Hiding from the cold rain in Fredericksburg
This morning I awoke in the tent, huddled at the bottom (we had pitched it on a slight hill so the rain wouldn’t pool overnight), by Phil’s feet. I hadn’t slept very well, since my sleeping bag was awfully tight so I couldn’t stretch out my legs, and I kept waking up, either with numb arms, hearing strange sounds outside in the direction of where our bikes were hidden, or finding myself sliding down, off of my sleeping pad entirely with my feet pressing up against the outer wall of the tent so I could actually feel the rain pattering down on them. Nevertheless, I did not want to emerge from my warm sleeping bag when the time came to pack up and leave the church grounds. We managed to gather all of our stuff together and get back on our bikes before 9am, but not before our hands and feet were numb.
It was less than a mile to the cafe I had picked out for breakfast, and after locking up the bikes, while walking through the entrance, I confided to Phil that I didn’t think I could ride in this. He readily agreed, as both of our gloves and shoes were soaked, and our hands and feet were frozen. It looked like it was going to be cold and rainy all day – not the kind of weather amenable to a 50-60 mile bike ride. After reading what Phil wrote about how he occupies his mind during our long (and mostly silent) rides, I admitted that I spent the latter half of yesterday talking to my feet, convincing them not to freeze on me and trying to both mentally and verbally coerce my heartburn into shifting the heat to where it was lacking in my extremities. Needless to say, I’m glad we chose to stay in Fredericksburg.
In the Hyperion Espresso cafe, we ate muffins and drank coffee and tea while using their free wifi to find couchsurfing hosts for the next few days. We were very grateful to hear back from a few people, including Betsy, who lives less than a mile from the cafe in Fredericksburg. We stayed at the cafe nearly all day, talking to other customers, reading, blogging, and avoiding the miserable weather outside.
When we finally left Hyperion around 3pm, Betsy welcomed us into her home and let us shower before offering us more coffee and tea and then taking us on a driving tour of historic Fredericksburg, with Chay narrating. After the tour, we all had a relaxing evening at the house, enjoying homemade chili with brown rice and tortilla chips, plenty of drinks, and cake, while watching the movie “Shutter Island” to go with the season.