Order Tara's Bicycle Touring Cookbook Today!


by Tara

This morning, like every other morning in recent memory, I awake to the sound of rain splattering on our camper and the chhhhhhhhh of wet leaves on branches that sway in the wind. Outside our 16-by-8 foot travel trailer, the world is wet and lush, a dark green ominous jungle, more "Heart of Darkness" than idyllic Vermont woods. I feel very small and foreign here today.

Upon waking, Tyler shares his first thought of the morning. He's been struck with the realization that by the time we've paid for all we're doing on the land this summer, it will likely be next summer, time for another intense round of things that cost a lot of money.

Despite our intentions of paying as we go, we're facing the unsavory proposition that moving forward at the pace we want may require getting ourselves into debt for several years. We both know better than to dwell on these things, but this damned dreary weather is getting the best of us.

Rain, when observed from a cozy spot with a fire crackling and tea to drink, is a wonderful thing. Rain, as experienced from a tiny camper on a muddy clearing for weeks on end is less inspiring. Every time we turn around, the floor is puddled and mud-streaked again. Rain, when it means facing a downpour to get water from a hand-pumped well, is wearisome after awhile.

Rain, when it means our surroundings are a mudpit that squelches and slurps and sucks our boots four inches underground with every step, is draining. Rain, when it means that progress is delayed on our projects, sending us into soul-questioning inquiries about why we're here and what the hell we're doing with our lives, is tiring. It's supposed to rain for the next ten days.

This weekend, we have a 14-hour drive ahead of us—we're heading to South Carolina to attend a friends' wedding. I'm hoping the time of fellowship and re-connecting will brighten our spirits as much as the sun.

Previous Entry
Next Entry


Hey guys--you sound absolutely miserable. Just remember you could be in a flooded tent, or stranded in a broken down car in Siberia! And don't worry about what you're doing with your lives; you are doing wonderful, wonderful things--learning, doing, inspiring all the rest of us who are jealous of your youth, energy, cleverness, inventiveness, and, above all, your willingness to slog through the tough times.

Also, when you get back from sweltering SC, you'll be so happy to see your lovely, cool home that you'll swoon with joy. Hang in there!
Posted by Nancy Kane on June 12th, 2013 at 9:05 PM
nooo! don't be down! you two are some of the most upbeat and supportive people I know about! Maybe you should get a little wild and turn the rain into a good thing? you have a little garden that is being watered, everything will be green, green, green. Go swimming in the rain? Maybe you should go for a walk in the rain? Or visit the neighbours? Have they been introduced to Settlers of Catan yet? Or Gloom? You two should totally play Gloom. Keep your chins up, the rain will stop soon.
Posted by maddie on June 12th, 2013 at 9:23 PM
I just had to comment, because you two are doing something amazing. That is going to last a lifetime. You could have taken a bus ride around the world, but you choose to ride your bikes. You could have bought a house, but look at all you are learning and the experiences that you are having with each other. It doesn't have to get done tomorrow, focus on the journey. I'm saying this partially to myself as I'm a year in to a restoring a 110 yr old house and loosing my gusto. Best of Luck
Posted by Martha on June 13th, 2013 at 5:56 AM
Dear Tara & Tyler,
After reading this post this morning, all I was seeing were the two last pictures of you in your journal from sept. 14, 2009: Tuscan Thunder...easy to find from your 'Worst Moments' topics list. Kind of pissed off, hey? :(
I was so sure to find that the next days would be full of the good times of your trip, and I think that taking a break with your parents in Florence was one of these, wasn't it?
So I really hope that, after the 'deluge' you're suppose to get today, (what? again?) you will have a very special time with your friends this weekend and that it'll be, hopefully, the beginning of a nice Vermont summer when you get back in your little 'tropical paradise'. ;-)
We share a little of your frustration about the weather back here, less the mud, I should admit...
We are wholeheartedly with you! Keep it up!
D & A
Posted by David on June 13th, 2013 at 6:11 AM
From long and close observation, (empirical research of the finest kind!), I know the Universe has an 'interesting' sense of humor. When I actually step up and say "Yes, I really want THIS", the Universe shows me it's heard by replying, "Really? How about if I do this. Do you still really want it?" Followed by: "How about if I add this? Still want it?" , "Oooo ... I've thought of a new one: what if I do this?"
If I'm not getting at least token 'push-back', I know I haven't really committed myself, and the Universe knows it too. :D
Posted by Nikki on June 13th, 2013 at 6:23 PM
Nikki, I love your comment. Exactly. Also: process, process, process--in all its glory and grime.

T&T: you must be rolling your eyes at all this gratuitous advice. I just hope you know that you have a huge booster club out here rooting for you (not that you're under any obligation to represent all of our hopes, dreams, and unrequited longing for adventure).

What can we do to help?

Posted by Nancy Kane on June 13th, 2013 at 6:58 PM
Nancy Kane - You are so sweet-- seriously, it made me so happy to read your encouraging comment! Thank you for brightening my
day, it really makes me feel less small in the face of our huge land project, knowing there are folks like you out there cheering us on.

Maddie - Your encouraging enthusiasm made me smile-- thank you. :-) if we weren't working and getting ready to go to South Carolina, we would've escaped the rain at our friend Jenna's house. She introduced us to Gloom!

As for getting wild and making the rain into something fun-- it's far too chilly for swimming right now, but we did buy a propane-powered outdoor shower/water heater. A hot shower combined with cold rain was quite the sensory experience! :-)

Martha - Thank you! This is so true ---> "It doesn't have to get done tomorrow, focus on the journey"...and yet it can be so hard to do that when all I want is a house. You keep plugging along too, and don't lose your gusto! I checked out your website, and it looks like you have your hands full with new skills and projects for your beautiful house. Your hard work will be so worth it!

David & Andrée- Thanks for the kind words-- it's so nice to know that our Quebecois friends are out there cheering us on. :-) Yes, that night in Tuscany comes to mind. Frequently when we're bummed about the weather, we say "well, at least we're not cycling today" and that makes us feel a bit better. I think spending some time with friends this weekend will be a great change of pace. Thanks for the vote of confidence, you two!

Nikki - That's so very true! Ironically, I've found the opposite to be true as well. When one is committed, all kinds of synchronistic happenings help along the way. Somehow, the universe likes to test us with challenges, and yet ease our way, I suppose.

Nancy Kane - No eye rolling at all, just gratitude to regular readers and total strangers and friends for brightening my day. As for what you can do, the encouraging comments really do help. Thank you. :-)
Posted by Tara on June 14th, 2013 at 12:23 AM
Hey you 2. If you are traveling south by way of I 81 give us a call when you cross into WV. You can stop by for a rest stop and have a little visit. That should be about halfway for yall.
Posted by Dan R on June 14th, 2013 at 11:34 AM
Thanks so much for the offer but we were well past you by the time we received your comment. We're on our way home now, but we have some friends who are flying into Albany to meet us tomorrow, so we can't stop this time either :(. Our love to you and Tambra!
Posted by Tyler on June 16th, 2013 at 3:06 PM