Friday, October 17, 2014

Journey's End

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.

Posted by Chad at 02:40 PM | Comments (9)
Original Comments: Journey's End 
i must admit that i will miss your smallwords updates. beside the endless moments of pleasure reading your travel log (and the hours of procrastination of homework it has provided), your legs turned pedals and you experienced life, and I have enjoyed every glimpse of it that i have seen, and every moment of it that i have vicariously lived as well. watching the land change, watching the people and places morph from one side of the country to the other, reading about the food, observing your outerware change from t-shirts and shorts to jackets and long pants, watching the seattle spring turn to a midwest summer and a new england fall, from coast to coast, congratulations my friends.
Posted by Starr Peterson at October 18, 2004 05:15 PM
YEAH!! You made it! I just knew you were going to reach the water on Sunday. After keeping the cell phone with me all day and you hadn't called by afternoon I went back to the hotel room and the red light on the phone was blinking and there was your message that you had reached the ocean. We did a little dance right there on the 17th floor. Love, Mom
Posted by shirley at October 18, 2004 09:53 PM
Hey Harse's you made it!!! I can't believe that Margeret made it. I can just see chad dragging Margeret down the highway just so that you can dip your front tire in the Atlantic ocean. Bad joke but CONGRATULATIONS. Question: why in the heck are you guys going back to Portland? You guys have definitely become RLDS.

Posted by been dip at October 18, 2004 10:39 PM
Congrats on reaching the opposite coast!
Posted by Woody at October 18, 2004 10:49 PM
we have been hanging out to see this picture - so amazing what a journey you have taken and how many other people's lives have been enriched by it too. i was telling my dad about you guys last night and now he is keen to do a similar trip when he retires. you're inspiration! living your dream. life should be more free. don't get jobs. come to oz.
Posted by Em at October 19, 2004 02:10 AM
Chad, you are truly Waltonesque. I'm glad to know there are people like you and Mags in Utah. You both need to come back for your doctoral degrees at UW. It's bliss.
Seriously, congratulations on the completion of your journey. Quite a feat.
Posted by Doug at October 19, 2004 04:26 PM
You made it "FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA". Congratulations.
Posted by Devin at October 19, 2004 04:46 PM
That'll do, pig. That'll do.
Posted by benson at October 21, 2004 01:56 PM
Congratulations!!! I have followed all journal of yours. Very enjoy your words and pictures. What you guys did is really amazing! You are the greatest travelers I ever know in person. Hope to see u in Seattle.
Posted by Gang at October 22, 2004 02:07 PM

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