Thursday, August 1, 2013

Day 55 - THE BIG RIDE is Officially Over. Glad or Sad?: Sedro-Woolley, WA to Anacortes, WA

Today's weather was quite cool and overcast.  A little depressing.  Appropriate, I guess, for the end of THE BIG RIDE.  THE BIG RIDE has been in planning and execution for almost a year.  Having it be over will take a little getting used to.
I'll have to do some serious reflection before posting my final ride summary.  It may take a few weeks before I'll get that post out.

After almost two months of x-country riding, we got our first real jerk this a.m.  As we entered a one lane roundabout that had no shoulder, I took the center of the lane to keep some knucklehead from trying to do a squeeze pass.  This lasted for about 40 yards until we got through the intersection and I could move over.  Mr. Knucklehead in a p/u then pulled up alongside, rolled down his window and unleashed some ignorant profanity about how unsafe we were riding.  I was so shocked that I couldn't get out an invite to stop and discuss some more before he roared along his stupid way.  A great way to start our last day.

And what is it about the last day?  Later we almost got smashed by some latte sippin', phone textin', quiche eatin' troglodyte who wandered across the rumble strip and into our (fortunately) very wide shoulder.  Mr. Yellow VW Bug Guy.  I'm still looking for you.

That aside, our ride was wonderful.
Just as we neared the city limits of Anacortes, WA, our destination since June 4, we were met by a very nice woman on a bicycle.  She stopped and explained she was a local rider and helping a group of 4 riders starting an west to east transcontinental ride get safely out of town.  We were at the perfect place.  She explained that if we could wait for just a moment, she'd be finished with the departing cyclists and would turn around and guide us into town.  Wow.

Turns out our new BFF Trail Angel is the Anacortes, WA Chief of Police, Chief Bonnie Bowers.  What a sweetheart.  She guided us in with superb expertise, telling local lore stories all the way.  The only disappointment was her bike was not equipped with lights and siren so that we could have had an even better police escort experience.  Maybe next time.

We met Bernie Santiago at the Skagit Bike Shop.  She's the co-owner.  Turns out, Barney's box beat us to town by one whole hour.  It was sitting beside the shop as we rode up and was the first thing we noticed.  Bernie graciously agreed to hold the box for a day or two until Barney is ready to jump in.

We're going to sport ride on Lopez Island (one of the San Juans) tomorrow.  Just a short ferry ride away.  We'll pack a picnic lunch and have one last great northwest ride before heading east and home.

I noticed as we were loading up this a.m. that one of Barney's brazeons supporting the left leg of the rear rack has broken.   I did a zip tie repair that got us through the day.  If that had happened earlier in the trip, we would have had to find a better repair method.  What a trooper Barney has been!  After a little stumble that first week, he has been rock solid.  Not even a flat in 2,500 miles.  Way to go Barney.  We'll get that brazeon fixed when we get home and you'll be in touring condition once again.  You might even get a new paint job out of it.  Who knows?

Fresh picked roadside blackberries. They're just starting to come in. The vines line the roadsides for miles and miles.

 Martha, ready ever, picked a bunch and made a pie. Deleesh!!
Potato blossoms.

Potato fields.

Our destination since leaving D.C. on June 4.
Bernie, Chief Bowers and Martha celebrating trail's end.


  1. Praise the LORD! You made it! What an accomplishment! I look forward to reading the final post. Y'all come back, now, ya hear?

  2. You know, the south get a bad reputation sometimes for having "rednecks" but, if there is one thing Mike and I have discovered in our travels, there are rednecks all over the US. We have also learned that, even though the south gives the north a hard time about being non-hospitable, we have met some of the most wonderful, helpful, hospitable people very far from the south. I can tell from your journal that you and Martha have met some of those same people. Congratulations on your great adventure. You have been talking about this quest just about as long as I have known you (what, about 20+ years now?). I hope we can get together soon and I can hear some of these stories first-hand. You've always been a good storyteller!

  3. Congrats on an amazing trip well done!

  4. Now what am I going to read....:) welcome home- you have been missed - but thank you thank you - for allowing me to live vicariously through your journal. Maybe, someday soon, I can share my journey the same way. See you soon!!