It appears that January has come and gone, but I'm still holding to a past year review before I step into the next one. Much of the horror of 2023 is still with me, yet there are certainly moments of delight to bring to mind.
As I rolled out of Florida on the auto train in March, I was in great fear with an engine that may or may not quit! I held my breath through Winchester, VA (a sweet town), to Avery, PA (with interesting women), and on to Whitehall, NY (where a pit bull bit me in the butt). Somehow I adjusted to temp changes from the 80s to the 20s, and was pleased to arrive at a warm and welcoming home in Vermont.
It was a two-month stay in East Middlebury to care for my beloved Element, consider homesteading in Vermont (for the 3rd time in my life), and enjoy biking, hiking, museums, live music, and a meditation sangha. Little did I know that the time would also be spent grieving the passing of two very dear friends and a less-than-welcoming time from family.
So it was that I pushed on to a familiar hostel in New Hampshire, a volunteer stint in lovely Surry (in a barn studio), and a few weeks in a comfortable homeshare in Jonesport, Maine (with great roommates, a sardine museum, and a lot of fog). A brief stop in New Hampshire (with good food & Rummikub), before tenting near Lake Champlain once more (lucky me), and it was time to roll out.
Two friends shared time with me in Rochester, NY, then it was a multi-day birthday celebration with my family in Sewickley, PA, including the annual reuben! From here, a quick stop in Staunton, VA (I like the Shenandoah Valley), an early arrival to New Bern, NC (where Martha visits from Austin & what fun!), a barn loft camping experience in Pittsboro, and yet another reality check of Greenville, SC (its time has passed).
Revisits at a hostel in Georgia (a comfort zone), then a week with a very dear woman in Gainesville brings me full circle to where this story begins as I drop into South Florida once again for the holidays. As the Element nears 222,000 miles, it spent plenty of time with a trusted mechanic here, but I continue to have faith.
South Florida is utter insanity, but I enjoyed connecting with friend Jen, cooked and ate some great food, met nice folks at a Mix & Mingle, and loved spoiling Goldie (the 4th cat I’ve spent time with this year). I did miss my cycling goal by 344 miles (because I don’t have a death wish), but I beat my reading goal of 70 books! The greatest surprise was the universe sending me a book coach for 6 weeks to jumpstart my project for 2024.
Cyclist, writer, teacher, avid reader, bike/ped advocate, nomad, pie lover