BOBBY AND THANE TACKLE THE TRANSAM Day 77 Manzanita to Astoria

Day Seventy Seven Thane’s Blog: the wheels on the bus go round and Bobby & Thaneround

Tuesday July 16, 2013, 50 miles (80 km) – Total so far: 4,396 miles (7,074 km)

According to the blond haired 40 something women in the peach blazer, the bus ride from Astoria to Portland will last about 2 ½ hours. As I step onto the first motorized vehicle I have been on in over a month my mind begins to drift back.This bus is traversing a beautiful span of water on the bridge that we could see yesterday as we cycled into the town of Astoria. Like the water on either side of me I am flooded with emotions.

In the 77 days it took Boo and I to cycle across this country I have laughed. I have cried. I have cussed. I have stood at the top of mountains in absolute amazement.I have crawled into a tent after a brutal day of climbing and questioned my own sanity. I have made new friends and prayed for old ones. I have missed birthday parties and dance recitals. I have missed some of life. I have lived some of life.

I have photographed mountains and valleys. I have photographed incredible flowing rivers. Each one speaking to me in a voice I simply never understood before but do now. I have photographed faces of this nation. All whispering their own story to me. I have marveled. I have been humbled. I have been overcome. I have seen parts of my soul that I quite simply never knew existed. I can now answer the question that my wife asked of me nearly a week ago. “Thane, will you miss this?” “Will you miss this ride?” Today, it is as clear as crystal. I simply cannot miss something that will forever live in my soul. This thing. This beautiful thing we call life is a gift. I was reminded of that with each and every turn of the pedals.

The bus has stopped to pick up more incredible stories. Each one on the same path to the city of Portland. They know not and probably care not of what I have seen or what I have done since the first day of May. Since the first turn of the pedals. We all have our own lives. Our own paths along this road. As it should be. As it must be.

One more stop of the bus. Three more stories find a seat and drift off into their own world. The private island they seek until this ride comes to a conclusion. An ending. Its final destination.

For me, cycling the transam has no ending. No conclusion. It is a perpetual circle. Much like the band of love that occupies a spot on my left ring finger. My wish for anyone and everyone reading these thoughts is brutally simple. Much like the suffering it takes to cycle up a mountain. Brutally simple. Live this life. Embrace it like a newborn child and don’t ever let it go.

The rain is falling outside and the wipers are conversing with the hum of the tires. The stories seated in the seats behind me are speaking of divorce and distain for their jobs and the perils of a rainy day. I just step off the bus. Look up to the sky and embrace the rain on my face. Turning around to get back on the bus as people stare and wonder. Like a child I simply smile. There is simplicity in the rain. Much like riding a bicycle. The bus slowly pulls away heading for its next passenger or two that wish to make the ride to another city today. Three seats behind me a story is talking on the phone loud enough for all to hear. Casting his personal perils into the wind. Hoping others around him will embrace his loneliness and somehow make him feel more alive. I simply chose to embrace the rain on my face. Recalling precious memories collected recently while riding a child’s toy. A bicycle.

In two days I will board an airplane and fly back to a world I left on the very first day of the month of May. Forever grateful. Forever humbled. Forever changed. It truly is quite simple. Live this life!

Day Seventy Seven Bobby’s Blog

Tuesday July 16, 2013, 50 miles (80 km) – Total so far: 4,396 miles (7,074 km)

Day 77 Manzinita to Astoria

No rest for the legs. Some pretty long climbs but legs are in great shape. Amazing how when I look down at my cluster and see the chain in the middle on these climbs instead of on the big cog where it was in the beginning.

There was I believe something else pushing me up those hills. Perhaps the smell of the sea in Astoria. And most of all thoughts of being reunited with my wife and dogs in our home. After living in my Kelty Salida 2 (which I became very fond of I might say) the luxuries of my home which I always took for granted will be so sweet.

There were a lot of last times for, on this day. Last time for tearing down the tent and packing the bike,last pannier breakfast,last crawl out of the tent at 3am for a quick wee behind a tree,last time to watch Ruffy pick up and set down countless plastic bags until he got himself sorted out,last 20 something mile ride for a great breakfast,the list could go on and on.

But the most important,the last pedal stroke before rolling Chester into Bikes and Beyond for his well deserved ride home to Michigan. Sleep well on the way home Chester you were wonderful.

Had a wonderful dinner with Ruff and Sarah and Thane before heading back to the motel to lay this tired body down and once again turn my thoughts to home.IURCjZ_image

The Cycling Band of Brothers have completed their tour.

The Cycling Band of Brothers have completed their tour.

A shot for the local hometown paper.

A shot for the local hometown paper.

Honey I made it.

Honey I made it.