October arrived, and with it the first anniversary of starting Railpass. Everything Will Be Noble was already an idea I was committed to, and I thought the idea of going east with the start of the new blog would be fitting, as the old blog had started by going west. It was autumn, and I couldn't get the idea of loading my road bike up with camping gear and getting lost in Maine for a while.
Coming back from my fat bike tour up Lake Huron, I suddenly didn't have a wallet. No credit cards, no ID, and lacking these things made day-to-day life difficult enough (such thin, little pieces of plastic can be such huge crutches) but it was impossible to get a train ticket to Maine without them. By the time I got a new ID, I watched as storm after storm hit New England. When I found the smallest window of good weather, I booked my tickets and prepped my bike despite not receiving replacement cards in the mail yet. I figured if I just rolled with a wad of cash I could get through whatever problems there might be.
By the time I made it to my friend's parent's house just outside of Brunswick, Maine, the weather had turned to far worse than for what I had packed. I decided to set out on my elaborate tour anyway,knowing it would carry me through Halloween. I left a note for my friend's family thanking them for offering a warm, soft bed to sleep in the night before my tour started and headed north. Quickly, I realized this tour was going to be an exercise in being what felt like permanently wet and cold. The storms throughout each day had made the fall foliage, though overwhelmingly beautiful, a sad reflection of my own raggedness. Everything that didn't stay in dry sacks was soaked, and whatever campfire I could irk out wet wood wouldn't grow large enough to do serious drying of my clothes or sleeping bag.
Something was off, I could tell. I wasn't looking forward to pushing myself- I didn't feel like this suffering would be any kind of accomplishment, which is really out of character for me. But, every bike tourer knows this wall. It had just been about seven years since I last hit it. Maybe if I could head towards a major highway I could find a warm motel room to dry out and recharge, but no one's gonna give a room to a wet, filthy biker without a credit card to keep on file. It was on the third day that I noticed trees were becoming more bare than beautiful; a voice in my head kept saying I'm not going enjoy the rest of this trip. Reminding myself that pride is a worthless attribute, that the places I intended to go to would still be there next year, I turned around and headed back.