Made it!

 

A light tailwind offered steady support as I savored the last few miles of road into Lubec.  A loon flew low overhead uttering its wonderful, erie call, as if to say, “Welcome, Galvin.  What took you so long?” I took it as a good omen and a fitting bookend to the chirps of Bald Eagles who saw me off from Neah Bay, WA, three months ago.

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West Quoddy Head Lighthouse sits high on a ledge above the Bay of Fundy and the Canadian border – the Easternmost point in the U.S.  I achieved this red-and-white-striped goal just before noon today, August 16th, after 94 days and 5042 miles!  My sister, Pat, the No. 1 Road Angel, was waiting for me with a big grin and hug.  It felt great to achieve this goal, yet it is going to take me days to sort out my current emotions.

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(Road Angel extrordinaire Pat with me at Quoddy Head, ME, with the Bay of Fundy and Canadian islands behind us.)

 

This bicycle trip has been the most wonderful adventure of my life, made so not only by the geography covered and time spent, but even more by all the people I’ve met along the way.  Don’t be discouraged, America, by all the negativity you hear on the daily news – the reality is that people all across this land are friendly, helpful, kind and considerate.  You would like them and they, you – it turns out that we are more similar at the basic, human level, than divided.  This trip reaffirmed my faith in America.  But I digress, and will likely return soon to debrief with you about my experience.

 

On the third-to-last day of my trip, I explored Acadia National Park on Mt. Desert Island.  The weather turned sunny and clear, so I peddled up Cadillac Mountain, which, at 1527 feet above sea level is the highest point directly on the coast north of Mexico.  The views from Cadillac are spectacular.  Most of the gaggle of tourists couldn’t believe that I had just ridden my bicycle up the mountain (a nice, 5% grade on the old carriage road), let alone ridden from Seattle in order to get to Cadillac.  I saw a lot of “omg” expressions.  And I had one on myself as I gazed out at the Atlantic Ocean and the beautiful coastline of Maine.

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My neice, Kelly Sanborn, and her husband, Norman, invited me to spend the night at their house on Great Cranberry Island off Mt. Desert.  An added bonus was the arrival of my sister-in-law, Jean Galvin, just hours earlier from Florida.  We motored out aboard Cinchona, the wooden motor yacht that Norman skippers for his boss, Mrs. Nelson.  My brother, Greg, had given me a Cinchona hat which I have worn in his memory, so it was a special treat to ride in this boat and to finally meet her captain.

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Kelly and Norman’s two island girls, Jessica and Melanie (ages 10 and 8), reminded my already, at their young ages, of the Maine girls, Anna and Julia, from Chebeague.  There is something about growing up on an island that fosters independence and strong character.  I can’t wait to see what Jess and Mel do as they continue to grow.

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(Island Angels from Great Cranberry, Maine: Jean Galvin, Jessica, Kelly, Melanie and Norman Sanborn.)

 

After one more day of steady peddling, I arrived in Lubec for the finale.  Pat came the night before and we managed to have both dinner and breakfast at the famous Helen’s Restaurant in Machias, where all the food is excellent and the blueberry pies are extraordinary.

 

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And that concludes my trip.  Pat is bringing me back to Concord, MA, where I’ll pack up and ship the bike and then jump on a plane back to Seattle.  I’m ready to be home.  I am looking forward to seeing Mary Sue, helping Nick and Bree with wedding preparations, and beginning to figure out what the next chapter will include.

Thanks for your interest and support over these many months and miles.  It has been a treat for me to share the adventure with you.  I’ll post some follow-up commentary soon, but for now: I’m done!

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— Dave (posted from somewhere in Maine as we drive away, on 8/16/2016)

 

 

36 thoughts on “Made it!

    1. Congratulations – you have provided us with a wonderful adventure story and a lot of information, both narrative and visual, about the wonderful people and places in our country. Look forward to seeing you at an upcoming yoga practice back in Seattle.

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  1. Hooray for you!! I’ve so enjoyed your posts – thank you for carrying us along on your ride. A cross-country bike trip is on my bucket list, and your missives have helped keep it there! Someday…I shared one of the paragraphs from your last post on my Facebook — about how the trip renewed your faith in the US. I think you’re right that we have more in common. I get along just fine with my dad as long as we don’t talk politics! All the best as you journey homeward. Best,Jen Jackson

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  2. Woo Hoo Galvin! I had to post your comment on FB about good folks everywhere across the country. I suspected as much. Thanks for confirming. Next up a world bike tour perhaps?

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  3. Congrats we are so happy for your great adventure. We were delighted you took the time to visit us on your way. have a safe trip home, Love to all Ken & Joan

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  4. Congratulations! What a great 3-month experience。 I enjoyed reading your posts. Your thoughtful planning in advance made for a life-affirming experience. More anon, Chuck

    Sent from my iPhone

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  5. Congratulations Papa Bear! My turn to be a proud daughter : ) Now you just have to prepare to ride back across with me after I finish this darn PhD!

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  6. Congratulations on completing your incredible journey & thank you for the enjoyable posts that took us with you. It is good to hear some positive American stories given the current news focus on the contentious election. Thanks again for sharing and we look forward to seeing you in the hood.

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    1. Dave
      What an awesome feat! I truly enjoyed reading about your adventures across the United States, thank you for sharing. Would be interested in hearing more about the town our great grandparents were from.
      Safe travels back to Seattle and Congratulations on your amazing journey!

      Debbie McLaughlin

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      1. Wow, Dave, you did it! What a n amazing feat!! And your blog has been such a treat. I will miss it. Maybe you could make it into a book, telling about all the road angels and other super friendly people you met in your travels. Looking forward to seeing you soon back in Seattle.

        Bev

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  7. Far out, man! You done did it. My t-s hat off to you for your stamina and stick-to-itness and for sharing the adventure with the world. I am so glad I was able to catch up with you along the way. Say hi to Mary Sue for me.

    EEEEhaw!

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  8. Congratulations, Dave!
    It has been a privilege to ride along with you. I have looked forward to every post, and you have never disappointed.

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  9. So glad you mde it and truly wish we had been there but too much for Unce Jim to travel for 6 hours–you look so great for having ridden 5000 miles. God Bless You and enjoy the wedding love you

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  10. Dave,

    Congratulations! Following your trip has been like following a great adventurer such as Robert Perry to the North Pole (although less dangerous and arduous as his but just as fascinating). I’ve told friends and family about your trip and I always get the OMG look followed by the “Is he crazy?” look. I have to admit, when I first heard about your plans I had both as well. I was also very concerned about your safety going across potentially dangerous country (from both two-legged and four-legged predators). I’m so glad you made it safe and sound. I think you’ve now earned your scout “If I can do this, I can do anything” badge. Wear it proudly.

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  11. Congratulations Dave, what a feat of strength and will power. Amazing journey and an inspiration to everyone who knows you.

    Safe trip back, see you soon.

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  12. Congratulations Dave on your amazing journey. It’s been geat fun “riding” along with you. And thanks for making the time to stay with us this month. Can’t wait to hear what’s next (after Nick and Bree’s wedding).

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  13. Wow you did it!!! Only one sad thing that you are finished – I will miss your posts! Enjoyed every one of them as a real treat to savor! Once again thank you for sharing your experience so very generously with your thoughts and descriptions. Looking forward to visiting with you and Mary Sue soon. I am down for the count with 6 ½ months from retiring.

    Big Hugs Sandra

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  14. Dave – Congratulations!!! We are so very happy for you to have accomplished this extraordinary goal! Also thrilled we got to visit with you and hear stories from the trip. It’s also reassuring to know that there are so many “road Angels” out there. It makes my soul happy to know so many people are happy to embrace humanity out there! 😀 All the best for your travel home to Mary Sue and your home life and happy wedding day to Nick & Bree!!!!

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  15. David so proud of you! Congratulations ! What an amazing achievement! You are my Hero! So delighted your trip was even better than you could have imagined! Love you, M🍀💗🍀💗🍀💗🍀💗

    Sent from my iPad

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    1. Dave, you continue to inspire! This adventure is, as you said, about America the Beautiful! The people, the land, and our way of life. I can’t wait to spend more time with you to hear about all the adventures. Congratulations on completing such a wonderful journey that took great planning and execution. But I know that its success was in large part due to the strength of your own character and all the connections you have made in your past that came around to support you on your journey. Enjoy the wedding! Scott C.

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  16. What a trip, what a guy! Please say you will come tell us about the trip in person for those of us not retired yet and those that are.

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  17. Dave you are truly amazing! I am not sure what I enjoyed more, your descriptions of the locations or learning about all the wonderful people you met along the way. I think they were just as lucky to meet you as you were to meet them.
    After the wedding festivities I am signing you up for a brown bag here at KSC.
    Maureen

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  18. Congratulations Dave!! I have enjoyed following the accounts of your travels. I hope one day to ride cross country as well, but I’m not sure I’d go solo, but who knows. I’m glad you made it safely and the stories of the wonderful folks you met along the way was really heartwarming. This is a great nation for sure. I’m curious how you liked the Brooks Cambium saddle, (I have the Professional).
    Take care,
    Tony

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    1. Tony – Nice to hear from you and glad that you could join me vicariously for the trip. You defintely should consider a cross-country ride, sooner rather than later. I address the question of solo riding in my updated FAQs. As for the Brooks Cambium, it worked for me. Seats are particular, so each rider has to figure that piece of gear out for him- or herself. This seat has been comfortable for my butt right out of the shop on day one – no break-in time or ten-steps such as with the Brooks’ leather seats – I just rode it right out of the gate. Good luck with yours!

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  19. Dave,
    This is Dan – I met you the last day at the lighthouse and we compared notes about our bike trips across the US. Good to see all is well with you, checked out your site here and concur with pretty much all your comments – the real America is alive and well and is found much of the time away from the interstates! Good meeting you there by His appointment, and thanks for the picture of us in the background looking at the rock marker of the easternmost point (the pic on this page right before your map pic) :)
    Take care and God bless.
    Dan

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  20. Dave, first of all congratulations to your awesome adventure. My girlfriend and I finished a Transam tour last year and for now I can only stop my craving for another adventure by reading about other people experiencing the same things.
    Thanks a lot for sharing your story.
    Best, Martin
    Cycling the West Coast

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  21. Dave,
    I’ve got fond memories of sharing that bit of Eastern Washington stretch of State 20. Glad you made it without troubles, too. As I did.

    Another shout out for the Cambium saddle, mine gave me no troubles!

    And it is refreshing to see that the human spirit is alive and well, that’s despite what the politicians seem to want us to believe.

    take care and enjoy the wedding!

    Holden

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