If you haven’t been reading about our journey so far, then check out previous updates here.
The 24 hour skate had hit us hard – we were covered in blisters and our muscles wereway over worked. We went straight to bed, struggling to make it up to our hotel room.
I then woke up 12 hours later at 1am and decided to have a shower. I dragged myself into the bathroom, got the water going and decided to sit down, only I couldn’t. I couldn’t bare to stand up anymore, so I got out the shower, lay down on the sink, rolled off down onto the toilet and crawled into the shower, and lay there for about 45 minutes. Yes we had managed to complete the 24 hour skate (not breaking the record), but at what cost? We were still over 1000 miles from New York.
We spent the next couple of days trying to stretch our legs back out and hoped our bodies would forgive us. Then we were back on the road, driving up closer to New York, using the miles we had made up going round and round the track a few days before. Getting back on the boards was uncomfortable, but at this point it felt better than walking and it wasn’t long before we found ourselves not far outside of Chicago.
Day 55. Chicago was within arm’s reach now and we started off outside a Dunkin Donuts, feeling confident, and of course full of donuts. Immediately our hopes started to diminish though, the road quality was very poor, the headwind was strong and the roads were busy.
We ended up getting stuck on a road with far too many blind bends to skate on, but the bus had driven ahead to Chicago and was now stuck in traffic. Deciding to use some contingency miles we put our thumbs out to hitchhike until the road was safe. It only took about 10 minutes to get picked up, and driving was a pretty cheerful Mexican dude.
He seemed to understand where we needed to get to after I showed him on the map. He clearly wasn’t used to having passengers to talk to and slammed on the breaks when the traffic in front of him slowed down without him paying attention. A little unnerving.
I started to examine the map, then the road signs, then the map again. He had taken us too far along and we were now well off the route. Brilliant. We asked him to pull over and got straight out.
Now in the middle of no where with only busy roads surrounding us we carried on. Less confident than ever that we would make it to Chicago that day. We took a pretty strange route, climbing through the undergrowth at one point onto the Interstate, walking along it over the river, and then turning straight off onto a quiet side road.
We eventually hit the outskirts of Chicago, only to slow down even more, walking most of the way due to the terrible conditions and crazy levels of traffic. Still not back onto the right route, we sat by a pretty dilapidated gas station, rang the bus, and asked them to come and get us, defeated.
An hour later they arrived and we headed out to our accommodation for the night. They had a surprise for us. Matt had managed to get in contact with some people that ran a bed and breakfast at their home, and these people lived in a dome. Yes, a dome! They had offered us somewhere to stay for 2 nights as we skated into and out of Chicago. AMAZING.
Day 56 we got dropped off so we were back on route and skated the remaining miles into Chicago, arriving with almost no problem at all. I rang my parents to tell them the good news, we had arrived, and were now only 1000 miles from NYC.
We had a few people started to gather around the bus and started to chat to them. One guy told me at length on the bus about all of the different occupations he had: Security, music producer, businessman, marketing, rapper, you name it, only thing he left out on his verbal CV was his main occupation: drug dealing.
Check out some pictures from this part of the journey in the slideshow below:
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