I absolutely had the greatest time on this ride. It was hard, challenging, and rewarding for the soul. I was faced with challenges and not only did I handle them, I beat them into oblivion. My total mileage for the 6 day ride was 2390. And even though I was weary after getting off the purple nurple yesterday I actually thought about riding today! I did get the back seat off the bike today and removed the last of the saddle bags (the part that did not turn into an incendiary device) and put them away. Not sure when I'll need one saddle bag, but who knows! Like all good junkies, I had a Dennis Kirk gift card just itching to be used so I bought a new set of bags today and they will be here by next week.
I had the greatest time seeing old friends and meeting new ones. I met some really special people on this trip. I also got a reminder of how not to throw your faith in others around so easily. To make sure your friends really are your friends and that they will stand by your side thick and thin, right or wrong. Irregardless of the one bad apple, I had such an amazing time and I can't wait to go back next year. I met so many walks of life from lawyers, to podiatrists, to oil refinery people, to someone who specializes in wilderness medicine!
Everyone there was wonderful and there were so many people who helped me along the way home! I've already told my friend Vickie that she needs to know now that she's coming with me next year. No excuses. She sounds excited knowing that it's so much fun, and inexpensive.
I saw things I never thought I'd see.... Chain link along the highway edges to stop cattle from falling onto the roadway below from the cliffs above. I saw a man fly a kite in Tennessee. That's not the amazing part. The amazing part was that it was attached to a beat up old broken fishing rod. I also saw in VA, that people buy car ports and add metal sheeting around the outside and plastic wrap for windows and call it a house. Horse and cow trailers down there don't have roofs on them. Just tarps (if lucky), and I saw a guy transporting his pony in the back of his pick up truck with fence gates on the bed sides. Good Pony.
So for those who worry about me riding a bike.... I'm sorry..... It won't be ending anytime soon. Just have faith that I might be "ok" at this riding thing. Didn't even need a band aid.
Next year I'll plan to take one extra day on each side of the ride for travel so that I didn't feel like I was in such a hurry to get there and home again. Would love to have done the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Shenandoah Skyway. Let's see where next years the trip leads me :)