Whooooppeee! We made it to St. Augustine on the Atlantic coast today (Monday) around noon, and dipped our front tires in the waves. Remember that we dipped our back tires in the Pacific? (See pic.)
And now we're relaxing in a beach condo all to ourselves, as yesterday we met a couple in Gainesville who graciously offered their weekend condo as accommodations once we arrived in St. A. It's cozy and lovely and the perfect way to end this long, LONG trip.
We met this nice couple on a bike path on Sunday morning (yes, they're bicyclists, too) and later discovered it's such a small world that the man graduated in the same class at West Point as Ann's cousin. Out of 1,000 entering freshmen, these two were roommates their first year!!!
We outran the rain on this last day of biking, so the first thing we did was (yes, kind of anticlimactic) eat lunch, since we hadn't stopped to eat. Then we went to the local bike store and arranged to have our bikes shipped home in a few days. They have lots of miles left in them. You'd be surprised -- they don't look beat up at all.
Of course we have mixed feelings about the trip ending, but we've been touring for over two months, and we were ready for it to be over.
"I'm just tired of putting on a helmet every day," says Ann. Of course, the beach condo is seven miles from downtown St. A, so we'll probably be using our bikes for transportation for the next few days -- but at least not fully loaded! We want to be tourists for a few days and see the famous 1672 fortress Castillo de San Marco.
After we decompress for a few days, we'll take the train to visit Bill's family in east Tennessee. And then we'll take the train across the country, arriving home around the weekend of Dec. 11-12. It will be hard to leave the pleasant 70-degree weather to return to the chill Northwest.
Thank you to all of you who supported us through this with your thoughts, notes, prayers, and crossed fingers!
DICTATED TO WEBMISTRESS/DAUGHTER SHELLY OVER THE TELEPHONE. PHOTOS TO COME ONCE A COMPUTER WITH INTERNET CONNECTION CAN BE FOUND.
Just wanted to share the news as soon as it broke. Damn, I'm proud of my parents!! --Shelly