Aug. 17, 2014
Bucksport, ME to Bar Harbor, ME
Day: 46 miles; Total: 4,317 miles
It felt odd to know that we were packing up the bikes one last time and heading out for our last day on the road. Off to Bar Harbor!
At the suggestion of Tom, who we met yesterday at lunchtime, we biked about 20 miles and ate midday breakfast at the really good Riverside Cafe in Ellsworth. Our route was taking us over more rolling woodlands near the water and on some country roads that wound around but were fairly quiet on this misty Sunday morning.
Once we were on the main road that leads to Acadia National Park and Mt. Desert Island, the reality of our actually being almost there began to hit us. Fortunately, since we never seem to be direct in our route, we wound through several small island towns and lots of up and downs towards Bar Harbor, which sits at one side of the island and I had time to calm down and focus on not getting pruned this last day of the ride.
As we entered the town past all the B&Bs we were pretty excited. We rode through the very busy main street and followed the sign to the boat ramp where we were going to dip our wheels. What a feeling to finally be here! So many times over the last three months, we have answered a person’s logical question: “Where did you ride from and where are you going” and always the answer “To Bar Harbor, Maine!”
Thoughts from Bill: The Pedaling Puppy Raisers bike tour across America was the trip of a lifetime and the fulfillment of a dream Barb and I have held for over thirty years. My strongest feelings at the end of this journey are awe and gratitude. I am in awe of the vastness of our country and it s beauty in so many varieties. I never grasped America’s size until we were traveling across the land day by day, one pedal stroke at a time and until the many days in Montana and North Dakota when we could see to the horizon in all directions. I am also in awe at the goodness and friendliness of the people we met everywhere we went. They took the time to talk and joke with two sweaty, strangely attired strangers, answer our questions about their local areas and lives, and learn about Canine Companions for Independence. Meeting all kinds of people in all kinds of places enriched our journey immeasurably. I am grateful that circumstances furnished Barb and me with the time and good health to undertake our adventure. I am grateful to the many friends, old and new, who provided us with good company, food and lodging along the way. You gave us a home away from home. Please remember we want to return your kindness when you come to the San Francisco area. I am grateful to all the blog readers who took time to write comments. Although we could not respond to every comment, we always enjoyed your insights, humor and good wishes. You gave us a tailwind every day. Finally I am grateful to our families for the love and support you gave us throughout this undertaking. Barb and I are looking forward to joyous reunions with all of you. To all the good people who listened to us talk about CCI, thanks for your interest and I hope you will consider supporting this wonderful organization. To anyone who is interested in making a journey like ours, we would be very happy to answer your questions and provide advice. No extraordinary strength or skill is required. Just ride the bike one day at a time, try to follow the map and take in all the wonders around you. You will never regret it.
Thoughts from Barb: I have many wonderful feelings about having been able to do this ride and to raise awareness for CCI. I too feel gratitude; for being physically able to complete the ride, for those friends who stepped up to cover for me while we were gone and for all of you who have supported this endeavor with your kind words of encouragement. I also feel a sense of wonder at what we saw of this beautiful country and the people who we met. We will have great memories of all the very different places we saw and the people that we connected with. I loved talking to folks about Canine Companions for Independence and the good work it does and I also loved learning from locals about their corner of the world. This has been a wonderful and unforgettable experience.
This is our last post of the trip but if anyone has any questions about our experiences with bike touring or about our involvement as volunteers with Canine Companions for Independence, you can email us email@example.com or follow the links below. Thanks for reading our blog!