OK! We have made it through 49 days and we are so close to the Atlantic Ocean we can smell it. Another 65 miles to go tomorrow. Although overcast when we left Brattleboro today we missed any rain. It was 75 at departure and became more humid as the day progressed. fortunately the sun was not out too much and we make our own breeze. Although they changed our route from the anticipated 6,000′ gain we still climbed over 4,100′ today. Bob & I loved it!!! Until Mile 39 we were on Route 9 – a road we have traveled many times before. We turned off onto 31 South and ended up traveling through the old town of Antrim, then to Bennington, then route 136 E to Greenfield, Francestown, New Boston and Goffstown. Great back roads (although there were cracks there was little traffic). We were up and down…it was shady and relatively quiet. We really enjoyed the ride. As we went through Greenfield, NH (I think it was about 11:30) one of the churches was playing some beautiful carillons. A perfect location.
When we got to our hotel in Manchester (totally arriving by back roads!) we were greeted in the lobby by Ray (from England)! What a surprise! he came back from England with his wife to attend tonight’s banquet and experience the end of the ride. His shoulder is healing and his advice to his fellow riders was “never take photos while you are riding your bike!” Bob and I then walked down to the local Dairy Queen for a last splurge. We are wishing the weight would stay off but kind of don’t think so. Bob has lost 20 pounds and me about 13. The DQ was excellent and I was very good at dinner (other than the cake frosting – which was sicky sweet just how I like it!)
At the “banquet” tonight we all had a chance for a few last words. Some folks were very eloquent, we all loved the staff, and we all will come out of this experience changed and with 50 new friends. I need to get to sleep as we have our last 5:00AM alarm with breakfast and load by 6:30. They are giving us plenty of time to bike to a school in Rye where we get a police escort the last 3 miles to the ocean. Our friend Dave will meet us with our car and we will head back to reality. Bob’s cousin Val is up from Florida to greet him as well as his sister Beth. Bob has been given the honor, along with Melanie, to pour a bottle of Pacific Ocean water the ABB staff has transported into the Atlantic Ocean. Another photo op! Details tomorrow.