- Posted by Jan
- On April 27, 2017
- 15 Comments
Since my family’s departure the last few weeks have flown by. I made quick time through Louisiana and of all the places I’ve cycled it boasted the most interesting roadkill. In just one day’s ride I saw an iguana, possum, racoon, catfish, and crawfish. In the wake of tremendous flooding, enough frog carcasses covered the road to make the scenery resemble something out of a biblical plague.
I spent only two days riding through Mississippi, but wish it had been longer for I found the people and drivers to be among the friendliest I have ever encountered.
To be honest I did not see much of Alabama. I rode through the entire state in the span of 24 hours riding all through the night.
It was just before Easter weekend that I arrived in Florida. Still, St. Augustine was some 400 miles away. I was not able to let myself start thinking about the end because, due to lack of rain, forest fires threatened my route, raising concerns about road closures and unexpected wildfire alerts. On top of that, soon after my arrival, I came down with a fever and sore throat. After a day in bed and a two hour wait at a Minute Clinic it was full speed ahead!
Today, after 74 days on the road, I am excited to announce that I have completed a 3,300 miles journey across the United States of America!
As the Atlantic Ocean came into view I began to recollect on every trial I had endured to reach this exact moment in time. Our minds tend to remember with great accuracy the experience of hardships, and so it was with ease that I was able to recall every headwind, angry driver, endless mountain road, extreme temperature, and feeling of thirst and hunger. As I stood there staring out at that blue horizon I saw these memories in a new light. Over the course of the last two and a half months there had been moments of joy and exaltation, but the pain that had been experienced as well was necessary. Necessary, so that I could comprehend the cost by which accomplishments of magnitude are achieved.
After completing this journey I have made a promise to myself that I will pursue my goals with a greater sense of urgency than ever before. Life is so short and uncertain there can be no postponement. It is always now or never.
I would like to thank Aaron and Carissa Foote from Pensacola and Larry and Rene Lynch from Tallahassee for two wonderful stays in the Florida Panhandle. I would also like to thank Cynthia Lindroth for opening her home to me in St. Augustine and to both Kim and Layne for being there to witness the end of a long journey.
I would like to express my gratitude to the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, Les Turner ALS Foundation, and JourneyCare/Hospice. These three organizations endowed the ride with a mission and sense of purpose it could not have held otherwise. Riding for these causes gave me a mental fortitude to endure even the toughest days. Thank you to all of you who have made this ride possible. The continued positive support throughout from messages of encouragement, to prayers, and the kind hosts along the way.
God bless you all.