The end of the odyssey


“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.

Dipping the wheels in the Atlantic

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.

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21 Comments

Filed under Americana, Cycling across America, Journeys

21 responses to “The end of the odyssey

  1. Barry Shlachter

    Mazel tov! Job well done, Jim. Expect you enjoyed the sheer punishment of it.
    Cheers
    Barry

  2. Congrats! That must be a tremendous sense of accomplishment.

  3. Ben

    Congratulations Dad!! I always knew that you could do it. I wish that I could have been there for the surprise greeting and celebration. You are awesome!! Have a safe drive to Fort Worth and then San Antonio. I know Bailey will be happy to see you. Talk soon on Skype. Love, Ben

  4. Linda and Steve

    We are proud, impressed and bragging. Been in St. Louis visiting the sick brother but we’ll toast your accomplishment when we return to Freeport.

    Linda and Steve

  5. Roger Leddington

    What a fabulous accomplishment, Jim! It certainly ranks up there as one of your very best. It’s been a terrific vicarious thrill to check in on your blog every day since you cranked away from Pt Loma. Thanks for taking the time and energy to share it. Next?

    • Roger,
      Thanks for the congratulatory words, for reading the blog and for your help in San Diego. One of the highlights of the trip was reconnecting with you in San Diego. I’m now back in Texas, in San Antonio for Thanksgiving. Hope you have a good Thanksgiving.
      Jim

  6. Linda O.

    Congrats! I’ll miss the blog.

  7. Tom R.

    Well done Jim!!!!! A great adventure! See you soon…

  8. Hawk Mendenhall

    Thanks for letting me ride along vicariously. Been following you from Austin since Ralph Watterson told me about your blog. What a great ride!
    Hope to meet someday. Enjoy your well-earned Thanksgiving feast!

  9. dee

    JIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Goose bumps all over!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You have so much to be thankful for this thanksgiving. Can’t wait to give you a hug! Love to you and Mary Ellen!

    • Dee,
      Thanks for the good wishes. Yes, I’m thankful that we completed the ride without a major accident. Riding into Mobile in a tropical storm — pelting rain and high wind — on heavily trafficked roads with no shoulders was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done on a bike. Hope to see you soon. Happy Thanksgiving.
      Jim

  10. Tom R.

    hey Dee, are you going to be in town for the holidays???? We have wine…

  11. Tom R.

    …pardon the hijack Jim…

  12. Jack

    Some say life is a journey, not a destination. How would you reply now that it’s over? I enjoyed following your saga.

    Jack

    • Jack,
      Thanks for following the blog. Sorry we didn’t hook up in the Texas Hill Country. Now that it’s over? I’m still decompressing and am still somewhat amazed that we made it without a major accident.
      Happy Thankisgiving.
      Jim

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