Lighter than when we started and well rested, we left Ocean City under a gloomy sky and the threat of rain. We made our way down a familiar road towards Assateague, but quickly turning off the main road onto a more bicycle friendly rural road past small family farms and open spaces. Our route wove and wound its way through small town after small and endless fields of soy and corn. It is truly amazing how much America’s farmland is dedicated to growing genetically modified crap.
Our rural road luck ran out when we transitioned almost violently onto Route 113 with its fast cars and big trucks, despite its shortcomings the road did have wide shoulders. The traffic subsided when we finally turned off of Route 113 onto Route 12, however the chicken farms became more frequent.
Each house contains 10,000 chickens either laying or broiler. It is a shame these animals never see the light of day. They are in “prison” from 1 day old until death. Maximum security federal prison may be a lighter sentence in the world of a industrialized chicken. At one of the farms you could see the vultures waiting for the dead chickens to be discarded. Our hearts bleed for these poor animals. Think about these gentle souls next time you vote with your dollar at the grocery store. We have yet to see caged kale 🙂
Down the rural road my bike began to ride slower and felt more heavy. I figured maybe it was the few days rest catching up to me until I looked down. I was running nearly flat in my front tire. A brief middle of the road inspection did not show anything in the wheel and I was not in the mood to take apart a half-dozen bags and search for a pinhole leak. More air it got and on the way we went. This process was repeated 3 times in total and got us the remaining 10 miles to Thomas’s house.
Thomas, our warm showers host was an encyclopedia of Asian and worldly information and a pleasure to talk with. He shared Japanese pickled Daikon and properly made basmati rice served with pickled ginger and some other tasty accompaniments.
He recommended Taiwan and Vietnam for the bicycle culture and warm attitude towards Americans. Japan was also recommended but with a side note that it is a pricey country that can be shy towards outsiders. Our first warm showers experience has been a delightful one. Thank you Thomas and the warm showers for facilitating the connection!