Friday, May 23, 2008

Rye tide and low tide

RYE BEACH, N.H. – May 23 -- As I sat on the stone wall that protected our tent from the angry Atlantic, eating a day-old hazelnut pastry, I could not help but think it was a result of Brian waving down a red mini-van in Maine earlier that day. We started the day with hope of reaching New Hampshire by sunset. Anxious to focus on performing ‘random acts of kindness’, we started the day by chatting with a friendly mother who waited for the school bus with her two young boys. An unsuccessful attempt to help a middle-aged man chop wood was followed by Brian’s effort to help a man work on his car. People were reluctant to let us help out in any way, citing the fact they needed the exercise, yet conversations with locals resulting in small chuckles and smiley faces were enough to keep our spirits high. Our stomachs growled. We failed to see anything resembling a town and succumbed to making a couple packets of chicken-flavored Ramen noodles on the roadside.

Growing discouraged from seeing no signs of the New Hampshire border, Brian flagged down a mini-van. The driver informed us we were a 15-minute drive – which translates to a couple hours on foot. After a half-mile more of walking, we sensed a vehicle slowing to our side. Jessica, the mini-van driver, said she had felt bad about not offering us a ride earlier, so she wondered if we might be interested in a lift to the next state over. We accepted. The 23-year old even stopped to snap a photo of us under the ‘Welcome to New Hampshire’ sign. The three of us starting chatting like old college buddies as we headed for Dover. As we continued to warm up to each other, Jessica continued to take us further and further, going 15 minutes past her intended destination and all the way to the coast. Jessica thought it would be a funny idea if we brought the Subway sandwiches we grabbed to-go in an earlier town and ate them at our drop-off zone – another Subway in Portsmouth. The only thing she let us do for her was buy her a medium-sized fountain drink.

Eager to update the blog from the previous day’s events, we strolled into a coffee shop where an employee named Alexandra wrote down her and her friend’s phone numbers in case we needed a place to sleep. Their town was in the opposite direction we were heading, but we thanked her none-the-less. Leaving the coffee shop, we accepted free pastries that would have otherwise been thrown out that night. I couldn’t help but think of San Francisco when I saw the trolley outside the coffee shop. I was oblivious to Brian chatting with our future friend Wil. As Wil, a regular rider, gave us a hard time about paying a fifty-dollar fare, Mary, the driver, said since we were newcomers, the ride was free. Wil, an outgoing soul who already knew everyone else on the bus, asked us about the hydration packs. Overhearing the conversation, the man next to Brian said if he were walking, he’d fill the pack with Tanqueray. Wil really got into our project, lending great advice to us. ‘People are what matter in life,’ he said. ‘Not power, control, or money.’ This continued to soak into our brains as Mary wished us luck before we stepped off the trolley, on our way to sleep at Rye Beach.

After a three-mile walk to the beach, the sign that read, ‘Beach Closes at Midnight’ didn’t discourage us from our mission as much as a woman telling us there would be no way to escape the rising tide on the beach. We walked with our new friend, Nanci, and her French-taught, broccoli-eating, rabbit-chasing rottweiler. She graciously let us camp at her breach-front house just down the way.

The day, in its entirety, was Brian and I bouncing around like pinballs. The grape-sized blisters forming on my feet were of no concern as the waves crashing down in the background made it hard for me to fall asleep. I didn’t want the day to end.


Kinz said...

Keep up the good work fellas. Thinkin about ya, can't wait to meet up again.

Emily said...

Loving Chick Crossing & Random Road...oh, and all the adventures, too! :)

You guys ROCK!

BEN said...

Enjoyed the video, as it showed the randomness of the day! I bet when you woke up and started walking at 7am, you didn't expect to be on Rye Beach for the sunset, haha, but I suppose that's how every day will be :)

How do you plan to care for those blisters? Here's some resources I'll pass you pop it or not, that is the question:

We're enjoying the holiday here at Lake of the Ozarks, so we'll have some drinks for you both and be sure to enjoy the long weekend, lol...if you can remember what day it is...

Kelly said...

Hi're looking great!

Anonymous said...

Hi from Grandma A. and Geniesses,
Just got back from a great new Irish Pub/Restaurant called Tommy Nevin's. Started with homemade chips, warm bread, followed that with bacon wrapped filets, rice, asparagus, seasoned fries. Too full for dessert but Grandma and the girls are going to make some brownies tonight to go with the ice cream we picked up. Oh, sorry. How are the noodles going?
Grandma says that is cruel. Enjoyed your blog. We'll check in again. P.S. no toilet paper on the list. We love you

Kim said...

hey, you guys are honestly an inspiration. when you two came to my class i really wanted to ask if i could come along but that would have been akward. what you guys are doing is exactly what i hope/ dream of going someday. im going to follow you all the way!! keep up the good work!!