It is only proper to admit at the beginning that I do feel guilty for not posting anything for a while. But I’m afraid that we will both have to adjust to this same as I will have to adjust to solitude.
Up until Washington DC I haven’t really felt the solitude. All the time there was something going on around me, departure from home was still fresh, lots of times I had accommodation arranged via warmshowers or couchsurfing and also the path that I was taking was more or less known (at least roughly with several marker points).
On my last day in Washington DC I was walking in downtown and felt that loneliness is starting to creep in. This is not that difficult in this city, especially if you are in downtown. All around you are these huge, monumental buildings of all the imaginable federal institutions designed in a way that they have lots of offices with people inside them doing their very important job. But the streets are empty. They feel oversized for the few employees that are outside and lots of tourists that wander the city. The streets seem empty and soulless. There are no little shops or stores, no city bustle. And I was alone in this situation.
Apart from that, the next day I planned to go on a trail that leads by an abandoned river canal (C&O Canal). Path that was initially meant as a towpath for the work animals to tow the boats along the canal is today a trail dedicated to hikers and cyclists. No cars and it rarely winds into small towns, among people. Mostly wooded trail that goes along the Potomac River all the way to Cumberland for about 300km. Mostly solitary 300km where in the evening you pitch your tent in a remote spot and in the morning you do not wake up in someone’s home.
But for a traveller on a bicycle his tent is his home and solitude is something he/she adjust to. Sometimes during the day you let your mind wander and you begin to imagine how in the evening you will stop, find a place to camp, boil some water and make yourself some instant coffee with a cigarette that goes along and then have a delicious past diner before tucking into your sleeping bag to call it a day (if the mosquitoes do not tamper with your plan).
Yes, also solitude has its bright sides.