In June 2006 I plan a solo ride following the Appalachian Mountains from New York to Alabama. Today is day 1, but the weather is not cooperating. I grit my teeth, and leave in the pouring rain. The storm is moving north, and south of Scranton Pennsylvania I finally pass through it, after 200 miles in the driving rain. At one point a toll collector waives me through, after seeing my attempt to extract a few soggy bills from my wallet. By the time I hit Maryland at 8:30 pm I am ready to sack out. I find a room in Hagerstown, where I pour the water out of my boots, wring out my socks and sleep. The next day is fair, and I reach Front Royal Virginia and the start of Skyline Drive by 9 am.
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