The last day of?The Ride.
It was a bit of a cliche, but I took my time as I wanted to savor, to relish the last few hours.
Thursday night, October 22, the hotel where I stayed ran a shuttle to downtown Savannah. ?I thought I’d go take a look.
Friday morning arrived and for the 45th and final time I loaded up the bike, checked the air in the tires, filled my water bottles, and got on the road towards the Atlantic Ocean.
I’d not exactly forgotten, but it wasn’t in the forefront of my mind about Savannah being a huge international cargo port. ?Most of my trip out of Garden City I had to deal with miles of semi-trucks:
Not too far away from the main terminal I detected the smell of a paper mill:
Finally, some place for all those log trucks to go!
Crossing over the Savannah River brought me into South Carolina.
— ca2sc (@ca2scbybike) October 23, 2015
First sign I was greeted with in SC:
Then there were multiple “Big Brother” signs. ?If you litter, we’ll take all your money and put you in prison. ?If you don’t turn your lights on when it’s raining . . . we’ll take all your money and put you in prison. ?If you play rap music on your car radio . . . we’ll make you mayor of some small town. ?It was a mile or so of warnings until you finally got a sign that said, “Oh, yeah, we’re glad you’re here. ?Now go back to where you came from. ?We don’t want your kind here.”
My good friend Glenn had tried to make it to the finish line to witness the end of the ride. ?Unfortunately, it didn’t work for timing purposes. ?But his daughter lives near Hilton Head and she was going to greet and wave.
That’s me going past her car . . . without any idea who she is. ?Glenn had mentioned she was going to be “on a bridge.” ?When I passed this point, I wasn’t anywhere near a bridge. ?All I saw was a pretty lady in a car taking some pictures. ?That had happened a few times before so I didn’t think much about it . . . until about a mile or so down the road. ?That’s when the thought occurred to me, “Huh. ?Wonder if that was Glenn’s daughter?”
Not long after I stopped for lunch. ?I called Glenn. ?Yep, he assured me, it was her. ?He?thought she was going to have a sign or something so I could identify her. ?She?was focused on getting pictures so she forgot the sign.?I?felt like an idiot for just scooting past with nothing more than a wave. ?I asked Glenn to pass along to her my apologies. ?I was stopping for lunch and would be delighted if she would join me.
When I was stationed in Detroit back in the 70s, there was a restaurant called the Squat and Gobble. I loved the name, but never made it to the place. ?Imagine how tickled I was at seeing this place on the side of the road:
Glenn reached his daughter, and she and her son joined me. ?(Where I apologized in person for just flying past her.)
My hotel was on the way to the Atlantic Ocean. ?I stopped there to drop off my panniers. ?Figured I’d have an easier time maneuvering on a sandy beach without 30 pounds of gear. ?I checked with the host at the hotel to get directions to the?nearest?public beach.
Crossed over the bridge onto Hilton Head Island:
and found my way to the beach.
I’d charged up my GoPro clone just so I could record the final mile or so. ?It didn’t work out that way. I never even turned it on. I got pretty distracted.
In reaching the beach I had to dismount and walk the bike to the water. ?On the way, I encountered this pretty lady who, as I walked by, greeted me with, “I should bring my bike to the beach and ride.”
I told what I was minutes (seconds?) away from completing. ?Told her I needed a photographer. ?Asked her if she’d like to volunteer. ?This excited her greatly. ?She called over her husband, her friend, her friend’s husband and I got to tell an abbreviated “here’s why I have to put my bicycle into the ocean” story.
The most amazing coincidence? ?This lady and her family live in?Dublin?Ohio . . . all of about 10 miles from where I live in Columbus.
At 3PM on Friday, October 23, 2015, I dunked my front bicycle tire in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
And just like that . . .?The Ride?was over.
I’ll have some posts about arriving home and stats and other stuff later.