Mineral > Alexandria/D.C.
The final day had officially arrived. One single day of riding stood between me and my finish line. That knowledge was certainly a good motivator but at the same time, it made this section seem to stretch on for a needlessly long time...
Afton, VA > Mineral, VA
The cyclist only lodging in Afton didn't improve through the night. Oh no. It got worse, but only because I didn't get much sleep. Dogs.
Troutville, VA > Afton, VA
Old schools, a bear, the final crushing climb and the funkiest lodging of the whole trip... well maybe aside from the teepee back in Wyoming...
Mountain City, TN > Troutville, VA
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I could officially see the light at the end of the tunnel. The few days break at the wedding was probably the best thing that could have happened to me at this point. I remember feeling a little sad and bummed to leave again but I hopeful too because I knew I'd be finished completely in about a week. That was something to look forward to...
PEOPLE GETTING MARRIED AND STUFF!
I got home on a Wednesday and had exactly one day of R&R before my parents and I packed the van and headed to East Tennessee for my cousin Ted's wedding. You remember Ted and Carrie from this post, right?
LBL > Nashville (home! but not finished)
Just before I got out of the park, the sun gently peeked up above the horizon-level clouds. There wasn't too much that could have brought me down that day because I was going to be home by days end...
Murphysboro, IL > LBL
The home stretch as far as I was concerned, both figuratively and literally. Originally I thought I would bypass Nashville for fear that I wouldn't get back on the road and finish the journey once I got there. But by this point, I had covered way too much distance in way too little time. I needed a break wherever I could find it and my own house seemed pretty idyllic. Not to mention my parents were coming back into town in a few days and I wanted to surprise them since I hadn't been totally faithful in telling them where I was for the past few weeks... two more days!
Pittsburg, KS > Murphysboro, IL
It didn't take long to get out of Pittsburg and into Missouri. The state line was less than five miles from the edge of town. I was slightly annoyed that it had taken me six days to get through Kansas and the near-sightline proximity of the broader to Missouri wasn't helping. Whatever...
Colorado Springs, CO > Pittsburg, KS
Thus begins the 16 days of 100+ miles per day.
I expect this post to be kinda big and blurry, cause that's how this section of the trip felt at the time too. We'll see...
Colorado Springs, CO
The next few days were spent mingling with Luke, and his roomies, Donavan, Ariel, Tony, and Chad. The day after I arrived, I slept in (of course) and once I finally got up, I wandered over to the U.S. Olympic Training Center, which is where Luke spends most of his days. He's going to school on a triathlete scholarship at UCCS and thus trains. A lot. Winning a junior National Championship doesn't happen by accident...
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