The final banquet was fun, a little anticlimactic. Especially after the events of the night before (including the song). We took some photos, which I will upload later. I seem to be having a problem communicating with my own computer after being gone so long... I also have a lot of photos from the trip that are not on the blog--I have not yet decided how I will make them available to those who would like to see them.
The banquest was very nice--a little social ahead of the dinner, good food, and good company. We each received a certificate of our accomplishment, and some other awards were given as well. The map with the black line that now extends from coast to coast was awarded to Achim and Alex to take home to Germany. The sign with an arrow pointing to Boston was awarded to Amy, due to her amazing recovery from a terrible bike/car accident. The 1,000 milestone sign was awarded to George, who had not even owned a bike until weeks before the tour began. Meredith got to take home the 2,000 mile sign, since he persevered through both bike problems and health problems to finish the ride. The 3,000 mile sign was awarded to Janie for being such a trooper as well as an EFI. The LA to Boston sign is now Beverly's, for being strong and pulling through, and learning how to cut the chat at the sags in order to get to the hotel before dinner!
;-) Beverly is going to send me photos from the banquet, which I will post here along with the few that Bill and I took. Look for them in a couple of days.
We left the hotel yesterday morning about 8:00 AM, stopped for breakfast soon after, and then headed west. We took Beverly as far as Rochester, NY, about halfway for us. Of course we chatted all the way, which was probably wearing on the driver (Bill) but he was a good sport about it. After Beverly was delivered to her brother's truck at the Thruway exit (around 4:30 PM) we continued on to Buffalo before stopping. As much as I would have liked to make it home in one day, it was 6 PM and we had had about all we could stand in the truck. So we had dinner and got a room at yet another hotel, making it 54 days since I'd slept in my own bed.
This morning I was awake and hungry at 5:00, as usual. I'm going to have to get over that! We left the motel just before 7, got a small breakfast and hit the road. I did some driving today, first time behind the wheel in almost 2 months; at expressway speeds, in the rain, in the one-ton truck with a stick shift.... not a problem. Like I told Bill (who desperately needed a break from driving) it's just like riding a bike! You don't forget how. (He didn't laugh).
I still intend to publish my impressions of the trip here, but am not quite ready--it's too soon to tell how I really feel; still a bit numb. But it is good to be home!