Saturday, August 2, 2008

San Francisco....We Made It!

It's been 5 days since we reached San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge. I'm in San Antonio, Texas at Sam's house and we fly back to Connecticut tomorrow morning. It's been a busy 5 days and I haven't had a chance to sit down to update my blog until now. I still don't have sufficient time to sit, reflect, and write about the entire experience and reaching our final destination.

Day 51 took us through the capital city of California, Sacramento, where we followed a bike path for about 45-50 miles. We spent the night in Davis California which is considered one of the most bike friendly cities in America. Every main road in Davis has a bike lane. We had a bit of a scare on day 51 as I took a small spill on my bike as we rode through an area where there was some construction on the road. However, the fall didn't slow us down and we were back and riding in 5 minutes.

Day 52 took us from Davis to San Francisco. We woke up at 5am to get a good start on the day. We had to ride 70 miles to Vallejo where we hopped on a pedestrian ferry that took us across the San Francisco Bay to the city. The ferry ride was about an hour long and provided us with a great view of Alcatraz Island, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the entire city of San Francisco. The ferry ride was one of the highlights of the day. The ferry ride was such an adrenaline rush - seeing the San Francisco landmarks triggered something inside of me, it finally started to sink in that I just biked across the entire country with Sam and Bob in a little over 7 weeks!
We exited the ferry and had a 6.5 mile ride to the Golden Gate Bridge and the beach where we eventually dipped our front tires into the San Francisco Bay. We reached the foot of the Golden Gate at about 4pm and stayed in the area until about 6:30pm. We celebrated, took a lot of pictures, and sat around to take in all the sights. We had to wait an hour or so for the support crew to catch up with us. The truck got towed while Mr & Mrs. Mangum and Andrea waited for us to get off of the ferry. They had to retrieve the truck and then catch up with us at the bridge and after a few wrong turns, they finally made it! San Francisco had a strong, cool breeze and we were pretty cold and tired by 6:30pm. We found a hotel nearby, showered, and grabbed some dinner at a local steak and seafood restaurant.

The next day felt so strange not having to get up and ride my bike. I missed it. The day felt more like a day off than anything. In the afternoon, we went back to the Golden Gate Bridge and walked to the middle amongst all of the other tourists, took some pictures, and then headed out of the city.

Five days later, it is still hard for me to wrap my brain around the entire experience. I am so thankful I got to experience the ride with Sam and Bob - they made every day a memorable one. I am also thankful for the help of our entire support crew, Sharon, Jesse, The Smiths, Mr. Mangum, Mrs. Mangum, and Andrea. Thanks to all of you for helping us achieve our goal of reaching the west coast and for helping our team raise awareness and money for the Living Waters Orphanage. It was a trip of a lifetime!

I can't wait for my next bike trip!