Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The big finish

Current Location: Encinitas, California
Total Distance Traveled for the trip: 3,590 miles

Wyatt and I reached Imperial Beach, California around 1 PM Pacific Time on August 2nd, 2009. It will be a moment that I will cherish for the rest of my life. That last day I was remembering everything that had happened on the whole bike ride and was starting to get a little emotional as the miles melted away. Slowly, but surely the miles left to go went from 73 to 60 to 30 to 5. The way I felt as the end approached is almost indescribable. We had gone so far over so long a time that it was just weird to be almost done. When we were two miles away we finally saw the ocean on the horizon. We started yelling and letting out war cries. Once we arrived at the pier at Imperial Beach we saw the people that mattered to us and gave them huge hugs!! Thank you Donna Marie and Cynthia for letting us stay in your house!!

We took some pictures then I unloaded my bags onto the ground which weighed 55 POUNDS!! Then we took off into the ocean. I brought my bike along and once it wouldn't roll anymore I carried it into the water. We started yelling and screaming. We were in heaven. I won't forget that moment for the rest of my life. I won't be modest now. It was a huge sense of accomplishment!!

Final Thoughts

There were moments on the trip that I seriously doubted myself. The desert was by far the hardest part of the trip. There were times I thought if the wind started blowing in my face while we were out there we just wouldn't make it. If we got stuck out in that heat it could have been the end. I think that was me just being worried, but it was desolate out there.

There were a few things this trip definitely helped me out with. I was lying to myself when I thought I had completely grieved about my brother. I thought I had dealt with his death, but truth be told I had just pushed it away and tried not to think about it. I had not realized that before, but now I do. I spent anywhere from 6 to 10 hours a day on my butt riding on that bicycle and I had so much time to think. I thought about my brother constantly wondering what he would have wanted out of me. I thought about how life dealt him a bad hand. In the end I realized that he wouldn't want me to be angry at the world or to be sad all the time. He would just want me to be happy and to always remember him in my thoughts. I did and will always. He will continue to live through me. Whenever I saw something amazing such as a rainbow, or biking up to 10,300 feet in cloudy and rainy weather, and then once I reached the top the sun came out and I had the best view of my life, I thought about him. I honestly thought he was with me. I will always remember the good times that we had. Each day I rode, I thought about 5 different good times that we had and then wrote it down. I now have a list of 250 memories of him. I don't think I would have remembered half those things if I hadn't done this. He was my best friend and always will be. I love you Andrew.

I'm more focused. I clearly know what I want to do in this world. I want to help people in anyway I can. I used to have a more selfish attitude, I was more of a me person, and I regret that. I am so lucky for everything that I have. I have parents that love me, a family that supports me in what I do (for example this bike ride), and money was never an issue in my family. I saw so many people on this trip that had nothing. They were poor, their parents were drunks or ignored them. I saw such poverty in this country that it shocked me. The amazing thing was that these people were still so nice and generous when I talked to them. They would buy me lunch, stop on the side of the road and give me water, or let us sleep in their house or yard. It was just amazing to me. These are people that deserve a chance to succeed and I want to do anything I can to help them.

I just want to say thank you to everybody for their help and support. You have know idea how thankful I am to everyone who donated and believed in me to do this. I promise I will call everyone of you in the next few weeks and personally thank you.

I will always chase my goals and I hope you do too. This journey was life changing for me.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

the final assault

We have 130 miles to go over 2 days. We will arrive at Imperial Beach on August 2nd at 1 PM Pacific Time. We'll be right by the pier and then we will plunge into the Pacific!!

I'm not sure if I'll have sufficient internet to write in the blog tonight, so if not i'll talk after the ride is over!!

Oh and we're going to be less than a mile from the Mexican border at times in the next 130 miles. I have border patrol on my speed dial right now!!

African sand dunes

sCurrent Location: Brawley, California
Total Distance to date: 3460 miles

Well sleeping at the hotel pool failed miserably. We thought we could sleep on the roof of the pool house, but a person that was staying at the hotel saw us up there and we figured it would be good to leave and not get caught by any person of authority up there. So we head out to a park that turned out to be decent. Wyatt sleeps on the picnic table and I put up my hammock. 2 hours later these lights are flashing and a cop says, "what are you guys doing?' We're pretty out of it, but we're able to mumble the right things. He says he'll let us stay there, but he takes our licenses to make sure we don't have any warrants out for our arrests. We don't and he breaks the rules and lets us stay.

We head out to Brawley which was a 90 mile bike ride. We started at 5:30 AM, but it was just too far to make before the heat came. The worst was that for 60 miles there was absolutely nothing. There was nowhere to stop and nowhere to get any shade. About halfway through this guy pulls up about 300 feet in front of me and stops. He starts waving at me. I stop and it turns out he has all this water. At first I thought he was a mirage and I was hallucinating. The heat goes to your head. Thankfully he was real!!! It got to 115 degrees yesterday and we road right through it. I feel like if we can ride 90 miles in that kind of heat, we can do almost anything physically. The craziest part of the bike ride was that all of a sudden these sand dunes rose up. It looked like the Sahara desert in Africa. I really don't think I've seen anything like that in America before. these dunes were hundreds of feet tall and were made of white sand. It was awesome.

We got to Brawley and are staying with someone from couchsurfing. He was at work when we got here so he just left his house open for us. It was nice to take a shower and get that sunscreen off me. I'm wearing SPF 60 and I coat it on myself. I put enough on my face so that i look like a ghost.

We have some mountains to climb today and tomorrow, but it should finally cool down sometime tomorrow morning as we cross over them. Imperial Beach is coming!!