“Great joy in camp we are in view of the Ocian …”
— Capt. William Clark, Nov. 7, 1805, from the journals of Lewis and Clark
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — Different time, different coast. But the sentiment is the same.
After a journey of more than 3,000 miles from San Diego — through deserts, mountains, swamps and a tropical storm — our 12-member bicycle caravan arrived safely in St. Augustine on Saturday to dip our wheels into the Atlantic Ocean.
We rode 11 straight days from Mobile, Ala., where we had spent a rest day waiting for Tropical Storm Ida to pass, to arrive on schedule in St. Augustine to a welcome from family and friends.
To my complete and utter surprise, my wife, Mary Ellen, and two of our sons, Matt from New York and Thomas from Denver, flew to Florida to share the end of our transcontinental journey.
I had planned to head back to Fort Worth on Sunday morning by rental car. But those plans changed with the arrival of my family. So we spent the weekend together celebrating with my fellow riders before we all head in different directions. Some riders headed home on Sunday and others will follow on Monday. A few will continue the journey down the Florida coast.
We had to deliver Matt to the Jacksonville airport on Sunday evening for a flight back to New York. Thomas’ flight home is Monday morning. So we’ll load up a rental car with bike, panniers and luggage and drop him in Jacksonville on Monday before heading west to Fort Worth and then to San Antonio for Thanksgiving.
It’s been quite a ride. I hope to continue this blog in some fashion, including a recounting of some of the things we learned during more than two months crossing America by bicycle. So stay tuned.