This is a picture of my route, 3545km on 2 months. Would I do it again? oh YES!
1st SeptemberI should start by saying that I am all right. It has been a long trip to Boston, some people say it is healthy to be bored, but with the amount of waiting I have been doing, I don’t really think i agree.
After getting off the plane I did some more waiting, trying to get through customs, passport check etc. At 10 pm, I finally reached my host Michael. He has been a real friend and has helped me start with the new life as an American. What better way to celebrate than with ice cream, homemade coffee / coconut – what a treat just before bedtime!
2nd SeptemberI went for a walk around the neighbourhood (Cambridge) to get an idea of where I was – I would say that it looks like Sweden. There are so many houses with wooden facades; it looks absolutely marvellous. The day went quietly and calmly, I had set up my tent on top of Michael’s garage, so I could spray the tent with waterproof spray.
Following, I was introduced to one of Michael’s hobbies. I don’t remember what he called it, but it is comparable with apple vinegar, however, this was made of green tea. The process goes like this; you have to ferment it for a month and the fermentation process is special because there may not be formed alcohol. This drink (perhaps called the chambucho, not exactly sure) is made by pouring some of the fermented juice in a glass and adding water.
Later that day I went on my first bike ride (borrowed it from Michael), which led us to the area called Summerville. At Davis Square, we had the most delicious falafel I have ever tasted! The shop was called nothing less than Amsterdam Falafel. After dinner, I was then introduced to the typical American candy or video evening sweets. Everything is in small boxes the size of 200g chocolate bar. So we grabbed 2 candy boxes and rented “The revenant”, yes you read correctly: rented. Not Popcorn Time or Netflix, it is much cheaper and legal to rent a movie (7kr). This is how my first real day in the US ended.
3rd SeptemberToday is the day where I’m getting my bike!!!! We found a rather beautiful bike on Craigslist perfect for my size, it just needs some luggage gear and then it is perfect. Only a few hours later we got on the bus to Watertown where we met with Will (old war veteran who is really hard to get to stop talking). It is probably the most comfortable bike I have sat on. It was without hesitation I gave Will the money and we biked along the water, which is super nice, and through lots of parks. If you have ever seen the American film where they celebrate either a birthday, yoga or a Chinese sport in a public park, it’s true, so it is here in Boston. After cycling 15 km, we got to the centre of Boston where all the food trucks were. My favourite was of course a food truck called cookie Monstah (-ah is Boston dialect) probably one of the best cookies I’ve eaten! After cookies, we cycled to the Boston fire department where we just managed to talk to them before they got a call and had to leave. At lunchtime, we decided to go to the north side and eat the best sandwiches I’ve ever tasted. After lunch, we walked over to the bike shop to get parts for my bike. When we returned home, we grabbed a cold, home brewed lemonade ginger beer and went out to tune my bike. After fixing it up, Michael placed 2 weights on it so I could get used to the weight of my luggage weight when cycling. We then got on our bikes to go shopping. After a long trip out shopping in different supermarkets, we reached home and started to prepare a delicious lobster. I also pitched my tent so I could begin sleeping in it, I went glamping (glamorous camping) as Michael called it!
September 4th I woke up a little too early. A great night in the tent, which was inaugurated with a lobster feast yesterday evening. It’s Sunday and that means church, so Michael took me to the church he always attends to It was great!!! An athletics hall is redecorated / built every Sunday to something resembling a concert scene!! And while we came in (they had started, as we came a little late) they started with the coolest gospel, not polyphonic but a congregation of 300 YOUNG people who the song in their body, creating a great sound! It was followed by a good sermon and finally my favourite gospel song “Jesus at the centre” #Emmaus The rest of the day was spent cycling around in Boston, seeing some of the known markets. Michael also found just ALL the steep hills in Boston, which I cycled up and down so that I can get in the best shape! At 5 pm, we got ready to go to one of his friends who held a barbecue, my first real American barbecue party!! On the way there, just before we arrived, the sweetest maybe 1-year-old dog ran around without an owner. So we took a quick decision to take Elis with us to the BBQ where it was safe to contact the police; they said that we should just keep the dog and that they would contact us if someone reported it missing. STRANGE! So we and the dog were super popular at the party, and the dog was super happy. After some time and a walk in the area and the area’s park, the owner was found, so no worries! What a day.
September 5th First, let me say congratulations to my best friend Sif whose birthday it is today!And indeed it is Michael’s on September 9th so I have thrown myself into the world of American cooking with ounces, cups, dozen and many stranger ways to find the amount of something in order to make some cupcakes! “A dozen cupcakes” Yep, my first American cupcakes with crème cheese frosting and caramel!! I really got used to all the calculations are differences in this country! I was actually meant to have been on the first stage of my very own bike race today. However, when they promised a lot of rain and very strong winds, neither I nor Michael thought that it was a good idea to start my tour today, so I’ll just start tomorrow.Today has been quite quiet; mostly just getting ready to depart tomorrow! It gave me the chance to get a photo with Michael’s car Velma.
September 6th At 7 am and I woke up to get ready for the ride! At 7:30, I was out on the road with my bike, ready for this adventure! The sky was grey and the rain sprinkled lightly outside. I cycled through some cool neighbourhoods, however, it did not take more than an hour for my rear tire to get completely flat. I got as far as Newton and outside stood a man, having his morning smoke. He did not know just quite where there was a bicycle mechanic so I pulled my bike, hoping to find someone who could help. After two minutes, the same man came hurrying in his car and had Googled where the nearest bike shop was and offered to throw my bike into the car and drive me there. After a few minutes of conversation, I was sure he was all right. He was a baker and would you know, I came safely to a bicycle dealer, who unfortunately didn’t open until 10, so I could appropriately enjoy my morning coffee on McD. At 10 I went to Laundry’s bicycles, they were incredibly sweet and extremely interested in my trip, and 10 minutes later, I had gotten my hose and tires changed for free! So now I could bike happily on. I passed a lot of super nice houses and small cities and at 5 pm I arrived at Aurelian and Marie Laure who let me stay for a night. They are a really nice couple, super cute, with a business as cheese makers! Their cheese tasted great! After an evening of chatting and socializing, I’m ready for my bed!
On September 7th 2nd stage started well, no rain! Aurelian and his wife were super sweet and had made a packed lunch for me so I could stay alive on the roads. This was probably the worst day! I have not been on the bike much because of all the mountains, not hills but mountains, but I made it!When I was close to the family home, Byram said that his mother Peggy would come and pick me up at the main street, because she thought it was too dangerous for me to ride the last 3 km up a hill close to them while it was rush hour. They are so sweet and have a great house, and as it was only 3:30 pm there was plenty of time to make the cake and why not a traditional Danish birthday cake !! Here is a fun fact her sister dated Tom Cruise in high school, then you know that reached the American country!
8th September Peggy and I ran through Hartford to walk the farming heritage trail that goes down to New Heaven. By Pleasantville she had to turn around to get back in time for work. However, it was not long before a really sweet man began to walk with me, I never got his name but talking with him made the time go super-fast. It was not planned for him to go all the way to New Heaven but he wanted to get me safely through the city so I could get safely off to Milford, where I needed to be with Mike and Lynne. He also gave me just something extra for my tires, for if they got a scratch. Before I reached Mike and Lynne I reached the water, wow it’s beautiful! Mike had made spaghetti and we ended up talking all evening.
9th SeptemberIn the morning of the 9th I woke up, nice and easy at 10 am ready to enjoy a day of sun, ocean and the fact that this day won’t be on a bike (almost). Mike and Lynne let me stay an extra night so I could get a day’s rest. This gave me time to clean my bike nicely and tighten anything that was loose. After the check up, I packed my bag and biked to the beach! I thought you might want to see the beautiful shorts I was/am wearing.At 2:30 pm I went to meet Lynne at her work, as an electrical engineer (so cool!); so that I could get a ride with her to see the soccer game, she was going to judge (or attend as a referee). After the game, she took me to New Heaven to get pastries at the best Italian pastry shop! And for dinner I got America’s best pizza from Sally’s on Wood St. In the evening, Mike and I studied the map and route for me to go tomorrow, and we mounted two great lights on my bike! (Thank you so much!)
September 10th Today was the craziest and longest bike ride! Crazy, as in super-hot! I left at 7 am and started my ride, hardly any hills, just nice and flat with the view of the ocean. At 10 am, I found a McD and got my morning coffee and a chat on skype with the family (great). At 12, I was almost halfway, I felt so happy and was smiling while riding my bike, and out of nowhere paradise was shining on my left hand side!! A junk yard full of beetles. Unfortunately they were closed, so I could not get a chat with the mechanics. At 5 pm, I arrived at Robert and Theresa’s place in Brooklyn, sweaty and out of energy! So Robert made me my first peanut butter sandwich before going to a barbeque at a friend’s house! Are you keeping track? This is the third state I have entered!
11th September what a way to start the adventure of NYC, Memorial Day 9-11, 15 years ago! Woke up at 9, had a lovely breakfast before Zoe, Robert and Theresa’s daughter, had to attend her swimming class. That girl has so much energy in the morning, it is amazing!! There is so much to see, so I decided to take the free Staten Island ferry to get a little closer to lady liberty! Then a free museum tour, the trinity church with a great free concert and a walk down Broadway and Wall Street. New York is an interesting city with many different cultures and different people. I also managed to do China town, SoHo, NoHo, little Italy and the Empire State Building!! At 6 pm, I returned to Brooklyn for what was going to be a really great dinner.
12th September Rise and shine, it is morning and I have yet another day in NYC!!! Yesterday was downtown, today being World Trade Centre and Manhattan, Harlem and anything else I can manage to do!Yesterday I got my first American peanut butter sandwich and today I got real gluten free American pancakes with maple syrup and blueberries!!! Of course made by Zoe (and Theresa). That is how all days should start! Next, I got on the train heading to Harlem, and headed straight from there to Central Park! The walk took me about 3 hours before I was through, what a park! It is beautiful, great walking paths, nice lakes and very quiet. At the end of the east side of the park, I continued down 5th Ave to the Rockefeller Centre and the Grand Central Station. What a beautiful building on the inside. Next was Time Square, Broadway and the jazz club Birdland. It was nice with the big screens and the lights, however, having been in Vegas kind of takes the shine away from the New York big screens and lights. On my way back to Brooklyn, I stumbled upon the home of the show Cake Boss! I have to see if I can get an internship there!!! It was so great, the cakes were beautiful and I could watch them butter the cakes!!! Just before getting on the train, I walked past the US post office and Madison Square Garden. All the buildings are just incredibly large!! It is crazy.
13th September The last day in New York!! I had almost seen everything; there were just a few left to be done today! New York university, Washington garden, West Village, the World Trade Centre and the Brooklyn Bridge!!! I made it in 5 hours!!! I had to be done by 3 pm as I had a very important appointment with Zoe!!! Today we were going to bake!! We made The Danish cake and Theresa’s delicious peanut butter cookies!! They were amazing!! We finished off the evening with dinner in the garden! This family has been so considerate, kind, helpful and open!! I feel so lucky that I have now met five great hosts that have made my trip so fantastic!!
14th September It was sad to leave the Brooklyn family; I really loved every second of their company!I started my ride by cycling to the World Trade Centre where the ferry to New Jersey was. New Jersey is my 4th state!!! (But who is counting?) Today was very hard, as the sun was so hot and there was not a single breeze… 32 degrees Celsius,I biked through so many nice parks, they were beautiful, nice and green, no litter, lots of water and shade – time to enjoy my PB&J sandwich and Theresa’s cookies!! Just before getting to New Brunswick I got to another nice paved trail, unfortunately it only was 5-7 miles. It was a nice day of cycling but I got lost so many times…. I arrived at the Kimmel’s house at 3 pm all sweaty and ready for a shower!And guess what was in the menu?????!SPAGHETTI!!!!!After dinner, Paul got us ice cream and played the piano!! What an evening!
15th September I am now through 1/5 of the distance!!!Probably the best ride I have had! Super beautiful and lovely cycling possibilities, as in no cars! Jane and Paul were lovely hosts and send me off with a bagel which I enjoyed at a wonderful spot by the water, just before Princeton. Cycling through Princeton was incredible. What a lovely little town, so beautiful, so clean and full of small adorable shops! At Trenton (half way) I crossed the river, now I am in Pennsylvania!! My 5th state!!!! After a long day’s ride I got to my friend Lulu’s house in Philly!! We decided to go to the store to get dinner, however, I quickly found the cake department!! It was amazing!!! We were talking, eating and baking all night and totally forgot to take pictures, sorry! Not a pretty cake, but super tasty!! Another recipe I can add to my book!
16th September A day in Philly! Which meant sleeping past 9 am!! It was great. As my friend Lulu had to work, I had the day to myself, starting with doing laundry. Lulu had given me a list of things I should go and see in Philly, so I did! When Lulu returned from work at 6 pm we made dinner, lovely pulled pork with sides. I had made Danish “flødeboller” with a strawberry inside!! What a meal! What an evening! We had 4 years of catching up to do in one evening!
17th September The cycling today was great!!! I leave at 9 am and have only been biking 1.5 hours, ready to have my usual morning coffee, as I suddenly pass a guy with a chequered flag. Looking to my right I see a great car show with classic cars!! My heart melts! so I go in to look around and grab my coffee there, while talking to all the guys about engines, cars etc. Suddenly the pastor of the town finds me and asks if he can do an interview (the pastor was the one in charge), so I did an interview and got back on my bike an hour later. Shortly after leaving the show, I enter Delaware!!! My 6th state!! I arrived at Pat’s house around 4 pm. After talking, unpacking and taking a shower, Pat asks me what I would like to do? It was still light out. “Would you like to climb a tree?” and my answer was of course yes!! After climbing we went home and had a lovely dinner. Pat had made a special cake which has become my favourite cake!! It is not a cheesecake, although it looks like it!!! It was so yummy!!!!! After dinner, we had a look at my bike! Pat had a bike shop, so he knew how to adjust brakes and see if everything was fine. By chance, he had some old panniers lying around, which have seen at least 30 years of cycling, and gave them to me!! Now I don’t look like a homeless person anymore!! Thank you so much!! (Pictures will be in the next blog post)
18th September When Pat had his bike shop he supported a racing team, they met up yesterday after 30 years of not seeing each other, so when they heard I was coming, some of the guys decided to ride with me out of town.Pat had made great French toast, and at 8 am the guys were there, ready to ride!! We made a stop at a friend’s house to see the palace he has been working on for years! And shortly after, we were in Maryland!! 7th state!!! In Maryland there are hills, and the guys took turns in pushing me up the hills so I would have an easier time riding the rest of the way!! That was so much fun!!We split up by the great white oak tree that Pat proudly wanted to show me! It was amazing, so beautiful! I got to Baltimore around 6 pm. Megan took me out to dinner at the sushi place downtown at the harbour, which was lovely! And due to my obsession with cakes, we went to Baltimore’s best pie place where I got the Baltimore Bomb!! Lovely pie (however Pat’s cake is still my favourite, it was mind blowing!)
19th SeptemberToday I am taking a break in Baltimore, as the weather forecast has promised thunder, rain and lightning.I started my morning with a phone interview from the Danish radio station P4, who wants to follow my trip, and let other Danes follow me on my trip.Perhaps today is a great day for a proper introduction of my bike!!!His name is Donut, and like my car Einstein, he is a work in progress: as you have seen on pictures earlier, I looked like a homeless person. Now, due to Mike from New Heaven, Donut has got great lights!!! Made by a diving company, so they are really good!!!! Jane and Paul gave me a yellow safety vest so that cars can see me better! I love it! Thank you so much!!!Thank you to Pat for the amazing panniers!! They are going back home to Denmark when I finish with my ride!! They are absolutely fantastic and make Donut look great!!Thanks to everyone who has helped me in any way make my trip, so far, amazing! I am loving every single second of it and have enjoyed meeting each and every one of you!!At 4 pm, Megan and Cliff arrived, which meant grocery shopping time!! The evening was spent by making a cake with Dahlia (Zoe’s best friend) I have a picture with the cake and me with each one of them, it is kind of cute!! Love those two girls!!Megan had made the best and famous Maryland crab cakes!!! They were absolutely delicious!!
20th September The distance was 50miles/80km. The map is a picture of the distance I have cycled so far. It looks like nothing on the map, but this short distance equals 834 km or 518 miles.The day biking to DC was a little boring. I took no pictures, as there was nothing spectacular to take pictures of…I arrived at Rachel and Brian’s house at 3 pm and enjoyed a nice evening with them and their two kids.
21st-23rd September I am staying with a lovely family, with two small kids. My contact with Brian and Rachel came through Aurelian, whom I stayed with in Dudley. Brian and Rachel gave me great advice on what to see in DC, especially going through on bike. I started with an early morning stroll at the zoo, having a long talk with the elephants! Had to send a kiss home to sis!!! They have 6 elephants, and a large area for them!Next, I went down to the Mall starting with the Lincoln memorial, then an Americas army show, and then the white house! Rude Chinese people who all want a picture with the band. One thing I have learned; Americans are REALLY proud of their country!All the museums are free, even getting a tour in the U.S capitol was free!!Due to me running around, and the kids needing attention, I never got to take a picture with the family however, they will stay in my memory and heart!!The next day I spent going to the beautiful church at the highest point of DC, wheeling down the hill to Georgetown, continuing over the bridge to the Arlington Cemetery and biking around the city the rest of the day, just exploring!!The changing of the guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier! Tomorrow I am heading for some hills on my way to Warrenton VA.
24th September I had a great ride all the way to Warrenton; almost bike trail all the way! And I entered a new state!! In Virginia, I found a nice bench beside the trail and had my breakfast (peanut butter sandwich).I arrived in Warrenton in the afternoon. I am now in the hands of the Johnson family, starting with the two daughters Eden and Eve, great girls! So much fun meeting them. Thank you Amy for contacting your family, I really enjoy getting to know them!!! Tomorrow I will be with her parents at the trout farm!
25th September In the morning, Kaye came to pick me up at the girls’ house, and as we got home to unload the car, Tom says “was your tire always so flat”?I feel so lucky that this happened while I was not on my bike in the middle of nowhere. First thing first, we fixed the tube. Secondly, I have been wanting to send stuff to Vegas that I am not using during my bike trip but need for later, so finally with the help of Kaye we packed up two boxes to send off now, leaving me with my 4 panniers!!! I am going to fly on the roads!!! Then Tom and Kaye took me on my first fishing trip/lesson at their pond!! First, I caught a small fine fish and a few minutes after the probably biggest fish in the lake. The fishing hat picture!!! I love this picture!!Later they took me up the mountains, it was absolutely beautiful!!! While we were up there, why not just hike some of the Appalachian trail! Here is a picture of Tom holding a rock so it would not fall! Have no fear, Tom Johnson is here! The rest of the evening was spent at a lovely restaurant in downtown Sperryville, ending with my first American donut served with chocolate ice cream in the Johnson kitchen.
26th September The day started with a traditional southern breakfast, which Kaye and Tom were so kind to make for me! Biscuits, sausage and gravy! I was very confused at first, as I had translated that into Danish. But, seeing it and having it, made things more clear, such as a biscuit not being a cookie!The first part of my bike ride would have been super dangerous, as there were no shoulders, only two lanes and so many cars. Kaye and Tom offered to take me to Culpeper where the road would be a lot better. That way I would be safe and they would feel better. As I got to Fredericksburg a little earlier, I spent some time in this lovely little town, of course starting with the chocolate factory!At 6 pm, I got to Vikki and Bruce’s house. Bruce had just come home from a 102-mile trip, in one day! So we spent most of the time talking, which was really nice. They are such happy hosts. It is amazing how many people are so kind and welcoming!
27th September The stay at the White family was short but lovely. I started my trip at 8 am going towards Richmond. The map wanted me to take the route on the picture and I could not change it, just to keep things straight, I took route 1 all the way. The road was great; hardly any cars and it had some nice scenery. The weather was grey and I had been riding for an hour, when I decided to stop for my breakfast coffee as I wanted to get on my bike again I felt that the rear tire AGAIN had gone flat!!!! Nothing else to do than fix it! I unloaded my bike, turned it around, took off the tire, changed it and tried to pump it up, but my little pump was not working. Argh!! Luckily, the car mechanic was open, and they were kind enough to pump air in my tire. From riding the road, the bike just gets dirtier and dirtier! Fixing a flat tire leaves you looking something like this!!The cause of the flat tire was a little tiny small piece of glass. After only a 30 min delay, I was back on track. However, still no sun. Arriving in Ashland I found a bench to prepare lunch!! It was nice finally to catch a breath from those rolling hills. At 3:30 pm, I arrived at Hannah and Paige’s house, after only 2 seconds I felt at home. They are such great women; I really enjoyed their enthusiasm, their smile and their share of life stories! Tonight was also the first presidential candidate debate, which of course was watched. I have one word to describe my feeling “speechless”. Now it is time for bed!
28th SeptemberI woke up and looked out of the window. Outside was very sad, not the weather for biking. Hannah and Paige were more than happy to have me for another day. The best thing to do on a rainy day is of course to make some noise in the kitchen!!! So I offered to bake a cake AND to bake something for the American Pot Lock (an event where everyone brings a dish to put on a table. This way, you get some different things, mains, starters and dessert). Paige has to attend tomorrow with a dish. Finally, a whole day of baking!! I have missed this so much, just being able to do nothing but be in the kitchen, juggling with flour, sugar, butter and other ingredients! I decided to make 50 banana cupcakes with raspberry frosting for the Pot Lock and a pistachio cake with lime and strawberry/blueberry mousse topped with white chocolate ganache.Probably not the prettiest cake I have made, but one of the tastiest ones!After the lively dinner that Hannah and Paige had cooked, we had the cake while listening to nice jazz and preforming the Hillary shimmy.
29th SeptemberToday was a short ride. I started off not knowing if I was going to leave or stay, due to the warning of a thunderstorm. However, this warning was also predicted for weather yesterday, but there was none. I decided to leave at 8:30am, no rain and a lovely bike trail ahead if me. After 14 miles, guess what! I got a flat tire, my pump was broken, and there was no sign of any gas satiation in the near vicinity. There was only one thing I could do, get off and start dragging the bike, until I would meet someone or something. After only 2 minutes, I get to a tiny grocery store where touring cyclists are unpacking their car and getting ready for their ride!!! I am so lucky! Nancy, Janet and Fred immediately got out a pump, took of my wheel and started to clean my chain, fix my tube and get my bike ready and set for my trip to Williamsburg. (If you want to follow their blog just press this link: ride4restorationusa.blogspot.com) After a few miles, something felt very wrong, and after 15 miles, I was exhausted and stopped for lunch at a really nice small-town diner.It felt like I was peddling with the brakes on, while feeling like I was riding over a bump all the time. Debra and Camilla offered to come and pick me up and take me to the bike shop. Now the real problem was, my tire was tucked in at one place on the wheel creating a flat spot. Looking at the tire we concluded that buying a hard tire (a tire with a thick surface) was probably a good idea as the tire was not in good shape. Also, the spokes needed adjustment, as my wheel was not ridding straight. Now my bike is back to normal! And to top off today, Debra had a little gift for me.She had heard that Danes are crazy about salty liquorice and wanted to surprise me with some she had gotten through a Danish relative!!!!
30th September I know what you are thinking “omg are you in a 10-star hotel!”.Waking up to this view is just amazing, and what is more amazing is enjoying breakfast and coffee with to lovely ladies, while enjoying the same view!I have been doing a lot of research, as a tropical storm is coming up, and it said it was going to rain the whole day. One thing I have learned is that the weather forecast changes every hour. The best thing to do is get up, look out the window and judge.I spent my day walking through Williamsburg and Jamestown, what a beautiful area! Then a lady walked by me and said “don’t forget, it is international coffee day!” The only right thing to do was of course to go and get coffee, and why not just free coffee at Wawa! I enjoyed my coffee while walking through campus of the 2nd oldest university of the US, William and Mary college. What a beautiful college, based around not one large building but more like a park of beautiful buildings! I biked back to Debra and Camilla’s house (12 miles) and spent the rest of the day planning my route, having dinner, watching football and packing
1st October This morning started out with a great breakfast, looking out onto the river that was covered in fog! This of course delayed my trip, but just an hour, so it was no big deal. Before leaving, I just got a picture with the two lovely ladies, Debra and Camilla. Thanks for being so great! I had only been peddling for 3 miles, as I reached the first ferry of today. On the ferry I spent time talking to this really nice woman who, like many other women that have come up and talked to me, is a mother. I love and really appreciate the motherly concern they have and take in all the advice I get. The road to Norfolk was really beautiful. Along the way, 2 small turtles were stopping traffic, trying to get across the road with intense speed. I had a long ride so stopping to eat was not an option. I had my peanut butter sandwiches in my bag ready for when I got hungry. Basically my 1-3 minute breaks were to eat a sandwich or to shake my butt so it would not cramp, ha-ha. Just before Norfolk I had to get on to another ferry, as I am not allowed in the tunnels with the cars. Magically I made it to Katie’s house too early, and she was not home. I then found out that she had texted me when she was off but I did not get it as it was a message…. and was in desperate need of water. Shortly after, this lady drives up next door and I ask her if I can come in and fill my water bottle. Linda, which was her name, was so kind and let me in. She was by chance there to pick some things up as the house was getting sold, so it was completely empty. We talked for two hours and she loaded my bag with nabs, candy and soda for my trip. Just as I had said goodbye: long story short, she had locked herself out of her car and house. NO PROBLEM, she used my phone and called her husband, who called a company that could unlock her car with the help of a computer! Problem solved! Faith!When Katie arrived, we went to downtown Norfolk for dinner. It was a really nice pub kind of place. From the outside, it looked like a corner street bar, but inside it was really big and neat! I was introduced to deep-fried pickles. Honestly, these are amazing!!! I loved getting to know Katie; she has so many good stories and a great smile. We never really had a quiet moment, we had so many things that we liked to talked about which made the evening really wonderful.
2nd October To north of Kitty Hawk Starting the morning with a great cup of coffee and enjoying the view of the Elizabeth river! Today was going to be a long day, 83 miles to ride. I had not done this much since New Heaven-New York, I actually said to myself, never will I do so much in one day again! But this ride was different, it was FLAT!!! It was so lovely and hardly any wind resistance. After about 30 miles I made it to my 9th state!!!! About 65 miles from Norfolk, I stop to get water and this couple comes up to me. The guy had cycled across country and was interested in my journey and offered a place for me to stay. I love how friendly and honest many people are. However, I already had a place, but they offered to contact further down the line so I would have places along the coast! I feel so lucky!At 4 pm, I got to Tom and Linda’s house on the outer banks. What a lovely place, with a great kitchen!! I spent a great evening with them talking about life and sharing stories, while having a delicious meal!
3rd October As I woke up in the morning, Tom and Linda were already out of the door, but they had not forgotten me. Tom had made great coffee and set the peanut butter and homemade jam ready for me on the counter!My first stop was in Kill Devil’s Hills, where I went to see the Wright Brothers’ memorial. After biking for some miles I finally got to the Atlantic Ocean!!! It was so beautiful and the water was lovely!! I made it by 4 pm, but the owner was not that helpful or kind… A guy had told me there was a hostel in Buxton. It was 6 pm at that time and getting dark, I was tired and my butt was very uncomfortable, but I decided to go anyway. When I arrived the hostel was closed for the season, but luckily the owner stuck his head out the window and asked if he could be of any help! And he was indeed, he gave me a good price and a whole room just for me!! After getting the key I could only think of 2 things: shower and a bucket of ice-cream!!! After my shower I went to the small food market and got myself a delicious ice cream and enjoyed every bite while walking on the beach, watching lightning struck over the ocean. Writing this blogpost, I am enjoying my comfortable bed and a room with air-condition and a romantic comedy movie until I fall asleep.
4th October Yesterday was great in so many ways! I woke up in the morning after a good night’s sleep and started peddling towards the ferry. While waiting for the ferry, Brandon said to have coffee at the Dancing Turtle, unfortunately it was closed so I got a coffee at the harbour. Shortly after getting my coffee it was time to get on the ferry and enjoy my breakfast! After a short bike ride from the ferry terminal I arrived in Corncake. My face was so sore from smiling all the way to Corncake, but I just couldn’t help it, I was so excited to seen Hannah and Paige again!! After many hugs and chatting we went to get fish for dinner. I had a slight cramp in my stomach from laughing at Hannah and Paige getting off and on the rented tandem. At the fish store, the island’s signature cake was sold, “the fig cake”, made by Miss Ganelle over the past 30 years. Elisabeth from the fish shop gave me the address of Miss Ganelle so I could go visit her and maybe get the recipe! And she was home!! What a lovely lady of 81 years. I had a great conversation and she gave me the recipe. Before starting to prepare dinner we went to the beach, the water was great and Charlie (the dog) was so happy!! The dinner was great and for dessert, we had the fig cake with Hannah’s favourite ice cream! It was amazingly delicious! Ending the successful day with a lovely game of dominos! At this moment, my dad would probably say, “Now this is living”! And it was/is!
5th OctoberTo make it to the ferry at 7:30 I had to get up before the sun. Time to get off the island! I was so excited as I got to the ferry, because I met the first pair of touring cyclists on my way. Such great people, they had biked from Washington, Seattle and were on their way home to Orlando, Florida. They had coffee on the ferry, which just made the morning even better. Enjoying life! Peanut butter sandwich and my coffee on the ferry! Anna and her boyfriend Mike were both at work, but she had made arrangements so that I could get into the house (it was named Hyggeligt!) As I got in I realized it was lunch time, ready for this gorgeous great looking lunch Paige had made me!! Long story short I had a great Danish evening since as Anna’s late husband was Danish she had all this Danish stuff, it was almost like being home!! She even had a Danish pan to make “æbleskiver”. I had never tried to make them myself, so why not try it now!!They tasted absolutely great, even Mike had one too many, and he is not crazy about cake. What you can’t see on the picture is, the table cloth is with a Hans Christian Andersen pattern and we are listening to Kim Larsen!!! Here is a cute picture of Anna being all excited about a selfie stick, as she had never seen one in real life.
6th October Got up early in the morning and enjoyed a southern breakfast with Anna and Mike! Then Anna took me to Beaufort NC and showed me downtown, which was really beautiful! After downtown it was time to say goodbye, she dropped me of in Morehead City and she went off to work. Before Swansboro, Google Maps wanted me to take the back road into Jacksonville so I took a right, which was fine and lovely until I got to Stella! guess what guys? “what?” I got a flat tire! Which was no problem at first but when I took the tube out, I got a little surprise! The rubber protecting the tube from the spokes broke and I had nothing to fix it… 20 cars past me, and I felt lost. A guy had turned around and asked if I needed help. His name was Blair, ex-marine and a father of 7 kids with great talents, but the best thing was! Blair’s mother still has her VW Beetle and Blair had 2 himself! All this was conversation while he took me to a bike shop!! So grateful that there still are kind and honest people in the world! After fixing my problem, he took me to Swansboro, so that I could continue my ride to Jacksonville NC and he went to work in his garage. On my way to Jacksonville I passed America’s largest military base! I am staying with Laura, she is really great, we had so much fun going out for BBQ and frozen yoghurt! The evening ended with a great game of Yazzie!!
7th OctoberThis morning was another early morning! But really nice. I had a great time with Laura and her two cats, Olive and Martini. As she was heading a part of the same way as I, she put my bike on the bike rack and took me 10 miles down the road. I started my bike ride in Richland and was going to meet up with Chip and Nora in Warsaw, ready to take me away from the potential hurricane that could cause flood. During my trip, I passed the most beautiful cotton fields. When we got to Chapel Hill, Nora took me cycling around town to the rose garden!! After the bike trip we went home for dinner.
8th OctoberI slept in this morning, and it was great, I really needed that! Nora had made an American breakfast (scrambled eggs with bacon and potatoes), it was delicious!I completely forgot to mention that Chip’s daughter’s name is also Kirsten!! She doesn’t live at home so I won’t meet her. It is just funny to see all the things in his home that she has made and it says Kirsten on it! I love it!!!Today I spent the day exploring the town and the huge college campus. One very important shop was of course Sugarland!!! it is the local cake shop, with beautiful cakes. I had the most amazing red velvet cheesecake, it was so good!! As I got back, I was talking with Nora in the kitchen and saw the two bananas on the table that were overripe. I asked Nora if they were going to eat them and she said no, perfect answer I thought!!! After 5 minutes I had found everything in the kitchen that I would need to make Banana muffins!! An hour later, a dozen banana muffins were ready to be eaten. Nora has a little hobby of making leather wristbands and asked, if I wanted to make one. I did not think twice and found myself a few seconds later in the middle of working with the leather. It takes a long time so I had to stop to eat dinner. But shortly after we were back in the workshop painting the leather and finishing up the wristband. What a great day! “Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride” J.F.K.
9-10th October Yesterday was the day of the hurricane passing!! We did not get much wind, but the rain was incredible. People say it rains in Denmark and that is right, but it never rains so hard for a full day as it did in Chapel Hill yesterday. We all know what rainy days mean! Time to bake!!! I made a delicious chocolate/fudge/nice crust cake for Chip and Nora! After the cake Nora and I wanted to get out so we went thrift shopping, but didn’t find anything nice… But we got out of the house!! As we got back I prepared Kirsten’s special spaghetti for dinner. After dinner, Jarred (another tree-climbing friend) and I were going to go to the Chapel Hill ballroom for waltz night!! But they cancelled due to the weather but a little bit of rain was not goanna keep us from going out. We ended up going to a place called 506 and listen to a local band playing some live music. Great night!Today the sun was out and a beautiful day for outdoor activity but it was also the day before I was leaving. After not biking for some days I decided to go for a little bike ride around town before getting my bike all ready for the road tomorrow. As I got back, Nora and Chip had left for a tree cutting job, so I thought I would surprise with delicious blueberry muffins with a cinnamon crumble! The rest of the day I spent packing, talking to Chip and Nora and watching a feel-good movie before bedtime.
11th OctoberThis morning was a little sad, I had gotten used to the idea of staying with Nora and Chip! But life must go on and my bike trip must continue. Nora took me a bit south of Chapel Hill, since as the lakes might have caused flood, she took me around them so I could start my day with no trouble. It was a little hard to get back on my bike but I liked it. There were a lot of fallen trees and some flooding but nothing that interfered with my road.As I got to Fayetteville, this gorgeous smiling girl opens the door!! She has been a really great host today, making great tacos, sharing stories and laughing! She even took me to the army base as she works for the army, she knew the place like the back of her hand. This meant I got a private tour!!! It was awesome! After the army tour, Daisy took me to the world of beer, and there was Danish beer on the menu. I don’t think I have seen that many different local brewery beers at one spot this is just a small part). We headed home and decided to end our perfect girls’ day with Ben and Jerry ice cream, popcorn and some episodes of Mr Robot!
12th OctoberI practically woke up to the smell off scrambled eggs wrapped in tortillas and chees! It was delicious. It was so great to spend some girl time with Daisy, she always said “I got you girl” and she did. She really made me feel at home. As I left Daisy, I knew that today was going to be hard.I had 86 miles ahead, the longest ride I had done was 84. After only 3 miles on my planned route the first “road closed “sign was in front of me. It was early in the morning and cold and this was not going to make me happy. After seeing some cars ignoring the sign I tried to follow, and luckily it was just a tree which I easily could pass by bike, the cars had to turn around. After riding approximately 5 miles, the same sign pops up and I pass it thinking it’s probably just a tree…. Nope, not this time. The road had cracked and there was no way of passing, only if you are a person who would be good at jumping far with a bike. Having limited use of Google Maps, I found a detour and was fine for some time but then the same thing happened. This happened 4 times, this is when I decided not to take any back roads and just follow the numbered roads. This is probably my best idea so far, as I reached Florence with no trouble or detour. However, getting to Florence that way was not entirely a straight line, that is how the miles kept adding on. My ride today was sad in so many ways, cycling past all these fallen trees and flooded houses, having entered the Bible belt the appropriate thing to say would probably be ”I pray for them” and I do in my own way. The ride today also got me to my next state!!! My 10th state!!!!after passing this sign I biked through a deserted Mexican amusement park. It was super colourful and scary at the same time. A Mexican amusement ghost town! The century took me 10 hours with lunch break. I arrived at Gary and Karen’s house in time for dinner and dessert!! They are such nice people; we did not waste any time. From the second I entered, we started talking and did not stop until Karen said goodnight.
13th October Yesterday had a slow start. I woke up at 9 and did not get out of the house before 10:30. Karen had made a great portion of scrambled eggs and as much coffee as I could drink. Karen and I just could not stop talking, she was amazing and so funny!The ride was so hot and boring, it felt like I was biking a lot more than I actually did. I arrived late and Stephan had just gotten off work. This was probably the shortest visit, but a very nice one. We only had a couple of hours to share stories, as Stephan had to get out early in the morning.
14th October This morning started nice an easy, Stephan and his mom had both left for work, so I just packed my bags and got ready for the road. I feel super tired, perhaps a couple of days’ rest in Charleston will be good. A lot of the roads were in bad condition, which meant the peddling was a lot harder. This was going to be a long day, no doubt about it. But I had my light at the end of the tunnel, today I was going to have a long Skype date with my best friend Sif and another long one with my sister!!!As I got to the junction of Summerville and Charleston, about 8 miles from my destination, traffic had picked up. I was so lost and decided it was too dangerous trying to find my way downtown during rush hour. This is when I saw the bus that would take me directly to downtown, only 0.4 miles from my destination!!When I got to Joe’s house, he told me that tonight it will be full house as a group of 4 bikers also will be staying. We had a great evening all 6 just talking about biking and life.
15th October Day one in Charleston. After a great night with a lot of talking we all decided to go for brunch at Jack’s café. Derek was super disappointed with his egg and chose to solve his problem with hot sauce! Yes, he did eat it. After that we just walked around the city, exploring. As the time got closer to 3 pm, I started walking towards the doctor’s office. My toes were starting to do funny things and that needed to be solved! And it did! All good! After the doctor I went home to make a dozen of muffins, I did not even get to take a picture before they all were gone.Danny, Brad and I decided to go to the water front which was so beautiful!! And then later meeting the others for pizza before comedy night!!
16th October This morning started out pretty good! I woke up and the boys were making breakfast! When we finished breakfast, I quickly whipped up some banana muffins, and got a picture this time, after 6 were gone already! They only lasted 2 minutes though. Here is a picture off Joe’s very pregnant dog, Piper!! She is SOOO adorable! The day was spent with more sightseeing!! I love this town, it is so beautiful, small and yet large, full of life at every corner but not crowded and it is so picturesque!The Saturday market!! That evening we went to Smokes to get a real southern dinner! It was so good!!!!And after that we went for Jazz at The Mezz!
17th OctoberThis morning started with Will and I waving goodbye to the other guys. To make it in time to New Orleans, they decided to rent a car and drive to Florida and bike the last 500 miles. I spent this day walking around town, breathing in the Charleston air and enjoying life! In the evening Will, Kallie (Joe’s roommate who was off from work today) and I went for dinner. To finish off the day, we watched Gullah Gullah Island, which is a children’s TV series about the real Gullah Gullah folk that live in Charleston.
18th OctoberIt was so hard to leave Charleston! Joe was great, the guys were awesome and Kallie is fantastic! I truly hope to see them again, and I will, because I know I will be back! Today was not going to be a long ride, as Jackson was going to pick me up outside Savannah. The road going into Savannah was just too dangerous!After only 2 seconds of meeting Jackson, I already knew that my stay in Savannah with him and his wife Maggie was going to be great! They are such nice people, both creative, super friendly and a people’s person!By the way guys!! I am in Georgia!!! This means my 11th state!!!!!Jackson prepared some lunch for the half-dying cyclist I was. There is nothing that tacos can’t repair!!Ohhh and not to forget!! Jackson wanted to get me something Danish. He had been looking everywhere for Danish liquorish, but could only find the Dutch, which also is great, and I am Dutch so that is just awesome!! Jackson had a job at Hilton head at the jazz club “The Jazz Corner” and asked if I wanted to come. And if you know me well you would now the answer to that!!!Yes!!!! I had a great evening, with amazing food and 5 musicians kicking some real ass on that stage!! They were incredible!!! After the show we celebrated Martin the piano player’s birthday with great success!!
19th-20th October First of all, I must say that time flies when you’re having fun!! I counted my miles and I got to 1422 miles = 2288.5 kmI am so exited!!My day today was wonderful. After a long night out I slept in and enjoyed the beauty of getting up nice and slowly. After breakfast and 2 cups of coffee, Jackson asked if I wanted to see the city! We biked around Sevanah, past the water outside Sevanah, we biked past the university and went through downtown, and I still have not seen all of it! But tomorrow is a new day. It is a bit hard to see, but this picture shows the major damage of fallen trees on Hope Isle, it was horrible… I think Jackson told me that 3000 trees had fallen during the hurricane!! The beautiful oak trees with Spanish moss! Most houses in Sevanah are made out of this red stone, called Sevanah bricks! Jackson took me to Sevanah’s best bakery called Back in the Day Bakery, the Pecan Pie was amazing but funny enough it tasted much like the Danish brunsviger. As we got back, Jackson had to get ready for his next gig. This gave me the opportunity to give my bike some loving attention. I spent at least 2 hours on cleaning, adjusting etc.! Now the last few miles should be a piece of cake.next day was nice and slow. As I woke up in the morning after my coffee on the front porch, I went to the grocery store! I was going to make Maggie and Jackson some French macaroons.They ended up tasting great!!! But due to the different climate and oven they did not turn out too pretty…After baking, Jackson and I went to look around town and check out River St.In the evening, we went to the beach for dinner and finished with a fire and Ben and Jerry’s back at the house! Jackson and Maggie are amazing people! I feel so fortunate to have met them!!
21st Octobe Today was awesome, first Jackson rode with me out of town in the morning. Yes, I know I look so weird! Well I was laughing so hard, while trying not to ride into Jackson while biking. When Jackson left me I only went like 10 miles and I met a guy with panniers!! The first guy riding the same way!! His name is Cascy, retired truck driver now wanting to see America on 2 wheels and not 8. He wanted to buy me lunch, so we went for salad, iced coffee and a McFlurry at McDonalds, as there was no other option! As we got to Brunswick, we went separate ways but I hope to catch up with him further down the road! Tonight I am staying with Sheldon and Robert, they are such fun. Her sister and husband were joining us for dinner and delivering a couch. Meet this cutie pie!! Hank the tank!!
22nd October Today was crazy!! I woke up smelling the newly brewed coffee!!! There is nothing better than a good cup of coffee before a bike ride. At 8:30 I was out of the door and started riding, this was going to be a really hot day. Route 17 was absolutely great, the road was good and traffic not too bad. Today was going to be a long day, no time for breaks, only the breaks where I would fill up my water bottle but I was covered for the day, I had two Cliff bars with me and my water! Today was very exciting, as I knew that I would be passing my last state, state no. 12, Florida. One of the reasons for even making it this far, is my fancy mirror. Karen and Gary gave it to me and now I can’t live without it. It makes it so much easier being in traffic. About halfway down the road, I passed this sign that gave me a smile on my face!! New state!!! 10 miles after this sign I got my first flat front tire… and 12 miles after that I get another one… yes I was super frustrated. I had not taken any breaks to be sure to make to Jacksonville on time, and now this happened….I made it to Mike and Debbie’s house, we went out and sat on the back porch and watched the sun go down. We talked for such a long time until we realized we probably should go and get dinner. They took me to a great restaurant and while eating, we talked a lot more. They are so sweet! A real joy to talk to and get to know!
23rd OctoberMy morning started out wonderful. We all had a coffee and the banana muffins I had made the night before, while Mike read out todays blessing. Debbie and Mike were so kind to me, and had shared such great stories of their incredible adventures.Today’s ride was going to be very short, so I took my time getting out the door. When I got to St. Augustine, I stopped for a little bit of sightseeing. The fountain of youth had too many visitors and I figured I didn’t need it, therefore no pictures. I headed towards the old town, walking down the street called St. George, also I passed the college and the nice battery. The picture above is the old entrance to St. Augustine.Many people along my ride have told me that if I like Charleston and want to go to New Orleans then I would love St. Augustine. I like St. Augustine but it doesn’t really come close, there are way too many tourists.Back on the road I crossed a bridge and saw dolphins in the water!!!Riding down A1a I am right next to the water, but often there will be houses or trees in between the water and me but not at this sweet spot where I could dip my toes and cool off!I arrived at Rose’s house nice and early so we have many hours to talk about biking, as she is preparing for the same trip next year with her friend and her two adorable kids! We were invited for dinner, bonfire and s’mores at a friend’s house. Rose’s kids are so well behaved and pleasant to be around. I love s’more, it was so nice to sit and relax by the fire just talking and laughing, enjoying life! Rose is an incredible young woman. I am so happy to have shared an afternoon with her. She has done so many amazing things in such short time.
24th OctoberI woke this morning and enjoyed the company of Rose and baby Savi! Unfortunately, I had to get going… her kids are the best!Riding today was nice and cool, while riding on A1a I suddenly came to a part where the road was closed, but pedestrians ignored it and kept walking, I guess the detour was only for cars…riding by I saw a lot of damage today, that was really sad. I feel bad for the people but also for the fish in the ocean wondering what that thing float in the water is. As I got to Daytona Beach, I had to get on to route 1 and on my way, I saw this flea market which looked very nice. So I stopped to go look and suddenly a guy said to me “you are not supposed to drag bikes through” and I turn my head and there is another cyclist!!! I totally forgot to take a picture… His name was Jon and he was going to stay with the people I was staying with but he was a day early. We decided to ride together and Chris and Beth then said no problem having both of you tonight. They were super nice. Very funny people and relaxed. They even took is out for fro-yo!!!
25th October This morning started off great with this awesome breakfast!! Then I got on the road and started cycling, I had a great tailwind going a nice speed! Just before Sebastian, I stopped at a Walmart to buy a new spare tube after my flats the other day.I only go 3 miles on the road when I spot the cyclists in my mirror. I go to the far right so they can pass as they are catching up with me. This lady pulls up to me and says “hey” while her husband says loudly “tell her to go slower” it was so sweet and funny. Rob and Marry had seen the bags on my bike and wanted to know about biking as they want to do a cross country tour. Their house was just around the corner they asked if I had time for a break and wanted something to drink. They seemed harmless and were just as tired as I was, so I figured why not! Turns out they are on Warm Showers as well and we talked for 1.5 hours before I got back on the road. They were so kind and happy people, I hope their cross country trip will be a blast!!As I arrived to Vero Beach, I met Karen!! Another awesome person! Extremely funny!! We went out for dinner and the chef whom she knows gave us dessert on the house!!!! It was so delicious, carrot cake with a glaze and a mint crème cheese frosting!!! Before sleeping I really noticed my awesome Birkenstock tan line!!
26th October I woke up in the morning with Karen and had a nice breakfast. She said that I could stay as long as wanted, just lock the door when I leave. This gave me time to do some “Skyping”. I already knew that today was not going to be the prettiest scenery.My whole body was aching all kinds of different ways, maybe it is time for a break soon, like a day off. Tomorrow I only have to go 66 miles and then I have my day off!The bike trip today was not only full of strip malls, I also got the wind against me all the time. As I said today was not fun…. But Francine and Josee saved it!!!! When I finally arrived at Francine’s house she had food ready for me and made me feel so comfortable!Her best friend Josee is visiting from Canada, which meant we got to have a real girls night with a bonfire and waffles with real maple syrup!
27th OctoberYesterday was horrible, even worse than the day before. I had been fighting wind all day!!I left Josee and Francine in the morning, ready to bike. I felt so tired, my body needed a break, and it will when I get to Miami!I had only been riding 5-7 miles when a car almost turned into me as the lights turned green. I feel fortunate that I made it this far without any accidents. This abruptly woke me up, if I hadn’t before. By the way I didn’t get an “I am sorry”, the couple in the car just looked angry and said something stupid.I continued my bike ride with mixed emotions, they were quickly replaced by the irritation of the wind, though. The whole day I fought the wind, standing almost still for half the time. Suddenly there would be gaps of no wind, which I used to try and catch up some speed, before standing still again.When I got to Fort Lauderdale I got a text from Jennifer (the person I am staying with in Miami) asking when she should be expecting me and hoping the wind wasn’t too hard on me. I texted her back that I would be there around 5 and she answered “great, we can make it to happy hour at the ocean!”I remember feeling stronger than ever! Party night is the cure for such a horrible day!!!As I arrived I was welcomed with dinner, great shower and a king sized bed!!! Jennifer, her husband Dan and their roommate Lauren were also amazing! After dinner, we went out for drinks at the Bay area! What a great night!
28th October I slept in!! It was lovely, I feel so much better now!! I had a great morning with the 3 early birds. Lauren had these fun valve dice that she gave me for my bike!! Donut is starting to look real fancy! I started the day by taking the bus to Wynwood, which is an industrial area where all the walls are painted/decorated. It looked amazing! After walking around the area I took the bus to Miami downtown and changed to a free train, which rides above Miami. This way I could see downtown from the top and stay dry, as it had begun to rain. When it stopped raining and my train loop was done, I walked through downtown towards the Bay front. The Bay front was neat and gorgeous despite the bad weather. It was starting to get late, I wanted to make it to the beach, so I took the bus to the beginning of Ocean dr. and walked half on the beach and half on the street 20 blocks until I got back home to the Miami family. After dinner, Lauren showed me pictures of all the different balloon animals she makes, and she is amazing. Here is a picture of her preparing her Halloween costume, yes she makes balloon costumes!! And she made me a cupcake balloon!!!
29th Woke up early this morning ready to get in some miles before my radio interview. The wind outside was strong and the clouds were pretty grey. At 10:30 I found a Starbucks and got my coffee because I wanted to stay dry while having the interview. I was pretty happy about the interview and when it was over, the rain had stopped. The wind was on my back, which meant I was flying. The Keys are beautiful, the water is amazing and the people are really nice!! These two ladies were so bored it was hysterical! I can’t believe that tomorrow is my last ride, it is crazy!
30th October Woke up early this morning with crazy mixed emotions. It was weird knowing that today would be my last ride. David was really nice and let me know every second how much it was going to rain today. I looked at him and said thanks and started peddling. Riding my bike felt like singing the song “10 green bottles”, knowing that when the last bottle accidentally falls there are no more bottles and no more miles.David was right, I biked for 10 miles and then it started raining on me. I was completely soaked. I knew that only 14 miles ahead there would be the McDonalds with $1 coffee!!! As I got to Marathon, I got my coffee and got dry. The wind was pushing me all the way it was great! Just after Marathon, I got to the 7-mile bridge! It was so beautiful! And amazing!Here I was riding my bike feeling great. Passed the lovely long bridge and then “bam”. Flat tire!!! Yep, just had to get the last flat before finishing! But nothing was going to stop me or make me angry because I was going to be done in just a few hours.I MADE IT! 2147 miles 3455 km!! My emotions are going crazy, I can’t explain!! My friends and family said I was crazy, some told me ”hey it is okay if you don’t make it, it is your trip, stop when you want”. I am finally starting to realize what I have done and how special it has been to me!! I want to thank every single person that helped me on my way, without you guys, I would not have been able to do this! Thank you Miikal Afonso, Aurélien and Marie Laure, Kaye and Tom, Peggy and her family, Lynne and Mike, Robert and Theresa and Zoey, Paul and Jane, Lulu Riley, Pat Wisniewski, Padmini and Cliff and Dahlia, Rachel and her Family, Kathy, Bruce and Vikki, Paige and Hannah, Debra and Camilla, Katie, Tom and Linda, Anna and Mike, Laura, Nora and Chip, Daisy, Karen and Gary, Stephan, Joe, Jackson and Maggie, Sheldon, Mike and Debbie, Rose and Savi and Nico, Chris and Beth, Karen, Francine, Jennifer and Lauren and Dan, David and at last Savanah and her family!!
As I arrived, Savannah and her two kids greeted me with open arms!! When they realized my excitement for my first Halloween, they asked if I wanted to join them at picking out pumpkins to carve! It was so much fun I felt like a real American kid for a couple of hours. Then I felt grown up and went to Fantasy Fest to grab a celebration beer with Casey. This fest was crazy! It felt like it was a good excuse for old people to only wear body paint or g-strings. So guess what, after getting my laugh I felt my body telling me to go home and sleep, so I did!
31th-1st October/NovemberThe days in Key West are amazing, I love it here, everyone is so relaxed. My first day I relaxed, tried to figure out my journey plans going from here to New Orleans, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Calgary and then Brazil. Also, I spent the day baking muffins and Lagkage. Later on we went to Children’s Day were there was a costume contest. The rest of the evening was pure relaxation! The next day was Halloween day!!! My first Halloween!! I started the day with a long run. Then I went sightseeing, went to see the most southern point of the United States. Then I went to se Hemmingway’s house and downtown!! Later that day I had an appointment with a guy who wants to buy Donut, and he did! My dear friend, smooth ride, awesome companion and now in the hands of another person. Goodbye.But to cheer me up we all got ready for Halloween. It was awesome, I loved it! They had blocked roads off just for the trick and treating! This was a great night!