Today we rode a somewhat short “victory” ride of about 50 miles from Manchester to the Atlantic Ocean at Wallis Beach in Rye, New Hampshire. The route was very much like yesterday, passing through pretty countryside, including the village of Exeter. There was no time pressure, as we left at 6:30 am and were scheduled to regroup at Rye Junior High School at 11:30am, merely 50 miles away. We rode slowly, and lingered at a coffee shop in Exeter, as everybody’s savored the final moments together as a group.
The Rye police department provided an escort for the final 3 miles from the school to the beach, which allowed us all to ride in a big group and take over the lanes of traffic. Seeing the Atlantic brought the first tears to my eyes, and when we rounded the corner into the beach I was shocked to see not only Carlos, but my brother Joseph and his wife, Dorothea, their grandson, Jayden, as well as my sister Natalie and John, my brother in law. It was awesome and emotional to have such a welcoming crowd at the beach!
We did the “wheel thing,” i.e. dip the front wheel into the Atlantic to complete the journey which began with dipping the rear wheel into the Pacific in Astoria. We also poured a water bottle of the Pacific Ocean that had been carried with us into the Atlantic. All kind of corny, but of course I loved every minute of it.
Some people departed from the beach with family members who were there to greet them. Some will stay overnight (like me) in Portsmouth. But we are finished riding as a group…
…I am heading to Maine tomorrow to meet with Mainers United for Marriage, completing my two “tack-on” states of Washington (at the beginning) and Maine at the end to hopefully add a boost for those working in those states to win marriage equality this November. I will probably have a wrap up blogpost (or two) on all that for final reflections on the trip.