Friday, October 27, 2006

Only Miles from the Finish Line

Well I hope this entry isn't anti climatic. As I write this entry, I am exactly 27 miles from my last stop of my trip, Astoria, OR. I'm sitting at Fultano's pizzeria in Cannon Beach enjoying some free wireless internet. I had a gigantic salad for lunch, and a slice of pizza. I think this is the town where Spielberg shot those scenes in the Goonies where the pirate ship comes floating out past those big rocks in the ocean. I've been having Goonies flashbacks all morning. God must want me to end this trip on a highnote because it's sunny and in the '60's today. I slept at a state park in Manzanita last night and had an entire peninsula totally to myself where I could contemplate the fact that I had pedaled my way from one ocean to the other.

In about five minutes I'm going to walk over to the beach and ask someone to take my picture dipping my front tire in the Pacific Ocean, officialy marking the completion of my coast to coast epic adventure.

I couldn't be happier. And there are so many things that I haven't had the time to share. I'm not even going to try right now. I'll be posting several more entries since I'll be able to relax before I fly out on Monday.

I've been hestitant to say this out loud, but I think I've just lived my first book. I think that the living it was the easy part, and the writing it is going to be even more challenging....maybe downright arduous....but after giving it some thought these last few weeks, I've realized that there is a story to tell. Even without me as a reluctant protagonist, the stories of the people I've encountered along the way are just too remarkable....and even fit together in an odd sort of way. It should be a lot of fun practicing this art of storytelling. I don't expect it to come easily or to do the stories justice, but it's worth a try.

There are literally hundreds of people that I've spent time with that I've never mentioned here. The reason for that is that I haven't had the time to give them justice so I haven't attempted to throw something shoddy up there. If you are one of the people I spent time're just going to have to wait and see if I actually finish this book to see how badly I butcher your story. If you want to know how inaccurate I can be, just call one of the people I have written about and I'm sure they'll tell you. But it's too late now. You can't take back the time you spent with me. (Insert evil menacing laughter ala Dr. Evil).

OK. Time to go.

Here's one picture I promised to get on the web. It's the kids at the Center for Appropriate Transport. I forgot to mention that Jan runs an alternative school where he teaches kids how to be bicycle engineers, as well as newspaper writers and editors, podcast producers, gardeners, and a host of other "hands on" skills.It was one of the more memorable stops, and one of the few where I was able to spend time with some promising youth.


  • 10/27/2006 10:53 PM Autumn Daily wrote:
    I am moved by you. I want to send my warm congratulations on the completion of a victorious chapter in your life. I am very proud of you. We all are. And...preservationists, conservationists, farmers, ranchers, naturalists, and just the simple people all thank you for going across this nation in support of your nobel cause. Bless you!

  • 10/28/2006 7:14 AM Glad wrote:
    Oh my! How happy I am to hear you've accomplished your trek... and we'll welcome you back home to North Georgia... you're life will be forever changed and you'll inspire us as well. Hugs and kisses!!!

  • 10/30/2006 4:00 PM vicki pense wrote:
    GREAT JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You made it - that is so fantastic. Can't wait to read the book!

  • 10/31/2006 7:48 AM Rebekah wrote:
    In a way, I feel like I was on the bike ride with you all these months. In a way, it is kind of disappointing that it is over. I enjoyed reading your travel blog and viewing the places you visited and the people you met along the way. I was living through you. I hope to meet you in the future and look forward to reading your book! You inspire me to push through to achieve my goals. Congratulations, Justin! I'm proud!

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