We did it! The last day’s ride of about 85 miles took us from Metter GA to Tybee Island near Savannah, GA. And inevitably down to the beach there to celebrate.
We also shared experiences and the new memories that we have created. It feels so good to have completed the challenge, but also a bit sad to be suddenly at the end of a journey that has been totally absorbing to the exclusion of much else. And also poignant in that the “remember” part of the title recalls Valerie’s life.
Many, many thanks to all who have shared, supported, followed along, and also donated most generously.
Through rural Georgia…cotton, and other crops. Lots of trees.
Just one more day till we arrive at the Atlantic, Tybee Island, near Savannah, Georgia. It all seems quite a blur right now; 27 days, ride, eat, sleep; repeat… early!
One thing I am clear about is the support I have had along the way. In particular, a huge thank you to folks who have donated to the causes I am supporting. It is not too late to donate. There is an incentive in place to encourage you:
For each additional $5,000 that comes in for each organization I’m supporting, I will add another $1,000!
Riding from Monticello, Arkansas to Indianola Mississippi and thence to Kosciusko (Oprah Winfrey’s birthplace). Crossed Ol’ Man River by the fairly new Greenville Bridge. About 150 miles of flat, flat flood plains, then a small hill, and normal terrain was restored.
The end is in sight! Just six days to go. Good time to recall the causes I am riding for.
Cure Alzheimer’s: in memory of my wife, Valerie. This organization focuses on budding research projects on dementia; every dollar given goes to research.
Climate Ride, because climate change has such global impact, is the channel for two organizations: Chesapeake Climate Action Network, a regional advocacy organization covering the geographical area around Washington DC, which puts into action the dictum “Think global, Act local”. And Solar Village Project, bringing cheap solar lighting to people in the least developed countries, often the most affected by climate change and poverty.
I don’t know what I expected from Arkansas, but the pine forests were a surprise–hundreds of miles of them–and lakes (see yesterday). I guess it lives up to one of its nicknames “The Natural State.” Very pretty.
If I’d been able to keep up a daily trail of breadcrumbs while riding, they would probably have had a common theme: water. It it is notable that the issues that face Arkansas, despite its apparent greenness, are similar to those that affect the desert and semi-arid areas of the Western states: cycles of drought…
Now we are exactly two-thirds of the way through the ride.
Friday we rode from the bustling town of McAlester to the serenity of the Queen Wilhelmina Lodge just across the border into Arkansas. Getting there was a major challenge, with some steep climbing along the Talimena Parkway (like Virginia’s Skyline Drive, only steeper!).
What goes up, must come down, so today we descended through some beautiful pine forests to Arkadelphia.
If you missed yesterday’s post about Cure Alzheimer’s – one of the causes for which I’m riding – you can read it here.
Please consider helping me in my fundraising efforts, to increase the audience, simply by visiting and “liking” the dedicated Facebook page “A Climate Ride to Remember.” The page contains all the posts I’ve made here, and also the “Climate Breadcrumb” trail I’m posting.
Here are the links for the the rides in the past few days:
Reached half-way at lunch today! But today was tough, with 20-30 mph headwinds adding 2-3 hours to expected ride time.
In 14 days we have covered just over 1,500 miles of the 2,908 route and about 67,000 feet of climbing (2 1/2 Everests!).
It was also an interesting day, as we followed the track of old Route 66, one of the first US highways connecting Chicago with Los Angeles.
It’s a bit of an open air museum of Americana, with of course more than one museum along the way. And it evokes memories of the Dust Bowl, and the migration of many from the mid-West to LA to escape that environmental disaster (Climate Breadcrumb in the works!)
And finally, a big thank you to everyone who has donated to the causes that I am supporting. More tomorrow hopefully on that!
Our only full day in Texas, the Panhandle in the north-west of the state. A 94-mile ride from Amarillo to Shamrock.
Cross-winds slowed progress. Along the way, reminders of historic old route 66, an early long distance route across the West from Chicago to Los Angeles and immortalized in Steinbeck’s “Grapes of Wrath.”