July 1 - D(ipping)-Day: Plymouth, Massachusettes

Day 1. A lot of anxiety, I think, but we covered it with a plan - we were going to wake up early (7AM, early for some of the kids), drive from the campground to Plymouth, MA, and dip our rear tires in the Atlantic. Then, we'd wheel on down the road.

And, actually, things worked as planned. We'd checked out the spot the day before, and noticed a little beach right in front of the rock, which is itself imprisioned within iron bars and under a small columned memorial shelter. We would carry our bikes down the rocks at the side of the shelter, walk down to the beach, dip, take pictures, and go. But ... highish tide, thus no small beach, So we had to perch on the lowest rock, and drop our tires (but not up to the hubs!) into the brine.

As we started down, I noticed another early (7:45) tourist with a large camera bag. I nabbed him, asking if he would take pictures of all of us with 3 of our cameras. No story, no introductions, and he said, "sure, if you let me take some of you with my camera." He must have been attracted by our matching jerseys, to say nothing of our collection of bikes (3 road, 1 tandem, 1 kids' with 20" wheels, and an MTB with 1" slicks). The Pictures were all taken, then we talked with him for a few minutes ... he was from Youngstown, OH, where he has a farm and collects/shows antique farm implements (steam tractors, ox-pulled plows, etc.). Since Youngstown is quite near our route, we exhanged numbers, took more pictures at the shelter, and left Cody and Shaine in the RV while I took off with Annie on the tandem, and Cheryl and Will close behind. Cody took his Outward Bound mug, got some more Atlantic water, and splashed all six tires of our rig.

The day was through the (to us) thickly settled countryside of SE MA, with little towns every 4-5 miles, and houses in between. Cheryl and Shaine (who started riding later) are now getting used to riding with traffic, which we anticipate to be with us through Indiana, maybe Illinois.

Towards the end of the 42 mile trip, I started promising the girls a stop at a drink stand or McDonald's-type place. When I passed up an ice-cream store, I almost got rammed, but several miles later a sign came up on the left, "Fresh Strawberries". Since I could live on strawberries alone, I quickly checked traffic, and swerved over to the stand. Told the man there I could eat a quart in two minutes on the spot, and proceeded to do so,. We bought two more, and got some water. After a brief conversation about their work (farming, strawberries were indeed fresh-picked that AM, and tasted it), we were on our way.

Miles: Will, Cheryl, Al, Ann: 42; Shaine: 29.

-Al Bikrutz

From Cheryl: Just wanted to add that some of the little towns were absolutely charming. Particularly eye-catching were the small and inviting churches, painted white, with tall, pointed steeples ending in iron weathervanes pointing heavenwards. Anticipation of the

Fourth of July sends Old Glory waving from the squarish, wooden homes, colored with cascades of flowers from windowboxes and decorative wreathes on front doors. Old wooden and wicker rocking chairs sitting on front porches reminds me of my grammie's and grampie's home, providing a place to sit and slow down, rock and watch the world go by.

**Next Day's Journal**

-Cheryl Bikrutz