My mom called to confirm that I'd be coming home for Thanksgiving..
Yeah, definitely. Of course, I'll be home in Ohio for Thanksgiving. But I'm leaving now.
It was September. I was in Montana.
A couple of weeks later, I'd gathered a bunch of used equipment and shipped my new-to-me cyclocross bike and camping gear to the Canada/Montana/Washington border.
I had never ridden a road bike.
A few days later, I hitchhiked over 500 miles, in one day, in a snowstorm, from Bozeman, Montana, where I was living that summer, to Kalispell. I showed up to the bike shop that was graciously storing my bike only to find it closed.
It was 5pm. Eventually, I got on my bike for the first time, in a rainstorm, looked at my gas station map, and started pedaling toward Glacier National Park. I was alone.
42 days later, I arrived home, in northeastern Ohio. I was five weeks earlier than I'd anticipated.
It snowed or rained or sleeted for more than 20 of my first 30 days on the bike.