Our good friend Rex flew into Boston on the morning of Oct. 1st. He came in early and woke Jeff and Kyle up in bed. It was all very cute. We lingered drinking coffee and chatting. We were on the road by noon and after too many unmarked turns and missed directions, we were all in pretty terrible moods. Looking back, I think we were all emotional about the trip coming to a close and didn't quite know how to express it.
We rode bundled up and took lunch after 25 miles remarking how cold it was. We were meeting Rex in Portsmouth, NH for the night and we were racing against the sun. We pushed straight into the cold and the wind as the road brought us to the ocean. The damp salty air filled our lungs and the wind blowing off the Atlantic slowed us as we passed through beach towns that were emptying for the winter. We won our race against the sun and made it to Portsmouth before nightfall. Our reward was a vibrant sunset.
We camped with Rex behind the Little Harbor Chapel and it was by far our creepiest campsite. A fire warmed our spirits and livened everything up. So did the beer. We ate hot dogs, played cards and chatted with strangers that thought we were going to burn the forest down.
We were slow to get up on our last day, cherishing the last moments in our tents. Rex woke up shivering but was nice enough to treat us to breakfast. It was just passed noon when we left which seemed fitting. We said some nice words, a word of praise for getting this far safely and I read my journal entry from our first night aloud. We have come so far from the boys on Whidbey Island terrified of the mountains that laid before us.
Within the first mile and a half Kyle got a flat tire. We laughed. Or at least I did. Looks like we'll be racing the sun again. The sun is getting faster everyday and wind today seems to be taking its vengeance on us for going against it all day yesterday. The whip and the whirl of the wind in our ears was exhausting. But it was the last day, so why not be challenged.
We had our final bakery stop in Kennebunk, ME. They were so impressed at how far we came they gave us t-shirts. By far the best bakery of the trip and they sure made us feel special. We rode 25 more miles, went on our last gravel trail, got chased by our last dog and at last arrived in Portland. We rode though town, up our final hill and declared the Eastern Promenade our finish line.
We feasted, danced and slept well. I woke up in the morning anxious that I had to ride my bike 50 miles, but we were done. There will be no more of that for some time.
Photos: Our sunset in Portsmouth // Our last trail // Eastern Promenade in Portland, our finish line