Journal Final Update--October 1
October 1 Anchor Point, AK to Homer, AK
Before starting out on our final day's journey, we enjoyed a fine breakfast at the Anchor River Inn, and rode a couple of miles out to "The Most Westerly Paved Road in North America," posed for a picture under the sign, then rode back to the main road. The rolling hills kept us warm in the cold rain. We were stopped a few times by well-wishers who took pictures and offered congratulations, including photographers from two Homer newspapers. In Homer we stopped for a few minutes at The Sourdough Express, where Kevin treated us to great refreshments and Homer hospitality. We watched the rain let up and the sky clear a bit, then set off on the last few miles.
The Homer Spit is a low, narrow peninsula sticking out into Kachemak Bay, dotted with fishing charter businesses and shops for tourists. It also has a small boat harbor (where Patti's brother Tom has his fishing boat) and, at the very tip, the Land's End, a world-class resort. As we rode the five flat miles out onto the spit, we couldn't believe the end was here. With silly grins on all of our faces, we waved to the honking motorists and shouting pedestrians. We savored the moment. We congratulated each other. Three years of anticipation made these last few miles seem like a dream, and we pedaled effortlessly down the smooth pavement in a euphoric trance.
Land's End staff, Homer locals, the Faulkner family, the mayor of Homer, TV, Radio and Newspaper folks, Chrissy & William, and Tom & Michele made up the forty or so people standing around a yellow ribbon stretched across the end of the road. We rode through the ribbon to cheers and flashbulbs, the mayor handed me a letter and shook our hands, we all hugged, and there we were. As a final ceremony, we wheeled the bike down through the low-tide rocks and seaweed and dipped the front tire into the Pacific at Kachemak bay.
John and Sarah Faulkner, owners of the Land's End and our hosts for tonight, had arranged for us to enjoy a hot tub and dinner at the resort, so we changed our clothes and did so. Getting into jeans and a sweater, I had the most bittersweet feelings. It felt good, like a job well done. But it felt a bit sad as well, like leaving a house you have lived in or a career you have pursued for a long time. We had become comfortable on the shoulder of the road, waving to people and wondering where we would sleep that night. We will become comfortable in our next phase, driving back to Vermont and returning to normal life (whatever that is). In the meantime, we will savor the accomplishment, adapt to the change and regret that our days on the road are over for now.
Many folks have asked what we plan to do next. We are going to New York City again to sell Christmas trees, and of course we are going to write a book, tentatively titled "Wind in the Face", about our trip. We plan to move to Alaska and put Patti in the Iditarod, a three or four year project. We talk about other big adventures; biking around the world on a five-seater, spending a year in the wilderness, mountain biking the length of the Rocky Mountains, following the pro mountain bike circuit documenting Ellie's racing career. Anything is possible.
Check this web site now and then for future developments and more photos. We ask you to e-mail us right now, so we can add your name to the e-mail list and keep you posted. Help us out by buying a copy or three of "Christmas on Jane Street," and a copy of "Wind in the Face" when that comes out. Finally, the Romp Family thanks everyone who helped make this trip possible, and there are too many of you to list. Nothing would please us more than to learn that you took some inspiration from our little adventure, and went outside for some Wind in the Face!