Cue the Doors, this is the end my friend
It’s hard to know how one will feel at the end of a long journey. For me, it’s a mix of things. After 10 weeks on the road, the novelty of the journey has worn off. Life on the bike is the norm, a daily routine. In some respects, I think that this is a good time to finish up. I’m not sick of traveling, nor am I remiss to be finishing. While I would be happy to keep pedaling down Baja, I'm equally excited to be starting a new journey, in Anchorage, Alaska.
Finishing seems both matter-of-fact, and unbelievable. Traveling at 10 m.p.h., changes happen slowly. Whole weeks go by without entering a new state. The passing of time and distance is distorted compared to everyday life.
The final leg of the trip was the short distance between Encinitas and the border. Luckily, I have family there, and was able to stay, relax, and pack up all my junk. I even went on an extracurricular bike ride without the panniers. It was pathetic how much faster the bike is without all that weight. I'm looking foreword to unweighted bike riding/commuting in the snowy north.
My wife Nancy flew down to San Diego and joined me on the final leg of the journey. We booked it through town in order to catch a ferry to Coronado. It seemed fitting that both the first and final day of the trip involved riding hard to catch a ferry. The final mile of the Pacific Coast route was flooded with sewage and storm runoff. I opted to ride the beach over then ford the sewage ponds. As I approached the final mile, I could see a bunch of people milling about with balloons. I figured it was someone having a birthday party at the park. It turned out it was my family with a finish-line banner and party balloons.
The sand led all the way to the border fence (it already exists). On the other side of the fence, I could see families playing and relaxing on the beach. Two fisherman were casting heaving rods into the surf. Border guards sad in Suburbans and buzzed anyone who got to close to the wall. Kinda a weird place.
From here the journey continues, but by different modes. An airplane whisks us off to Montana where I pick up my long lost pickup. Interstate truck miles lead to Bellingham where we board a ferry for three days on the Alaska Maratime Highway. The final leg take us from Haines to Anchorage, our new home.
Can't wait to explore our new state, bike and fly rod in tow.