Posted by: heatherandandybrown | December 13, 2011

From the Road

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We have survived our first two days on the road! What an experience it has been so far.

DAY 1 – 69.4 miles – Charleston,SC to Yemassee, SC – 5hr 55mins in the saddle – Chilly and Cloudy
DAY 2– 30 miles – Yemassee, SC to Hardeeville, SC – 2hr 37mins in the saddle – Cold and Rainy

Most of our ride has taken us by marshlands, through rural residential areas and down roads that parallel major interstates. One of the limitations of biking during the winter is the shortened window of daylight. Yesterday, we used most of what was available to us by spending almost 6 hours on the saddle. We had originally planned on camping out, but as fatigue and cold weather settled in we were tempted by a slew of hotel billboards. When morning arrived, we realized we had made a great decision because it was pouring rain. We rigged up a tarp to keep Ollie warm and dry, put on our rain gear, and set out on the road. Today’s ride was cold and rainy, but it’s days like this that will make us appreciate the sunshine that much more! The forecast for the rest of the week is Sunny with temperatures reaching the 70s 🙂
Heather’s Observations from the Open Road
Yesterday was the longest bike ride I’ve ever done in a single day. 6 hours in the saddle gave me a lot of time to take in my surroundings. Here are some things I learned about long bike rides through the country:
  • Dogs “Love” bikers! We were greeted by many K9s while riding through residential areas. When there’s not a fence, it’s a tense few seconds between when they start sprinting at you until they reach the end of their rope.
  • You get up close and personal with more roadkill than you would like to see.
  • Southerners Rock! Having lived in the South for over 20 years I might be a little impartial, but everyone has been more than kind to us. Drivers give us plenty of room when they pass, people along the road wave, and the times we have taken breaks outside of gas stations and grocery stores someone has always come up to ask how our trip is going.
  • Smooth asphalt is a special treat! We have ridden on cracked roads that jostle your handle bars and bump you off of the saddle, pebble infused pavement that vibrate and hum, and sandy back roads that feel like you’re pedaling in molasses.

Billboard Conversations
By going 4 times slower than in a car we’ve gotten the opportunity to read all of the billboards that line the roads. Seeing them has become a source of entertainment for us. Something to pass the time. Here are some of our favorites:
“YOU’RE ALMOST THERE” (Car Dealership) – 10mi. into our 70mi. day – Thank you for the laugh!
“YOU MADE IT” (Local Cider Shop) – 68mi. into our 70mi. day – Some much needed encouragement!




  1. Mrs. Brown,

    I just wanted to let you know that I am so happy that you can go live out your dreams and that you are the best thing that has EVER happened to me. You changed my life, and when I grow up I want to be a fourth grade teacher because that is what you have inspired me to be. Also when I grow up to be a fourth grade teacher like you were I want to be just as inspiring as you are to all of my future students. There is no way that any other teacher could have given me the best fourth grade year like you did. I am crying as I write because I am just so sad you left but also I am happy that you are going out to make your dreams come true. You taught every single person in our fourth grade class to strive for their goals in life and to never give up. You also taught us so many other things that I will always remember I learned from you. I love you so much and hope nothing but the best for you. Have a safe trip!

    • Kristina thank you for making my heart smile 🙂 I have carried your words with me the past couple of days and they have provided encouragement when I needed it most. You have such a loving and giving spirit and I know you will be successful at whatever you choose to do later in life, especially a teacher. I miss you and think of you often. Be good and have fun 🙂
      Peace and love,
      Mrs. Brown

  2. You are doing great===enjoy your blog———I am so proud of you both. love Grandma

  3. Andy, Heather, & Ollie,

    Yes, i should be working right now, but i’m reading your blog instead.

    Great decisions come in many forms … sometimes in the form of a nice warm bed at a hotel on a cold and rainy night. Tough way to start off the trip, but it sounds like the weather will be much better the rest of the week.

    I love your observations Heather. When you walk or bike down a road, you see everything … including the roadkill.

    Stay safe! …doug

  4. Heather and Andy,
    I am totally living your trip….I can see this experience turning into a wonderful book…thinking back on Andy’s proposal at the Wylie continues to make me smile, so I am pretty sure I am in the book……Safe travels, love and hugs, Nana Kay

    Kristina K. I love you. Ask your Mom to bring all of you over for a visit…
    I am so glad you are happy.

    • Nana Kay!!!! That’s funny that you mentioned a book. My mom and I kid around saying I should write a children’s book “Ollie’s Great Adventure” when we get back. If it were a novel, you would surly make several appearances! I miss you and am sending love your way. Maybe when we get back Ollie and Stevie can have a play date!

  5. Glad to hear you guys are doing well. I’m keeping my on you two! I pray that the numbness in your backsides will be kept to a minimum! 😉

  6. Mid-Westerners rock, too! I’m starting to think that maybe it’s the same everywhere.

  7. Hi there….You may be riding near or through New Smyrna Beach….My dearest friend, Rita Alexander lived there for years, started a gleaning program, Furn, for the homeless…..She even sued the city for driving on the beach during turtle egg laying season….she partially won…I think driving on the beach can only occur during certain times…..She rocks……Love and blessing to you both…Nana Kay…..Stevie Bean sends Ollie his love….He just ate a piece of cheese and is in heaven……

  8. Hi Heather, Andy and Oliver… it sure was cold last night, hope you two were able to stay warm last night… safe travels my friends… Love and Peace… Pat Grchan

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