Our scheduled departure time today was a leisurely 9:00 AM. We are all very excited. It is a perfect day for the final ride of this trip; warm & sunny, light winds.
John asked me to lead today’s ride….I am thrilled and honored. In a tight, well practiced line, we left our hotel, and made our way to Hecksher Drive along the St. John’s river. Soon we were confronted with a construction zone too narrow for us to safely pass. Anthony provided us the protection we needed by blocking traffic with the van so that we could get through this obstacle safely.
Before long we left the industrial area and 18 wheelers behind and were treated to stunning views of the St. John’s river on our right and miles of marshland on our left.
We stopped for lunch at Kingsley Plantation, a U.S. National Park unique because of the preservation of all the plantation structures including the slave quarters. There we studied the grounds and exhibits and soaked in the vista provided by the St. George river and marshland.
Back on the road, soon we were presented with a beautiful view of the Atlantic Ocean . A spontaneous cheer erupted. We turned north at the mouth of the St. John’s river onto Little Talbott Island a Florida State Park. Pedaling easily over a smooth road, through a beautiful landscape with the wind at our backs we fell into silence as we savored the last few miles and thought about the trip each of us have had.
Before long we arrived at our final destination: Amelia Island where, among much fanfare, John, Arlene, Kim & Debbie dipped their tires into the Atlantic Ocean and completed their ride across America.
We spend the next 48 hours celebrating the successful completion of this adventure.
For me the last two weeks have been very rich. I have developed friendships with my fellow cyclists that I hope will last for many, many years, I have experienced an adventure that I will remember as a highlight of my life, I have challenged myself athletically and I have had a lot of fun. Thank you John, Arlene, Debbie, Kim, Paul, Anthony, Kate, Robin, David and especially Kris for making this trip an incredible experience.