Lately the nights have become much more bitter and frozen. We are waking to frost glazed onto the inside of our tents and frozen water bottles. Our days are taking much longer to warm and I find we are victims of wind burn. Although we are biking through a cold front we realize that we still have two more months of cold winter. Already I notice circulation improving in my hands and feet from the physical activity; I just hope my body can adjust with an increased drop in temperature later in the months.
We were in Florence, South Carolina when we realized we had to travel near one hundred miles that day in order to make it to a home for Christmas Eve. Starting out that morning we had a heavy feeling that we would come shy of our expectation and spend the night on the road. We passed through a few small towns and ate our meal of grits, butter, and fresh frozen blueberries near a farm with some grazing cattle. We traveled as far as Mayesville, SC, just north of Sumter and stopped in the only open store in an abandoned town for a loaf of bread and some canned meat.
Just outside was a gentleman named Louis; He was a land surveyor by trade and a great friend to us on the road. He took us to his office and offered us the basic amenities a long distance cyclist loves: coffee, shower, and a plush chair near a heated fireplace. He allowed us to throw our gear in his truck and promised he would get us to Chapin just in time for Christmas Eve.
We arrived at the Wenger’s house that afternoon and stayed the week, enjoying both Christmas and New Years with the family and all their relatives. Paul and I made a few new friends that week, mostly just the pets of the household and one new reporter, Steve Hooker, that was interested in covering us for NBC. We were happy to oblige. Much love goes out to the Wenger family for hosting us that long and appreciation to NBC (WIS) Channel 10 for spreading the word on our trip and cause.