It is probably hard to believe, but already this early on my trip I decided to stop and turn around. Once I arrived in Greensburg, I was able to do a little bit of thinking about something that was bothering me. There were no real physical difficulties with what I was doing. Sure riding up onto the Allegheny Plateau in 90+ degree heat was uncomfortable, but it wasn't anything I couldn't manage day after day. My bicycle and other gear weren't giving me any problems either and certainly would hold up for 5 or even 10 thousand miles. What was bothering me was that I was not having fun. The riding was enjoyable and everything was going alright, but I didn't find myself laughing and smiling and having fun. Since having fun is more the measure of success than anything else for me, I realized this trip wouldn't work in this format.
I realized that I have my memorable fun moments in the company of others. My personality when I am alone doesn't allow me to relax much. Therefore I have my most fun, no matter what the activity or intensity, when I am with someone else. Whenever I spotted lawn globes on my ride, it wasn't special because Jeef wasn't there to simultaneously take a photo and try not to ride off the side of the road. I still "baaed" at goats I passed, but without Eric there to join in a chorus it lost something. Lugging 60 lbs of stuff on the bike worked okay, but it would have been much more enjoyable had Ieva been there to make fun of me for it. If Jon had been with me yesterday when I ate 4 hotdogs with everything, a package of Tasty Kakes and a pint of chocolate ice cream for lunch and he had done the same, I would have gotten to call him "fat". (This is a long running joke among Jon's friends.) Without Jason nearby, any "Dumb & Dumber" quotes I used on unsuspecting waitresses would fall flat. And while my salmon and brown rice tasted just fine at dinner, it would have been so enjoyable to watch Jeff try to ruin it with cuttlefish or avocados.
While I am a little disappointed that I ended the trip before it went on for very long, I know that I made the correct decision. Some people will fully understand what I am talking about. Some people won't see beyond the fact that I gave up. Either way, I don't care. Instead of worrying about anyone else might think, I am already planning future biking/climbing trips of the East coast and of the West coast. With what I have learned in the failure of this trip, I will plan much more thoroughly and get people involved other than just myself. If you the reader care to keep reading, great! If you have already written me off, well so be it.