Sean Dietrich (Sean of the South), 2022
“My wife forced me into workout clothes, and I found myself donning a pair of out-dated nylon shorts. And we went for a vigorous walk through the morning sunlight. We walked for three miles, until my hamstrings tightened and my heels became blishered and I was begging to go back. Which, of course, was impossible. We would never be going back to the way things were before.”Sean Dietrich in You Are My Sunshine
Sean Dietrich and his wife Jamie were only married a couple of years when Jamie had a scare with cancer. Fearing the worst, she extracted a promise from Sean that they would “do something big”. In a moment he promised that he would do that big thing with her.
Close to twenty years later she cashes in on that promise. She fixates on the Great Allegheny Passage and the C & O Canal Towpath trail. She is very certain that this is the great thing they are destined to do together – ride the trail. These two trails stretch from Pittsburgh, PA, to Washington, DC. It is 340 miles of dedicated car-free bike trail. It is no small undertaking to decide you will bike these two connecting trails. The surface varies from paved section to dirt road. Rains can make the trail slick. There are places to stay overnight on the trail from primitive camping to lodgings in small towns along the trail. Aside from the small animals like skunks and coons you may also see more exciting ones like bear and snakes.
In the midst of a global pandemic Jamie orders what seems like tons of gear, gets Sean a second-hand trike and does research every spare moment.
Sean is an unwilling participant the entire way and his commentary about the ride is hilarious. From roaring downpoars to teenage kids and parties to his fear of snakes he keeps you entertained and wondering what will come next.
This story is a feel good book. They meet many helpful people (as you would only expect from Sean of the South!), and he actually makes it to the end. Many times I thought he would quit and I was certain his bike was going to quit! Mr. Dietrich has a way with words that makes you see the best in everyone. I love how he gives everyone a chance and no matter what happens he can put a positive spin on things.
If you are needing an easy to read true story for sitting by the fire this winter, this is the book!
Have you ever promised to do something big? Share with us how it turned out!
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