Originally Posted October 18, 2004 by Chad
BAR HARBOR, MAINE. We arrived at Acadia National Park yesterday. It was cool and sunny. The popular places were crowded. We followed the park loop road to the only sandy beach on the island. We dismounted and carried our bike down the stairs to the water. We asked a Japanese man who was there with his family to take our picture as we wetted our tires. In the first picture I was looking down at a wave coming up to soak our feet. The second picture came out better. Then a park ranger came marching down the steps to us. He told us bikes were not allowed on the beach and ordered us to leave. It ruined the moment.
It's hard to believe our journey is over. We still have to get to the train station in Portland, two hundred miles away, but we have seen the Atlantic Ocean and can pedal no further. When we started this journey we were passive observers, slipping through town after town, often unnoticed. We took little from the towns and left nothing behind.
Then as our journey matured it took on tone and dimension. We slipped into a new frame and grew to be a part of it, related to the people we met and places we saw. From the crazy lady in Tonasket who asked us if we planning on skinny dipping, to the leather-clad bikers of Ringling, to the lycra-clad bikers of Laramie, the Mormons of Nauvoo, the corn- and bean-farmers of Iowa, the Presidential hopeful in Coldwater, the supplement saleswoman in Anita, the Reverends of Pennsylvania, the punkers near Syracuse with whom we witnessed a traffic accident, to everyone who asked us which of us did the most work [They have missed the point of the journey.] to the New Englanders who pretended not to see us, to all the vacationers at the parks who stood and gawked at us and at the same land we were there to see, and to all of you who have been following us along our way. We have all grown into a journey that has stepped beyond its start in the west and finish in the east, beyond the boundaries of this country, beyond the limits of our collective memory. Our jouney is alive and it lives in every one of us. Our legs have turned the pedals and we have seen life.
Original Comments: Journey's End