26 miles (42 km) – Total final milage: 4,157 miles (6,626 km)
Over the last 75 days as I’ve inexorably rolled towards the Pacific Ocean I’ve daydreamed of what the moment would be like. As I crossed the Mississippi, I experienced a small bit of the exuberant joy I expected to see at the end. As I crested the continental divide at Hoosier Pass, I felt a small piece of the sense of accomplishment that I’d feel as I rolled my front wheel into the ocean. Creeping along under the blazing sun of the Eastern Oregon high desert, I sensed the feeling of relief of finishing a very tough challenge.
At times, I’ve become very emotional imagining the ending: to the point of a lump in the throat and incipient tears welling in my eyes.
Arriving after 4157 miles in total, and a mere 26 for the day, I broke off from Paul and Terry to experience this life moment in solitude, as I had begun it. My experience was very different than I had expected. I looked down at the waves lapping gently against my toes and thought:
“Well… that’s done.” None of the emotional fireworks and blazing glory of my expectations came to pass.
‘Huh’, I thought, ‘That’s unexpected’.
Maybe I should just stand here for a few minutes and see if something deep wells up.
… … … ‘Nope’ … … ‘Nada’ … … ‘Zilch’…
About five minutes into my completely blank emotional canvas, I finally came to a realization. I was actually having a very profound reaction. Peace. Simple, subtle and satisfied. I feel at peace.
Savoring the moment for a time, I stared out at the Pacific while feeling pacific. I then sauntered over to Paul, Terry and Tuan to get down to the very important business of documenting the destination while understanding that the whole time this adventure has been about the journey. Sounds cliche’, but there it is.
Over the past week, I’ve been composing my thoughts on the journey and trying to crystallize my most deeply felt and experienced lessons. I’ll post those thoughts tomorrow.
15 thoughts on “Day 75: Pacific: Swisshome, OR to the Frickin Pacific Ocean”
Congratulations! I’ve been following your journey and how profound. So awesome!
Thanks Traci. It has been awesome.
Congratulations Mike! I have enjoyed living the journey vicariously with you and will miss the daily posts.
Thanks Steve. It has been an amazing adventure. I’m relieved to be done, but I’m already antsy to be riding again!
I have enjoyed reading your daily entries and will miss updates.
Whoo Hooo! Congratulations! As I went for a ride today I was thinking about your epic journey. Your updates, stories and amazing photos have painted a vivid picture of modern day America, relationships, and the human spirit. I have thoroughly enjoyed this vicarious adventure…..Thank you Mike!
Congratulations! I too have been following your journey since the start and it has been a wonderful highlight of my day for the past ~2.5 months. As Steve B. says above, I too have been living the journey vicariously through you and your daily posts. Looking forward to your final thoughts!
So very proud of you!!!!!!
Thank you for letting all of wanna be travelers travel with you. I am sure there are thousands like me who have traveled with you. I have loved every photograph and your great stories . Have a completely new appreciation for all that is so good about America. I knew nothing about what it is like to ride a bike more than a couple of hours. I will be much more considerate when sharing the road for sure.
Your descriptions of those crazed dogs, tough mtns and natures most beautiful places are inspiring and so well written. Hope this is just intermission in the journey movie. Would love a sequel … the route home! Best to you and yours in the future! Thanks again.
Congratulations! I’ve been enjoying reading all these posts. In fact during your trip, I tried a (short) tour for the first time, thanks to you and the touring-bloggers out there!
I have so loved “riding” along with you. Congrats on a very huge challenge realized!
Congratulations! I’ve read every single piece in this series. I’ve enhanced my knowledge of geography of the United States thanks to you, and finally thanks for posting all the great pictures.
I definitely got the lump in my throat and maybe even a welt in the eyes. This was such an amazing accomplishment and journey and I’m so glad you let us all read along with you. Congratulations Mike!
Well done! And thanks for sharing your experiences — your writing and pictures were great.