As I look back on my trip I am overwhelmed with a feeling of gratefulness. In a strange way I don't think of it as a huge accomplishment. It is simply another journey completed. What many people do not understand is this trip always had a way out. I was constantly surrounded by people. At any point during the trip I could have thumbed a ride, used my credit card to get me just about anything and I even could have taken a flight or train if I got tired of being on the road. My trips in the back country seemed much more like an accomplishment because I had to rely on myself or the people in my crew.
I am not trying to downplay what I have just tackled - I will not forget the days that the wind took every bit of spirit inside of me leaving me in tears on the side of the road, nearly peeing my pants out of fear with the crack of lighting above me and no sign of refuge, starring up at countless intimidating hills, the serious and significant pain in my Achilles tendon and knee, my numb hands and feet on countless mornings when biking should have not been allowed, having to dig deep inside on the days when I did not want to jump on the saddle, hoping and praying that each passing car, RV, and 18 wheeler had a focused driver at the wheel and would not accidentally swerve 1 foot to the right, getting honked or yelled at by angry drivers or they days the universe just did not seem on my side.
With those things being said the overriding emotion and thought is how amazed I am at the generosity of my fellow American citizens. People love to help, and my journey gave people good reason to lend a helping hand. Nearly every single human being I met would have done anything and everything in their power to offer me support. The stories are countless - it seems that every blog I mentioned how many random acts of kindness these beautiful people offered me. It is an exciting message to shout from coast to coast that people in America, in a recession or not, are kind, generous and have beautiful hearts.
As I type these words in a state of gratefulness - I am also feeling sad and scared. The root of my mother's numbness happens to be a tumor that also happens to be cancerous. A bittersweet ending to an epic journey. I have to believe that the "bike trip magic" that seemed to follow me every day on my trip was not just "bike trip magic" but it was the universe taking care of me just like the universe will take care of my mother.
I can't say thank you enough to the hundred of people who showed their support in any and every way possible. I will pass it forward.