78 Miles Remain

June 23, 2011 Thursday

This morning I woke up to the crowing of a rooster, only minutes before my cell phone alarm went off. That’s not something I ever thought I’d be fortunate enough to experience.

My new friends, Rick and Kim, let me pitch my tent on their little farm last night and I got a wonderful night’s sleep. I had met them while chugging my way up Cooper’s Mountain and they offered me a cold bottle of water. Haha, how could I say no? We started talking about my trip and, before long, I was allowed to make camp on their property and enjoy an evening of funny stories about Emu’s over a dinner so delicious my mouth waters still thinking about it.

Saying our goodbyes this morning, I parted ways with great people. I commenced in polishing off what may be the last of the Appalachian Mountains on my way to D.C. This mountain range has been FAR more difficult than crossing the Rocky Mountains. They are as relentless as they are old. While climbing them, my legs burn like no other physical trial I have experienced before, except for the occasion I biked up Wolf Creek Pass in Colorado. However, if someone were to ask me which section of my journey I would most like to repeat, the Appalachian Mountains would be the winner. Despite the difficulty, the reward for cresting each mountain I climb and then coasting down a 9% grade for a few miles down the opposite side is unique. Rounding corners at 35-45 mph is AWESOME. So AWESOME.

I’m going to D.C. today. I’m going to finish this monster journey with a grand 100 miler today and then grab a hookah with my old friend Akin.

I feel like my heart is going to rip out of my chest. I can’t believe I’m so close. When I finally roll onto the green grass of the National Mall, I will not shout or scream. I will set my bike down and touch my forehead to the earth in reflection, as if after a Kosho Ryu Kempo belt test, and stay for a few minutes until I can see the entirety of my journey at once. If I’m lucky, I will see the lessons it has taught me. I’ll look totally weird doing this, but, it is important not to put this journey behind me too quickly.

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Comments
6 Responses to “78 Miles Remain”
  1. Ricky & Kim Ramey says:

    It was so wonderful meeting you – we truly feel blessed to have been able to spend the evening with you and hear your stories 🙂 Thank you for sharing your passion for life and adventure with us – you made us both want to explore more of our amazing country. I will pray for your continued safety for the rest of your trip. Anytime, you want to come back and visit – you’re always welcome. Take care and God bless you, Nick.

    • driadia says:

      You guys are among the coolest people I met on this journey. It’s true what the Hari Krishnas said, Ricky has a great aura, man, as do you! Those laughs we shared really helped me across those last hills. Thanks guys!

    • Nicholas Mom says:

      Thank to all the True AMERICANS – who still believe !
      Thank you for being a good friend + standing by my Great son !

      Tuff times dont last – but tuff people do –

      This Country has seen some bad times….but little efforts like this is ‘
      THE STUFF THAT KEEPS AMERICA GOING- !

      THE FEW – THE PROUD ~ WE ARE THE AMERICANS- WHO STILL STAND STRONG-

      Thanks so much for being Great people Everyone !

      GOD BLESS YOU ALL !
      love , Nicholas’ mom ,Lois

      I have happy tears of joy ~

  2. chris says:

    Dude you are the man. Like forest gump

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