…and do I feel WONDERFUL! Tired, relieved, but great. A very emotional day, as you can imagine. We left Manchester early as we need to get to Rye High School by 11:30 as we we had a police escort for the last 3 miles to the beach. Since we left so early, we all stopped in Exeter, New Hampshire, the quintessential New England town, for coffee and once last pre-taper “snack”. This was after our final SAG stop no more than 8 miles prior. Anyway, we gathered at the school, had one FINAL sign-in sheet, then I said most of my good-byes as I was one of the few leaving that day. Most of the riders had flights on Tuesday, and were staying together in New Hampshire for one last night. The police escort was great, we didn’t need to worry about stop signs or lights, and pretty much stayed together until the beach, where chaos reigned. As we turned into Wallis Sands Beach, I had trouble finding Peg due to the crowd, but we found each other, and it was great to be together again. After lots of hugs and kisses, me and 35 other riders, LOTS of family, schlepped our bikes across the sand to dip ourselves and our bikes in the Atlantic. What an indescribable feeling of accomplishment, pride, relief. It is slowly sinking in how unbelievable a trip this has been. After a while, the riders and staff had the ceremonial pouring of Pacific Ocean water into the Atlantic. We had gathered 2 bottles of water from the Pacific before we had left, and now officially, the trip was complete. I have posted lots of photos today, as every moment from the day is precious, as the people who have been my companions for the last 50 days.
A word about my roommate Curt. Getting a roommate is always somewhat of a crap shoot. There are lots of traits that could make sharing a room with a complete stranger for 50 days a real challenge. Curt was great. He was everything I could have hoped for, and I will miss him, but I am sure we will stay friends.
So my friends, the trip is over, I will do one more post as a recap, and then we will all move on, hopefully richer for the experience, I know it was incredible for me.