"That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run. So I ran to the end of the road. And when I got there, I thought maybe I'd run to the end of town. And when I got there, I thought maybe I'd just run across Greenbow County. And I figured, since I run this far, maybe I'd just run across the great state of Alabama. And that's what I did. I ran clear across Alabama. For no particular reason I just kept on going. I ran clear to the ocean. And when I got there, I figured, since I'd gone this far, I might as well turn around, just keep on going. When I got to another ocean, I figured, since I'd gone this far, I might as well just turn back, keep right on going." - Forrest Gump
I'd love to keep going, but I have obligations to various financial institutions. From Yorktown to Florence, I've been on a path not followed by most, a path not often traveled alone. I won't say it changed me. I don't feel different. I will say I had the time of my life. If I never get to do anything like it again, I will always remember my moment in the sun.
I've spent sixty days on the road, each one different than the last. I've met so many great people I will never see again. I've watched the country unfold like living pages out of a science or history book. I've been the only one for miles and miles. I've had moments that made me feel like Huckleberry Finn. I've had moments that made me feel like Lance Armstrong. I did something special. I was alive.
There's not a real finish line to my tour. If I ever have to look back and say where it ended, I'll hopefully recall the Seattle bike shop where I packed everything up to be shipped. These past two months I've had a very unique lifestyle. For now, I've got about a week left before things return to normal.
It didn't sink in when I reached Florence, that I'd made it to the Pacific. For whatever reason I couldn't smell the saltwater until I was maybe 7 miles away. Up the road and out of town was the first place to gaze out at sea, Heceta Beach.
Sand dunes caught my eye a couple times on the last three miles to Heceta, but I never saw the water. I couldn't hear the ocean. I literally turned left at the beach sign and there it was; it was all at once. The feeling of accomplishment rushed over me. That same feeling I got in Colorado looking at the snowcapped Rockies; that same feeling I get from time to time in life, but I never know when.
I've got a motel room tonight in Florence (the Silver Sands). The plan is to head to Newport tomorrow. It's only 50 miles up the 101 (the next biggest coastal town). I'm ready to switch the menu to seafood, I'm getting sick of all the burgers. If all goes right, I'll be camping on the beach tomorrow after some fish 'n' chips.