They were as different as night and day. Fortunately!
Day 1: Getting Nowhere, Slowly
Yesterday started off nicely enough. Having tired of dreary motels, we'd opted for a small B&B the night before. As we lounged in the early morning, sunshine poured in through the window, which we were happy to see again. We had a wonderful breakfast and good conversation with the innkeeper and a pleasant couple from France. Yes, it was a very good start to the day.
But it all ended there. By the time we got to the end of the driveway, we were hit with the full force of a raging wind. Coming out of the West, of course. Straight at us. From the first pedal push, we were battling an enormous headwind. It was the 6th straight day in a row that we had to push into the wind, and it was the strongest of our whole trip so far, blowing up to 30mph. The whole day was spent just trying to make headway. Our normal speed of 12mph was reduced to a paltry 8mph, and many times we struggled to maintain 6mph. It's a good thing we had planned a short ride – it took us all day to finish just 40 miles.
On the positive side, it was a flat ride and the scenery was pleasant. But it was hard for us to appreciate those facts. We did have a bit of fun with the enormous Adirondack chairs we found. But always we had to return to the wind. It wore us down, and I couldn't help but think “How many more days can we keep this up?”
Day 2: Nirvana!
Today was the return of summer and good cycling. Although we started off with a light headwind, by noon the wind switched and turned to – get this – a tailwind! Add in sunshine, mild temperatures and flat terrain and we had a fabulous day made for cycling.
In addition, we rode through a beautiful area. Each town offered a small local road that allowed us to get off the highway. We traveled down pretty quiet streets through prosperous areas where there were homes and cottages right on the water. Many of them were large old historic buildings, still well preserved. Others were small summer homes, also well-kept. Flowers were blooming everywhere, the sun was shining on the water, and it could not have been more pleasant.
It was easy to dawdle along the way, have a picnic lunch, and stop for many photos. And it did wonders to restore our battered souls to happy touring cyclists.
Even the lighthouse population was favorable today, with three of them on our route!
I don't know what tomorrow will bring. There's a good chance for rain. But after a day like today, we're ready for anything.