Today was absolutely beautiful...temperatures in the low 70s, sunny with no chance of rain, and a cool northwest wind helping me along. For the first time in weeks, I was able to start the day without my sweater or jacket on. I rode through smooth rolling hills and forests, marshes and lakes, enjoying views like this:
As I rode I counted down the miles...40 to go...30...20...10...then it was the final countdown. The miles ticked away, one after the other, until finally I saw the sight I'd been dreaming of for weeks:
At long last, the beach! After 35 days and 3,294 miles, I had finally reached the end of my journey. Only one thing remained to be done. All those many weeks ago, when this trip began, I ceremonially dipped the bike in the Pacific Ocean to signify an official start on the West Coast. Now, to bring the Bikeabout to its final conclusion, I had only to officially reach the Atlantic...and that's just what I did.
Sure, I got my feet wet, but I tell you, it was worth it. Words just can't express what a moment like this feels like. I battled headwinds, crosswinds, rain, thunderstorms, cold, hills, mountains, anxiety, depression, flat tires, broken spokes, bad hotels, narrow roads, saddle sores, and just about anything else a cyclist can encounter on the road....but it was all worth it just for this moment.
Afterwards I took a few minutes to relax on the pier, enjoying the fresh sea air and the knowledge that this grand undertaking was finally completed. When you think about it, riding coast to coast really didn't accomplish anything specific (except shave off a few pounds), but now I have memories to last a lifetime, a great story to tell, and the realization of a longtime dream.
Now that it's all over and done, I'd like to take a moment to thank those who made this all possible (in no particular order):