Last Stop: We Make it to Arlington

Well, the true end to the journey arrived today.

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Sallie and I were able to visit my dad’s final resting spot in Arlington National Cemetery at the columbarium. This moment has been long awaited by me, especially since the beginning of the bike ride. It was my first trip back to Arlington since the funeral, over two years ago, and truthfully, I’ve been a little nervous about returning.

Sallie- I can’t thank you enough for making the trip to DC with me. It meant the world having you come to Arlington and be there for a hard moment for me. Love you, mean it.

Mom- Ill never be able to thank you enough for the unending support you’ve shown to me. I appreciate you flying up to Arlington—more than you know.

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Aunt Karen and Uncle Mel- Thank you for everything. I appreciate y’all being there today as well. Will never forget that.

Everything has been feeling pretty surreal lately–being finished with all of the riding, wrapping my mind around the fact that we received SO much support and raised over $23,000 for MS, and realizing that normal daily life routine is about to set in/I won’t be with my best friend every single day….

But, today–it all set in. It became real. Visiting my dad really gave me closure to the trip. He is the whole reason I began the ride; it ended up being so much more than I could have ever imagined. I really believe my dad gave me the strength to accomplish this task that I doubted, many times, that I could complete.

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The small flag I left at my dad’s grave made it the whole 3,000 miles across the country—attached with duct tape to the back of my bike. It’s been through a lot. Also, we left 2 red roses–dad’s favorite!

My effort to fight to find a cure for MS won’t stop here—it is still so important to get the awareness out there so we can find a cure to this awful disease.

One last time—thanks to each and everyone of you for support and encouragement throughout this adventure. Thank you for reading the blog, donating to MS, donating to our expenses, praying for our safe travels—if you are reading this, you have had a positive impact on our team in some way!

We are living proof that you truly can do anything you put your mind to—-go out there, do it!

You only live once. Make it count. ;)

Click Here to Watch Video!

Click Here to Watch Video!

Thanks to our buddy, David Olsen, you can view the video of us reaching the water, if you so please!

 

 

Day 63: TO THE EAST COAST!!!

Our last day!!

We wake up to wonderful smells on the septic field. I was up around 6, surprisingly. Went in to the gas station, and what do you know, I was welcomed by Mr. Henry himself!!! (Refer to yesterday’s posting to find out who he is). What a cute man. He told me that we were welcome to help ourself to anything on the hot breakfast bar and to coffee! Wow, what a nice morning! There were about 50 hunters there loading up on breakfast too…Great gas station breakfast! Corned beef hash, grits, biscuits, chicken, etc…mmmm mmmm mmmm

Here is Mr. Henry and myself. So glad I got to see him this morning! Ah! Is he not the cutest??

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Hit the road, for our last time of our cross country adventure! Felt really weird.

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Had an easy 45 mile ride to get to the coast. Were met by two of Sallie’s family’s friends, Jack Thames and Greg Buck to ride the remainder with us! So nice of y’all to escort us in!

Crossed a huge bridge to get from Charleston to the coast.

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And…..we reach the beautiful Atlantic Ocean. Can’t quite explain the emotion I felt when I saw the water. Excitement, relief, sadness that’s its over, a sense of accomplishment—but it’s all so surreal at the same time…is it really over???

Sallie’s parents, MK, David, and some other friends were there to greet us. How wonderful! So many signs too!! Thank y’all so much.

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We then came back to the Marchant’s and had great BBQ lunch and some celebratory drinks. Thank you, Mr. And Mrs. Marchant!!

We really can’t believe it’s over. It’s been a wonderful 63 days!!! 63 days we will never forget.

I have enjoyed doing this blog—hope you’ve enjoyed reading it.

Will post several more things to summarize some things over the next few days—and for sure when Sallie and I make it to Arlington to visit my dads resting spot…

Until then, take care and bless all of y’all

Day 62: Columbia, SC to ?, SC

Today, we surpassed our fundraising goal of $20,000!!! Thank you to everyone for your contribution to our cause. We can’t believe we reached it! Our first goal was $5,000!

This morning, a reporter from WLTX Columbia News station came to interview us before we hit the road. Click HERE to view it!! Thank you, WLTX!

Had a long, 87 mile ride today. Biked over the Congaree River to get out of Columbia!
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Some long rolling hills for our first 45 miles outside of Columbia. If you were in a car, you probably wouldn’t notice them–but on a bike, you feel all the inclines!

After lunch, the road was completely flat the rest of the day. That was nice, but we still had head wind, so it wasn't as easy/enjoyable as it could've been. We all got somewhat bored too…cotton field after cotton field, and nothing but road ahead. Just anxious to see that ocean!!!

South Carolina has been so pretty though! So much green! Lots of thick woods of pine trees. Even though the scenery got boring today, the cotton fields were aesthetically pleasing to the eyes!

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As the sun was setting earlier than we suspected, we pulled off at an “El Cheapo” gas station to get some water and look up where the closest church was where we could go camp. Just so happens that it was too far to bike there before dark.

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Sallie and I talked to the owner, Mr. Henry, about us camping in the grass out back. Henry was one of the cutest old men I’ve ever met. If you know me, you know I have a soft spot in my heart for old people—I would love to sit and drink some coffee with this old man.

So, we are camped out back, (unfortunately our camp spot seconds as a septic field), but that’s alright, we are hopping in the ocean tomorrow anyways.

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44 more miles!

Day 61: Day off in Columbia, SC

Had a nice day off in Columbia. It can pretty much be summed up in two words: food and rest. It was perfect.

Woke up and went to Chick-fil-a for breakfast—what an amazing way to start the day.

Then we relaxed, watched the Today Show, showered, relaxed and relaxed.

We met Sallie’s sweet Grandmother, her two aunts, and her brother for lunch down at Five Points. Sallie’s grandmother treated us to a wonderful lunch–Thank you so much! It was such a pleasure to meet y’all!!!

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Here is a food picture—I love food, and I love pictures of my food—I wish I took more. Great pumpernickel /chicken sandwich.

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We walked around 5 points, looked in a few shops, and grabbed terrific coffee and a cookie at “The Drip” coffee shop. Really cool place.

Relaxed the rest of the afternoon outside in the yard—playing with Ryan’s sweet dog, Delilah.

Time to eat again, so, we met up with Friends at Hooligan’s. Ate an awesome Gyro. (Well, I had 2) ;)

Excited to get a good nights rest and get back on the saddle for our SECOND TO LAST DAY of riding.

What a weird feeling.

FOX17 Interview!

Here is the link to the video! Thank you Fox 17, Nashville!

Click Here!!

Day 60: McCormick, SC to Columbia, SC

Long, 82 miles to Columbia, SC!

Not a very eventful ride—managed to block out a lot of the riding which helped because my legs were so tired!!

Some long hills, cool air, and headwind.

Crossed the river and rode up a veryyyyy steep hill to Columbia.

Had a really fun evening with a lot of Sallie’s friends! Ate Mexican food, grabbed some beers at the Salty Nut, and then played some pool!

The crew at dinner:

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Mary Kathryn!! Sallie’s long time friend, and my good friend I met in Jackson Hole!

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Some of Sallie’s best friends! Glad to meet all of y’all finally!

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Jackson Hole Buds!

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Taking the day off, and then just 125 more miles…AHHHH

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