Day 67: The Penultimate Ride!
Having learned my lesson the day prior, I planned to leave the trailer park the way I should have initially come in. It helped that I would have a guide to get me out of the forest as Marese planned to join me at the start of my ride. Marese was interested in touring the US in a year or two, so it made for easy conversation as I gave a rundown of my set-up. But before I left, I said goodbye to many of those in the camp. I cannot emphasize enough what a fantastic conclusion to my Warmshowers hosts Marese and Mark were.
As I write this, Marese has just now set off on her own coast to coast tour! I hope whatever advice I gave has helped her plan and execute her trip safely. She is taking the southern route across the USA, which is the shortest route. Texas alone takes up half of the total mileage, which always amazes me. It was the route I was considering doing until I realized that going further south in the summer was probably a poor decision.
While I could have made it all the way to Province Town (my final destination) today, I decided to break it into two days so I could arrive earlier in the day and spend more time with my family who had flown out to Boston to meet me. It would also allow me to link up with Claudia before she continued all the way up to Montreal.
The ride out of the camp was so much easier than in, it was amazing. Marese got me out of the forest, but then we had to say goodbye and I took off on my penultimate ride of the coast to coast!
My hotel for the night was paid for by my aunt, Peggy, so I had a short 50ish miles to ride and then I would have another short 50ish miles the next day.
My route would take me along the water’s edge and on pleasant roads and paths until I had to cross the bridge to get onto the cape. After that, I was forced onto a highway that didn’t have a great shoulder and was incredibly busy with people heading out to the cape on vacation. I stayed on the highway for as long as I could, but when the option to take a frontage road presented itself, I quickly chose it over the rush of cars on the highway.
Unfortunately, good things can’t last forever (or even very long) as after just a couple miles I was forced onto another highway. This one was only slightly better than the first when it came to traffic and there was still little shoulder to speak of. But this gave me the motivation to pedal hard and keep the pace up.
Because of all the cars, the only photos I have of the area are when I stopped for some donuts... With my distances shrinking, and my daily riding soon coming to an end, the unlimited baked goods lifestyle would soon have to change as well... Better to eat all the baked goods I could while I had an excuse. That being said, I felt great after being able to rest well the previous night and I was excited to be so close to the end.
There are some people, like Rob, who never want to get off their bikes and are constantly on tour. However, I always feel like I am on the verge of a great accomplishment as I near the end of the journey. I just want to complete it and rest and feel good about myself. So even with all the cars and traffic, I was in good spirits and was itching to get to my destination and final night on the road.
I was lucky because I was riding this segment on a Sunday. Much of the traffic was heading the other direction, but it was still incredibly busy. I had ridden far worse roads on my trip, but it’s never especially fun to have loud cars around you and it’s worse when you smell them. I was happy when I arrived at my destination for the night, Oceanside Motel.
Claudia had gotten their first, but not by long. She had to call me from the check-in so I could tell the woman at the front desk that it was okay she got the room keys. That meant once I arrived, I just rolled into the hotel room and took all my biking bags off without having to deal with anything else, which was nice.
It was also great to see Claudia again! Because it was a shorter day for both of us, we decided to get some drinks and then head to the beach to relax. I have been desperate to once again find some hard cider that was as good as what we bought on the cape, and I have been entirely unsuccessful. But with a day as beautiful as this, maybe it just made the cider taste better than normal.
We spent several hours on the beach either swimming or relaxing in the sun until I got a call from my aunt. She said that she was going to order us both pizza to our hotel and to choose any pizza we wanted. It was a great final evening, and when we eventually went back to the hotel, we had some delicious pizza. Thanks, Aunt Peggy!
I had wanted to go to School House Ice Cream (an ice cream shop I heard had huge portions) but it was a little out of the way of my planned route. Instead, we went to an ice cream place next to a mini golf course across the street. They probably had equivalently sized ice cream to School House...
The forecast for tomorrow morning was rain, so with that in mind, we eventually headed back to our hotel and got some rest in case we had to do a wet ride the next day.