Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Last 2 days!

 Day 96 – Little Sand Bay to Wisconsin Point ~ 73 miles

Well after the fish fry last night we ended up going out to Wisconsin's northernmost bar called the Gil-Net-Tug. It was karaoke night! We didn't sing, but Lane sang quite the rendition of CCR's “Have you ever seen the rain”. After the bar we went back to Lane's place to have a beach fire. It was going really well until it started to pour. We ran up to the house and hung out listening to music for a bit longer until we went to bed.

We woke up this morning at about 10...late as usual. We at quickly and packed up our things. Lane and two of his room mates decided to ride a ways with us. We all rode together for ways and then said our goodbyes and parted ways. The shoulder on the section of highway 13 between Little Sand Bay and Port Wing kind of sucks. We stopped in Port Wing for lunch and then continued on. We are exhausted today and when we saw the sign for Superior that said 45 more miles it was really painful.

We slowly pushed on. Somewhere along highway 13 at around 3 or 4 we were passed by a friend named Eric. Kris and Zach both went to school with him. He was headed back from Bayfield and saw us as he passed. He pulled over and we talked for a bit. We hope to see him again soon.

We finally reached highway 53 that heads into Superior. It is a separated highway and bikes are not supposed to be on it, but since we only had to be on it for about a mile we decided to go for it. Went off without hitch. We biked the last mile or so out onto Wisconsin Point and pulled into the parking lot to wait for Bre and Mona to come. Our editor Jay and his girlfriend Paris were waiting in the parking lot for us as well. Once Bre and Mona arrived we at the awesome pizza from the Thirsty Pagan in Superior and then went into town to pick up some water, beer, and snacks for the night.

We got back to the point and set up our camp and then started a fire. It was starting to look like it was going to rain. We could see storm clouds out over the lake dropping rain. We didn't get hit by the rain, but once we had our tents set up the wind got really vicious and blew over Zach and Bre's tent and sent the tent stakes scattering. They were able to get it set back up eventually, but the wind never really quit all night.

We spent the rest of the night around the fire with a few of our friends that came out to join us. It was a really nice way to spend our last night of the trip. We would have stayed up longer, but we had to finish tomorrow and we were exhausted.

It just so happens that someone called us in for camping on the point, no camping allowed, and a cop came out to talk to us at 2:30 in the morning. He said he didn't care that we were there, but that we needed to pick up our things and be out of there in the morning.

Tomorrow we are headed to the finish line in Duluth. Hard to believe. It is mixed emotions.

Day 97 – Wisconsin Point to Duluth ~ 18 miles (Last day)

We woke up sometime around 8:30 this morning and hung out until it was time to leave. Jay came back out in the morning to get our last morning on film and we spent some time talking to the camera and packing up. Kris and Zach hugged it out before we mounted our bikes for the last time of the trip.

We headed into Superior around 10 or so and stopped at Subway (of course) to get some food. After eating we headed toward the Bong bridge. It is the only bridge that allows bikes to cross the St. Louis river in the Duluth area. Just before we reached the bridge we saw Kris's mom and dad and their family friends the Van't Hof's. They had come up to see us finish and Kris's dad and friend Gene were going to ride the rest of the way into town with us. The four of us headed toward the bridge and then met up with our friends Bill and Lucas. Lucas is a team member of Superior Dream, a team of two who paddled around Superior in 2010. Look for their documentary to come out soon! So the 6 of us headed over the bridge and into Duluth.

We arrived in town and headed through downtown on Superior Street. We got a few honks of support and a few shouts. Just before we reached the Brewhouse we stopped to have a moment together before we crossed the finish line. When we were ready we pedaled the last few blocks and rounded the corner to see family and friends waiting for us to cross. We heard their cheers just as we were rounded the corner. Our emotions had gotten us. It was a pretty overwhelming experience.

We crossed through the tape that Mona and Bre had made us and it was officially over. We crossed the line that we started on 97 days and ~5,500 miles earlier. We stopped and hugged before we dove into the crowd for congratulations and reunions.

Kris got everyone together and said a few words of thanks to the crowd and we were presented with an honorary booklet of praise from the Mayor by one of his assistants. It was an awesome experience and it all happened so fast. After the crowd broke up we interviewed with a few news agencies and then headed to the Brewhouse for our first Brewhouse beer since the start.

We spent the rest of the day with our family and friends and enjoyed being home. Although it is a mixed bag of emotions. We are glad to be home, but we feel like we could have kept going. It will be an interesting couple of weeks, but we will get through it and back into the swing of things. Stay tuned for more progress.

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