Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The First Home Stretch - Day 31 & 32

Yesterday, after 5,000 miles (8.000km), 32 days, 16 destinations, 8 states (6 of them I'd never been in) and a last minute one day delay due to a tropical storm I had crossed the United States and arrived at the East Coast. I actually made it. Without any major incidence and mostly good weather. It was a pretty good feeling when I rode down the street that led to the beach on Amelia Island and when I could see the ocean. Like the time during the marathon when you can first see the finish line and suddenly, nothing hurts anymore and you start running faster. And then you're there and you think "Well, that was quite nice. But what now?" In my case, I had to ride another 130 miles to Savannah, Georgia.

So, what now? I'll take a break for a few days and will start writing again on Tuesday when I continue my ride by going up the Atlantic Coast. This trip has been great so far. I can't believe how lucky I've been. On 5,000 miles I had rain for about 150 miles. So far, temperatures were under 100 F (40 Celsius) and other than a few dust devils no extreme storms. But I know that it will get a lot hotter from now on and on my way back there will be plenty of opportunities for me to witness some storms. I've been following this storm chaser guy on Instagram and I do know that I am certainly no going to go through Kansas. 

And while I'm not actively seeking company other than friends or family of friends of mine who have offered to host or meet me, I keep meeting people and once they learn where I'm from and what I'm doing, they either want to hear the whole story, tell me about their travel stories or give me tips for my trip. 

Yesterday, I had coffee at Mc Donald's and an older guy asked me about the bike and kept asking questions once he found out about my trip. Then he told his wife about it when she came back from the restroom. She sat down next to me and started talking to me. I didn't understand one word but she didn't seem to expect an answer so I just listened, smiled and nodded. When I had to leave she gave me a long hug and told me to take care of myself. While strange, it felt very good. Somehow I do seem to make an impression in some peoples' lives. And they in mine. That hug certainly helped me to ride the remaining 230 miles after I had ridden 200 already. She also reminded me of my family who I can't hug when I want to hug them. And so, even though I ride solo, I am not and I certainly do not feel alone. 

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