My odometer says I’ve gone about 1500 miles. Tomorrow I will head down from San Diego into Mexico, closing the US chapter. Looking back, this has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. It has been almost nothing like I thought it would be. It’s been so much better. I loved riding before I left Seattle, but now I love it almost compulsively. The parts of the journey that I thought would be difficult: sore muscles, inclement weather, and solitude, became amusing or ended up being a non-issue. I feel more sane than ever before. Isn’t that what the crazies always say? ;) I observed some of the most beautiful landscapes of my life and indulged in some amazing sunsets. I rode the best terrain of my life. I’ve seen hawks, skunks, deer, dogs, falcons, possums, rats, a fox, turkey vultures, obese ground squirrels, cats, and that was just the roadkill. Unfortunately, both and were taken so I didn’t set up a carcass rating website. I met some amazing people and have been the recipient of generosity that I would never have expected from strangers. Most important of all, I’ve had epic fun.

I want to take a moment to thank all the people who helped me along the way. You added emotional support, convenience, gear, philosophy, and flavor. I truly appreciate all you have done.

Tim, Jana, Julie, Ty, An, Jesse, Tamara, Alan, Mom, and Dad – Thank you so much for the gear, the support and the hospitality. It has really made things simple for me.

Ryan, Lindy, Beau, Barb, Sylvia, Jade, the couple I met who bought me lunch near Big Sur, Galen, the fellow who gave me a beer/Christmas ham/a little captain south of Big Sur, the heavy-handed bartender on the wharf in Monterrey, and the cycling group who shared their knowledge, beer, and snacks with me north of Lompoc – Thank you so much for your hospitality and kindness. I hope you enjoyed my stories; I certainly enjoyed meeting you all and spending time with you.

And thank you to all the many, many, many people back home and on the road who shared their philosophy with me and gave me words of encouragement. I’m sorry I don’t remember everyone, but I do remember Dan, George, the camp hosts in Carlsbad, Duncan in San Elijo, Otto and Marie in Newport CA, and many others that I’m sorry I can’t remember. Thank you so very much.

Some of you may have noticed that I put up some photos from this leg. There are some more coming in the next weeks (some were lost and I need to get them from my backup). You can see them here.

Tomorrow I’m southward bound.