Home Again, Home Again Jiggety-Jog

All right, folks–this is it!  The trip is officially over. We are currently sprawled out on our sleeping pads and bag in our un-air-conditioned but beautiful apartment. We’re not quite ready to let go. The last couple of days have been a joyful whirlwind, taking us from Maine to Boston , and ultimately New York.  Here’s how our journey ended:

August 23: 72 miles from York Harbor, ME to Tyngsborough, MA

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We enjoyed a final sunrise (despite Alex’s poor track record for early starts) and hit the road, following the coast into New Hampshire. After a brief stop at a bakery in charming Portsmouth, we turned inland into the hills and woods of southern New Hampshire.

New Hampshire’s back roads provided shade and distraction during a higher mileage day. A particularly leisurely break in beautiful East Derry brought a calming sense of almost-done closure.

Soon after, we crossed into Massachusetts!!

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It was a BIG DEAL!!!  This was home. We followed the Merrimack River for a few short miles until we reached Alex’s sister’s super old, awesome house (built in 1733!). There, we were welcomed by Alex’s sister, Cass, her boyfriend, Justin, Alex’s girlfriend, Jen, and our long-lost friends Peter and Gemma who came for a premature welcome home celebration (not to mention dogs Pork and Lola).

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Yet another AMAZING summer cookout commenced. To anyone that took us in and gave us a special evening, you REALLY made our day!!

August 24: 46 miles from Tyngsborough, MA to Cambridge, MA

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Our last day!!!!!!  As we biked south from Tynsgborough, things started to get surreal. Turns out biking home after almost 5,000 miles doesn’t feel all that strange–riding the roads and bike paths we know so well felt remarkably normal. Just a weekend ride!

After a summer of traveling as strangers, it was fun to stop by along our day at the homes of loved ones. We had a long lunch with Christine’s mom, step dad and brother in Sudbury, and then biked a little ways down the road to Bedford where we sipped iced tea and wandered through the enormous garden of our friends Wendel and Luisa with Peter (and Pork, of course).

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It is way harder to pee on the east coast on a bike path on a Saturday. So we stopped in Lexington for bladder relief and a pastry.

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We think Alex will agree that one of the best things about biking is finding a pretty, quiet place to sit (and eat). We enjoyed a final moment of away-ness before biking the last short stretch to Cambridge.

At 6:25pm, we arrived at Ian’s childhood home where our parents and a whole backyard full of friends and family cheered us in!  It was quite the reception for us dirty, scruffy wanderers. What a scene–we were happily overwhelmed by the sight of so many loved ones we had been missing all summer suddenly right in front of us!

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There are many ways to travel, but traveling home is especially meaningful. For the past three months, we’ve crossed mountains, the emptiness of the plains, and wandered through river valleys, catching glimpses of many lives lived by all kinds of people, but all the while we were heading home.  As we sit in our new New York home, the sense of finality is both immensely satisfying and brutally abrupt.  Happily, we’ve been infected by an incurable quest for more–so mourning is easily morphed into plans for the next big adventure!

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Thanks for joining us on this journey–we hope you enjoyed the ride!

Until next time…

6 thoughts on “Home Again, Home Again Jiggety-Jog

  1. Glad to hear you both made it home safe. Fantastic journaling and pictures to boot guys. Really enjoyed reading about your adventures and feel privileged I was able to tag along for a few, brief miles along your trip on the Erie canal. Hope we meet up again!!! Gerry (Lockport, NY)

  2. Welcome home!! The blog was a joy to read, and I looked forward to hearing the latest news as you made your way along. Thank you so much for sharing the experience!!

  3. Welcome home! It was so much fun to follow your travels. I’m so impressed with what you did physically, never mind all that togetherness on a tandem!
    ~Bonnie

  4. Welcome home!! Thanks so much for ‘taking’ so many of us with you – we are very proud of your accomplishment! We will miss reading your experiences from the road!

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