I gladly accepted the offer and then had another 7 miles of pedaling to their house to finish the day off at 65 miles. It’s been a 16 hour day and it’s not over yet. I still have to catch up on social media, photos, and some writing before I rest this weary body of mine. I’m hydrated and well fed but very tired. Tomorrow is a day off in New Haven and as I will finish my water off tonight I’ll likely head out into the heat in the morning in search of water. I’ve got a leaky faucet that I was invited to visit at some point later on in the day too. My friend Chrissy set me up with it!
I am appreciating every last drop of water that hydrates my body and I hope that be reading this you can start to appreciate water more too. After all it does give us life. Your car can’t give you life. Your TV can’t give you life. You can even live without your house. But you can’t live without water and for that reason alone I think it makes sense to appreciate it.
Total water consumption today: Approx 210 ounces / 1.3 gallons (not including from fruits)
Sources: Fire hydrant, leaky shower, water bottle on roadside, ice from fountain soda catch trays
Miles ridden: 65
High Temperature 97