I am catching up on my blog, and hoping that although we have already finished the ride, that it is not too late to complete my story. I also want you to know that it is not too late to contribute to Sea to Sea and it's attempt to make a difference for those in poverty around the world. If you would still like to contribute, you may go to the web site at seatosea.org to participate in this great cause. Thank you.
Claire and I left camp this morning at 6:55. In Poughkeepsie we crossed the Hudson River on a beautiful pedestrian bridge. It was almost as wide as 2 lane road, and was more than a mile long. Thank you to Phil and Barb who found this route away from the traffic of the vehicle bridge. We could safely stop to enjoy the scenery and take pictures. This bridge was completed in 2009. It was formally a railroad bridge used heavily during WWII to bring supplies to the ports.
Today it seemed that we were always in heavy traffic except for a rural area near West Point where we were challenged with a hill/mountain instead of the traffic. Julie very strategically placed her SAG van at the beginning of the climb. She warned us that the climb was long - maybe 2 miles. We ate our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and some fruit, tanked up on water and set out for the challenge. The road was four lane and fairly good surface. It turned out to be a 3 mile climb of about 1000 feet. There were beautiful vistas on the other side of the road, but it was too busy for us to cross. The decent was fantastic. I don't think that I have ever cycled a 4 mile down hill. There was very little traffic at the time we were going down, so we took the middle of the lane and certainly used our brakes this time. Great fun!! Soon after we reached the bottom there was a bagel/coffee shop where lots of cyclists were catching their breath and comparing stories. We joined in.
The biking day finished at Congers Memorial Park, located on Congers Lake. It was a beautiful setting, but had only one bathroom close to the camp. The showers were cold again, but we have become accustomed to that. We are all beginning to realize that the end of the trip is approaching. For those that have been participating for 9 weeks, it will be a huge change to get back to normal routines. New friendships have been made, and good-byes need to be said. This is a time we are thankful for social media to stay in touch. Jay pointed out tonight that none of could have biked without all the support staff. There were gear trucks to transport our luggage, a kitchen truck and cooks to feed us, those like Phil who planned and marked the route, SAGs to support us during the day, and folks who planned the tour. The most important people were those at home who supported us with prayer, funding, and words of encouragement. A big thank you to all of you! It has been a privilege to be a cyclist and volunteer!