Day 37 – Asheville, NC to Spartanburg, SC
Gary Zentmyer e-mailed me and said “it’s in the bag, Don” and he’s right. This was a watershed day (good descriptor as I crossed the Eastern Continental Divide today – see picture) as we left the mountains and we now have a mostly flat 244 miles to go. We left Asheville this morning in crisp and cold weather but under sunny skies and the 4,466 ft of climbing was mostly in the first 22 miles as we climbed out of Asheville to get out of the mountains and head towards the ocean. When we took the picture of me at the top of the climb at 2,880 ft at the Eastern Continental Divide, I was almost giddy. When I got to the bottom of the 6 mile descent, I stopped in Chimney Rock for a delicious triple shot non-fat latte and friends Chrissie and Dave and Christian (my European friends who love stopping for coffee, too) joined me. There’s a picture of us there and my mood was very positive. Later, we crossed into our final state of South Carolina and you’ll see a picture of me as we’ll as one of the three amigos, Larry and Kelly Oaks and Father Bruce, the three amigos who have ridden across the country together. How exciting it was to cross the SC state line.
I think back on the past year and I’m very proud of the fact that I trained well and prepared and researched to the extent that I’ve had no physical or mechanical problems over the six weeks it has taken to get across the country. What a tremendous feeling of accomplishment to have overcome all the horrible weather and other conditions to ride with strength and confidence. Make no mistake about it. It’s harder to do this at 65 years old than at 55 or 45. But I nailed it.
Now I want to be done and get back to a “normal” life of good health and fitness and good habits. Cayce has been tremendously supportive and I know that hasn’t been easy for her. And I have to tell you that I have been moved and motivated by all of you who have been following these blogs. There is tremendous support in La Canada but well beyond La Canada, too, from my extensive loving family in Canada, to friends around the world. Amy Neilsen asked me how I find the time to blog and e-mail each day and I told her that I felt an obligation to tell to like it is for the hundreds of people following my epic challenge. I’m so honored and humbled by your interest and support!
Okay, let me post this with the fun pictures I took today. I’m going to be sending an e-mail to all of you that have pledged a per mile donation to go back to the web site and use the credit card or PayPal facility to honor your pledge. We’re doing some good, gang! thank you.