Once again I was blessed with a sunny morning. I had breakfast, loaded up the bike, thanked my Warm Showers hosts for the food, lodging, and companionship, and headed out.

The first stop was a few blocks away, the Delmar post office. You may notice atop my rear rack a box containing excess gear I was mailing home. I arrived prior to the office's opening, and spent a few minutes exploring the surrounding blocks. I'm glad I did, since it allowed me to see the town's caboose:

Once I had my package mailed, I headed east on Main Street, which is also Rt 54. The road straddles the Mason-Dixon line, so I guess I was in Maryland at this point. I crossed the road and state line just outside Delmar for more fluids, although to judge from the first photo above I appeared to be doing well with them. (I had been constantly hydrating this trip, and by now I was appearing very bloated. My shorts and jersey barely fit that morning.)

Back on Rt. 54, I rode past my planned turnoff. Once I discovered the error, I pulled over and consulted Delaware's wonderful bike maps and found an alternate road that would take me north into the First State to Rt. 24. After I put away the map, I discovered a sponginess in my front tire. It wasn't flat, but it felt low. I pumped it up and went on.

I turned off Rt. 54 onto my planned route, and followed it north. A check a few minutes later showed the front tire softer again, so I found a stretch of road with a nice fence to prop the bike up against and set about changing the tube. During the 25 minutes I was there I saw one car go past, so quiet was this road on a weekday morning.

Again rolling, I reached Rt. 24 after passing through some lush farmland and spending a minute at Bethany Church. The historical marker outside indicated the church construction had been partially financed by department store pioneer John Wanamaker, one of a number of such projects the retailer was involved with. I wonder if he had anything to do with the design of the church or its courtyard, since Wanamaker took an interest in such details.

The clouds darkening overhead prompted me on. My plan was to arrive in Millsboro about 1:00 PM for lunch. And at precisely one I pulled into town. With hopes of a good meal I found a little diner and went in.

My hopes were disappointed. The service was slow, the kitchen got my order wrong, and I was subjected to the attentions of Millsboro's version of that small town staple the Garrulous Old Man.

The Garrulous Old Man is the elderly fellow who in past centuries sat outside the town general store or post office all day talking to, or more accurately at, visitors and passersby. He's related by method to the fools in the office who spend too much time hanging out at the water-cooler or vending machine. But the water-cooler fools and the GOM not only have method in common. They also have a knack for saying the wrong thing, as I was reminded on a Wednesday in southern Delaware. Being a cyclist in cycling garb made me a natural target:

"Hey, is that your bike outside?"

"Yes, it is."

"Do you like the brakes on that?"

"Yes, especially when I need to stop."

"I have a bike, but I don't like the brakes. I like the old fashioned brakes where you pedal backwards."

"Coaster brakes? They are nice, but with the weight I'm carrying in my trailer I need something stronger than a coaster brake."

"You know, I don't think doctors are right when they talk about weight being bad for you. People who weigh too much can go out and do all sorts of things. What does your doctor think about your weight?"

"Excuse me, but I don't discuss personal medical matters or my physician's opinions with complete strangers."

"Oh." The GOM paused and looked towards another part of the room. "Hey Billy, come over here. Did you hear what Obama wants to do now?"

I tuned out the GOM and tried to enjoy my meal, but I was bothered by what had happened. I should be used to such comments. As a person with both a disability and obesity I thought I'd become hardened to stupid remarks. And had it been intended maliciously I wouldn't have brooded on it. I finished my meal and left.

As I headed out Millsboro's main street a rain shower began. I ducked into a bookshop to keep dry.

The remaining dozen or so miles to my Warm Showers host's home were uneventful. The roads were wet but safe, traffic was light, and the miles seemed to fly by. The chafing I'd experienced had been greatly reduced thanks to the A & D Ointment I was using. I felt strong. Not fast, experienced, or good, but strong.

I stopped at a remarkable display of figures made from recycled metal. The artist behind the business, 2nd Time Designs, was home and gave me a tour of her studio. My bike looks at home amid the sculptures. He should, since many of therm use recycled bicycles for parts.

I arrived at my host's home about 5:00 PM, and spent the evening with he and his wife discussing touring.