And I have no idea what to think. I am caught between exhilaration that it is over and sadness that it is over, all wrapped up in a slight disbelief that we really did it. I remember each day. Intellectually, I know that we did it. On the other hand, trying to comprehend the magnitude of the ride doesn’t compute intellectually.
This photo is as we came into the Iwo Jima Memorial. Moments later, I’m sobbing.
That’s right, we are now in Virginia! This makes 12 states from start to finish: Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. Just wow.
Do you know how irritating it is to be a writer – someone who works with words on a regular basis – and not have the words to explain just how I’m feeling? When “wow” is what I use because….what else can I say?
Due to the weather and our concern for the state of the C&O Canal Trail, we had decided to take roadways into Brunswick. Of course, that meant that even though I should have been done with logistics, I was not. And Komoot did its best to remind me why I’m not cut out to do this job – and why I need to find the perfect bicycle touring app!
Today was not especially pretty. Or especially fun. Or especially much of anything other than moving from Point A to Point B. We chose to ride on the road rather than the C&O due to the forecast of rain. We didn’t want to be caught out on the trail only to get mired in mud.
We considered staying in Hancock one more night and missing out on our extra day in Leesburg, but there was so little open in Hancock, that it made sense to go ahead and move, even if it was only just over 20 miles.
It’s Monday, and I am making a post for two days because we’ve been riding along the C&O Canal with no cell service. We are between Pittsburgh and DC, but you’d never know it from the path. It is quiet, peaceful, and relatively empty. And, for me, it’s been wonderful.
I’ve been a weepy mess today. Not because I am sad – no, this weepy mess is due to how happy I am -and proud – and amazed.
I can’t believe that I have made it across the country on a bicycle. Me. Teri Mari. Nerd. Desk jockey. Overweight and out of shape mother of four, step mom of three, grandma to two, step grandma to six, and step great grandma to two. A woman who can’t throw a ball or run to the end of the driveway. A woman who had lost faith in herself due to an emotionally abusive relationship. Me.
And despite COVID, despite riots, despite 2020, and despite all the difficulties we faced along the way, Bruce and I managed to ride across the US. And now, we are just five riding days from our end goal. And I feel amazing. And weepy.
Today was a great end to the GAP Trail. We took our time, enjoyed our ride, met wonderful people, and entered our 11th state of the trip. We ended the day in Cumberland, Maryland, which is where we will pick up the C&O Canal.
We have slowly been working our way to the Eastern Continental Divide. Water to the east of this site flows to the Atlantic Ocean. Water to the west of this site flows to the Mississippi River. What does this mean for us? It means that since we left Pittsburgh, we have been going uphill.
Thankfully, we are on the GAP, which is an old RR bed. This means that the “up” is gentle. But, it is up, nonetheless. Tomorrow, we do our last 5 miles of up, which will be over 100 miles.
Then, once we cross over the divide, we will have 25 miles down! WHEE!!!
We met Barry in a parking lot in Connellsville today. He said that we were going to see the most beautiful part of Pennsylvania today. And then he said, “It’s just like Deliverance but without the banjos.” I knew when he said it that this would be my post’s title today!
Last night, I was so tired that I was in bed by 7:15. Bruce says I was snoring before 7:30, and I do not doubt that in the least. I woke up at 10 PM needing to use the bathroom. Then three trains came through the area, and I was back asleep by 11. The next time I was aware of time, it was almost 6 AM. Once again, I used the bathroom and then cuddled back under the covers, hoping it would warm up a bit before we headed off. And then?????
It was almost 9 AM!!! We didn’t leave the campground until about 10:30, when we rode into town for breakfast. It was almost noon before we started riding. That is our latest start to date and significantly later at that. Even with thunderstorms, we were always out on the road shortly after 10!