Tuesday, December 7, 2010

St. Augustine, FL to Rogersville, TN Dec. 7

We are now in snowy, cold Tennessee wondering why we ever left sunny, warm Florida, but life goes on and we are in the next mode of our travels heading back home.  Our visit with Bill's family is including some quality time with relatives. 

After spending three idyllic days at a beach condo in St. Augustine, our nephew, David who is in the Navy there, helped us transport our panniers and bicycles to Jacksonville where we boarded the Amtrak train for Charolette, NC.  We then rented a car for traveling to Rogersville for a few days. The temperatures have been very cold (lows in the teens and highs in the mid 20s) with snow that falls constantly but doesn't tend to accumulate.  This Wednesday night we will again board the train to cross the country, enjoying the scenery from inside for 4 days, and finish our trip in Seattle.  Grandson Soren and daughter Shelly will join us for the last hour or so of our journey on the train.  For Soren, who loves trains, this should be quite a thrill.

Here are some photos of the finish of our Southern Tier Bicycle Trip:

On November 29, 2010, at mid-day, Ann and Bill touched their front tires in the Atlantic Ocean, signifying biking from the Pacific Ocean in over 2 months.
St Augustine was the location of the finish.  Arriving in perfect weather, it was an easy decision to be tourists and extend our time in the south.
Being lighthouse keepers annually at the Dungeness Lighthouse in Washington, we are drawn to visit lighthouses.  The St Augustine Lighthouse was open for a walk up the 219 steps, to the top at 168 feet. 
Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest surviving fort in the US, made out of a sandstone called coquina, which did not break when cannon balls hit the structure.
Walking on these beautiful, white, warm sandy beaches was a nice contrast to biking.  Again, we were reminded why people head south for the winter months.
The day after we arrived in Tennessee, it snowed.  We attended a play at the Barter Theater, It's a Wonderful Life, in Abington, Virginia.
 At a convenience store in Florida we were surrounded by a group of people who wanted to know more about our trip.  It reminded us of all of our supporters who followed us as we cycled across the country.  We thank you and hope you have enjoyed reading and sharing our blog.    Bill and Ann