Today’s mileage: 44.4
Total mileage: 1,026
It was an exciting day. I woke up knowing that by the end of the day, I would be riding home in an actual vehicle and would get to see the people who have been rooting for us and cheering us on throughout our journey.
We got up, got our gear together, talked to Thomas and Sarah, signed the cyclist log book, and made a “1,000 miles” sign…we would be hitting our one-thousandth mile today!!
The day started off great. Our legs felt great and it wasn’t too hot. We weren’t in a hurry because we only had to ride about 43 miles. We stopped at a gas station in Dixon for lunch around 10:00. We were already hungry.
All day long, I could tell I was close to home. The fields were flat and filled with corn, the skies were a cloudless blue, and barns were scattered throughout the landscape.
I was closely watching my Strava for the 18.4 mile mark, because when we hit that we would have officially rode 1,000 miles.
One. Thousand. Miles. I don’t think I’ve rode that much if you combined all the rides I have ever been on prior to this trip. Prior to this trip, I hadn’t even rode my bike over 50 miles in one day, much less back-to-back days riding 70+ miles.
Don’t ever underestimate yourself. I am firm in my belief that if you set your mind to something you truly want, and if you find a good support system, you can make it happen.
My cousin Donnie sent me a message that I just got today (Friday). He made a sign and posted it on a pole for us to see when we passed by! I was probably too busy melting in the sun to notice, but isn’t this the greatest thing ever??
See what I mean about having a good support system? 😌💚
As we were riding through the small town of Clay, I heard someone yell, “Masherra!”
It was Thomas and Sarah! They had passed us during our hour and a half long morning lunch at the gas station in Dixon. I was excited to see them again.
I propped my bike up on the side of the gazebo and went in the restaurant to get a sweet tea. We sat in the gazebo for a while and continued our conversations from earlier. After we finished our drinks, Masherra and I pushed on. We knew we would probably see Thomas and Sarah again. And we did.
Mash and I were taking a break at the bottom of a hill, and I heard a voice. Just as I was hearing, “Good job, babe! You’re almost there,” I saw Thomas come over the top of the hill, followed by Sarah. It was clear by then that we were playing leap frog with them! 🐸
Sarah and Thomas have such great attitudes. I can tell they are really good people, and encountering their positive attitudes and cheerful spirits was so refreshing in the hot sun today.
Not too much longer later, we saw a Crittenden County sign!! We were getting so close!
Oh, and we had to get pictures with this sign too!
We came up on some workers working on this tower. They were so high up. The workers at the very top saw us and we had a full blown conversation with them about our trip. They told us their view was amazing and invited us up. Their boss was nearby, though. 😉
The rest of the day got hotter and hotter. We were making really good time all day, but the last 10 miles were brutal, only because of the heat though. There was no shade in sight, and I felt jittery from the sun and heat. Knowing that we had family and friends waiting 10 miles away kept us going.
We finally found some shade and stopped for a bit. I heard a little “bleet” in the distance….
A baby deer!
I just love animals. 🤓🤓🤓
We continued on in the heat and finally saw a Marion sign!
Just as we were arriving in town, we stopped and my good friend Brenda just so happened to be turning down the road we were on! We squealed and gave each other hugs and talked for a bit.
A few minutes later, we rounded the corner and there they were!! Our family members and my good friend Shanda were standing up ahead cheering us on! It was great!
We talked for a while, took lots of pictures, loaded up our bikes, and headed home! It felt so weird to be in a car. I felt like I was going really fast. It also felt weird leaving our route! I also caught myself wondering where Masherra was a couple of times….I mean, we have spent every waking moment together for the last 19 days!
Birch was excited!
Craig came over and we all ate some roast and talked about the trip.
It’s good to be home 🙃 Time for a whole rest day!!