Sorry I kind of left you hanging as I completed the ride and unplugged. But fear not I’m back to fill you in. I’ve returned to the real world, my home and my family.
So, ok let’s go back to days 47 & 48. We left Brattleboro Vt all happy and somewhat giddy. That day would be a first, a 2 state line crossing day. The New Hampshire state line came almost immediately like maybe 4 miles outside of Brattleboro Vt. We stopped on the old narrow bridge to take pictures of the Connecticut River which divides these 2 Yankee states. I was happy to say farewell to the crazed and aggressive drivers of Vermont. We had already gotten some mean stink eye back at the main intersection while leaving agroville. So back on the bridge the chairman of farewells decides to pass us rather than slow and let us ride off this bridge. His idea of have a nice day is to pass my left elbow by, I swear maybe within an INCH ! While he guns his way too cool econo van. That was the single closest call yet and I couldn’t wait to get into friendly territory. I was terrified riding through this region unfortunately. We did ride into some spectacular empty roads for a long long time thru New Hampshire. We had a 93 mile day with something like 6,000 feet of climbing. I renamed this state New Hillshire. I enjoyed the climbs a ton as many of the roads were just resurfaced and perfect for enjoying the shear fun of cycling. Thanks New Hillshire, you’ve restored my faith in the beauty of bicycle touring.
Our last state line crossing was into Massachusetts. This was our last long hard day and our final 15th state. It was hard to believe this 7 week adventure was ending. But stay the course McCauley, there’s traffic here. Our final 15 miles took us on some very residential back roads with about a million turns to follow.
We finished this day off with hugs and handshakes as if we were done. Wait I kept saying we still have tomorrow, Friday our last dance.
Friday was our finale, a short 17 miles to the sand and salt water at Revere Beach. We all stopped and gathered for the final 3 miles as we rode two by two behind our 2 sag vans. It was bitter sweet and honestly I was really enjoying just rolling along and didn’t want to get off get off my bike. My bike was a part of me like an extension of who I am. I rode most of the way glancing down at the photos of my family that I tapped to the top tube the night before I left. I was dreaming of going home. So we all did the traditional front wheel dip in the sea and started our hugfest again. We’re were officially DONE. Wow it was all really hard to process mentally. That night we had our final banquet and it was time to say goodbye to my new family of 7 weeks. We shared final stories, hugs, laughs and a few tears. It was a harder goodbye than I imagined.
I’ll put a final wrap up on the journey and blog tomorrow or the next day. I’m enjoying some time off until reality returns and I go back to work. We’ll sort of anyway, my next phase brings me into ” semi retirement “. My plan is to slow my roll down, take on less work and spend more family time.