I biked 75 miles from Ohiopyle on a rather hot Sunday back to Pittsburgh. I think almost till 50 miles I was fairly energetic, but after that, the heat took a toll. I was biking very slowly over the last 10 miles, constantly drinking water and panting to get rid of the heat in my body. I reached Pittsburgh, but decided to bike back home. Now the route from Southside (where the trail ended) to my home is almost invariably uphill, which meant that it would be awfully exhausting. At some point, I was wondering if I would faint due to exhaustion.
Nevertheless, I decided to do the “start from home and hence end at home” exercise and at a snail pace, biked the uphill slope. No surprises, it was really daunting and in between, I halted for five minutes, as my mind went blank. The heat was still oppressive. I was at the junction just before the last leg of the journey, which was a bit shy of one tenth of a mile. Even this short stretch was uphill and hence exasperating.
Just as I was feeling like giving up and sit on the pavement for half an hour, I see this tiny booth with three children selling ice cold tea. It was twenty five cents, but because I was exhilarated to the prospect of drinking something cold, I urged them to take a dollar for it. Those cute kids slowly tilted the jar with great effort and gave me a glass of that ambrosia. I drank with great taste and thanked those kids profusely. Till that point, I was annoyed with the heat, exhausted like never before and to the point of hating my life. Suddenly after the drink, I loved my life, admired those kids, thanked the nature and was enthusiastically ready for the last and now the most fulfilling of journeys.
Sometimes, you wish to believe that coincidences are rare, or that life is always going against you. However, once in a while, a metaphorical angel steps in just before you give up to revitalize your journey. To the kids who gave me the ice cold tea, thanks a lot guys, and I will return the favour to more travellers like me.