Friday, November 19, 2010
Isaac and Lacey left for work the next morning after coffee, and I hit the road for the last time. I was blessed with a beautiful day to end on: sun shining, light breeze, and more blazing hills to gaze at (kinda dangerous at times though, because you don't want to watch the road..... minor issue). I rode around some small mountains, through shedding forests on a back country road. I was singing “Country Roads” by John Denver as I wound through the countryside. It was all new landscape to me until I hit Dardanelle, and it was almost just like any other day on the trip, except I knew I was almost home. I took my time, and tried not to count the miles, just keeping my head in the clouds and scaring cows as I rode by.
When I hit Dardanelle, I was overwhelmed with a feeling of surreality. I had thought of this day since I had started the trip, the day I would make it home, if that day came. And here it was. I had a handful of miles left till the trek was complete, was over, and I knew those miles like I know the feel of a soccer ball beneath my feet. Just instinct, just natural. A sequence of roads and turns that I had made a hundred times, probably more, except now it was extraordinary, to me at least. The commonplace colliding with the momentous. It felt so weird, an unusual homecoming, that I had awaited for over 3 thousand miles. I had made it. It was hard to swallow.
I ended by going up Sheppard Drive, which made a great final hill to end the trip on. I'll just say it's steep, and mildly long. It was an apt consummation of the trip – one final push to the finish; I felt like I earned the respite of home. I rolled into my driveway (another weird feeling), greeted by my parents, and my brother and sister-in-law. My brother turned on the car stereo to blast the Rocky Theme Song, which still makes me laugh, thinking about. I had made it, and made it in time – by Thanksgiving, to see my family. I was home, by the grace of God.