Central Virginia has been ass to ride through. It's got some pretty heavy gradients in the landscape and around 12mph winds, only slightly less than the windiest ride going into Brunswick. It's pretty beautiful even without all of the visual variety of North Carolina. It's just started to get cool, which is uncomfortable in the mornings but keeps me from sweating much, if at all, during the day.
Initially worried by the experience staying with Olds in Pawley's Island, the past two older people I've stayed with have been great. Here I'm staying with Kent Cablos, a fifty one year old atheist in the military. He deals with explosive disarming of some sort for the Navy. I didn't ask his rank because that's rude and who gives a shit? Single and laid back, Kent is real easy to get along with. An avid hunter and traveler, he spends most of his disposable income to fund trips on his motorcycle or in his plane, to hunt or just knock around different countries. We talked about our traveling experiences and the similarities traveling on our respective bikes. He told me about his plans to visit Namibia in March and to ride across the world in a few years when he retires.
I expected my Pawley's hosts to be murderers disguised as an old couple based on their Couchsurfing page. I expected Kent to not be an atheist based on his being in the military. Obviously wrong on both counts, it seems I should assume less. Fuck that, though. Hume can eat a dick, induction is wicked useful. Sure, I was wrong about my hosts and it's wrong to draw assumptions about people, or whatever, but by expecting the worst I found myself pleasantly surprised when wrong. Expecting the worst is stressful, but so is being wrong about an optimistic assumption. Knowing the truth ahead of time is boring.
I know where I'm staying in Richmond. The couch is lined up and I don't need to find a place, but I wish I did. Not knowing what to expect from a host is fun and makes you work and intellectually probe at how you should interact with these people. A hipster paradise, like Portland, might be intellectually unstimulating because you would know exactly what to expect, with the only sort of challenge being what color Chuck's are most trendy. Expectations are good for mental preparation, and if you remove the need for them the mind atrophies and you become one of those "people are good" zombies.