92. WHAAAAT!?! THE END OF 21 MONTHS OF TRAVEL...

But what happened next!? In the days and weeks which followed our 3200 Mile journey across the USA. 



Starting where we left off: After rolling into St Augustine and grabbing a couple of triumphant and enthusiastically posed photos on the beach, we pedalled on down to Anastasia State Park for our last night of the trip. Unfortunately for us, the campsite was full, probably due to it being a weekend, the fact that we were now on the more populated coast and also probably because there appeared to be a music festival happening later that evening. In light of the above, we found ourselves taking a part in a real life Little Britain sketch: The stern ogre behind the counter expressed no sympathy when she repeatedly denied our pleads for a small patch of earth to place our micro tent… Her computer said no, and that was that! …This wasn’t the ending that we’d had in mind for our 73 day coast to coast trip across the states.

Seven and a half minutes later a woman had jumped out of a vehicle after overhearing our plight with ticket ogre. She kindly offered to share her pre booked camping pitch with us. So there we were, re entering the state park, bypassing the ticket booth and pedalling towards pitch No.90. This amazing mum and 6y/o daughter team, were part way through a 12 month campervan adventure in their kitted up Mercedes Sprinter. Their home on wheels was somewhat more spacious than the Crampervan had been but brought back our Ozzy outback memories all the same. They’d managed to squeeze in a vespa for day trips, miniature dog ‘Sweetie’ and Rosie the pet hamster, they couldn’t have reminded us more of our favourite kids tv programme ‘The Wild Thornberries’, if they’d tried! (Some of you will understand this reference, for anyone else, there’s google.) 





With only 13 days before our flight home to the U.K from Washing D.C, L and I exchanged cycling for 7 days relaxation at Chris and Roxy’s lakeside pad in Florida and what a last few days in Florida it was. We’d first met C&R on the road a month earlier, when we bumped into Bubba’s who they were bicycle touring with and this was when we received their offer to stay.





Following a handful of gifted pool noodles and the purchase of 3 large suitcases from a thrift store for a bargain $40, L and I set about completely dismantling The Flying Fox. We spent almost a full day in C&R’s garage packing the tandem into two of the suitcases in a Tetris fashion, whilst sweating buckets in the baking Florida heat and humidity. 


The next stage of our journey home required a 15 hour Amtrak train journey from Jacksonville, Florida up to Washington D.C. I’d not been looking forward to such a mammoth trip and in hindsight I’d opt to either fly for speed, or cycle for adventure; because the train journey was dull and never ending. No amount of reclinable seat range would make up for (what turned out to be) a 17 hour overnight ride with a buffet carriage which wasn’t accessible for the latter 7 hours of the journey! We emerged out of Union Station in D.C, cold, hungry, debating which arm to chew off first and engulfed with bags. On the plus side, this didn’t make it too difficult for Wynn to identify us. We’d never met Wynn and he’d never met us, but back in Texas Hill Country we’d stayed a night at his brother’s place (Blog post #87). Here was another great example of how through the crazy network of amazing people we’d met, spanning the whole of our tandem trip, it had become easier and easier to find a kind offer of accommodation from a complete stranger.

In the countdown to our flight, and along with an unparalleled amount of wandering tourists like ourselves, we got to spend a 4 days looking around D.C. Trump himself also made a couple of appearances. This wasn’t something we’d expected; to hear that familiar voice booming ‘words of wisdom’ across the expanse outside the Capitol building to a onlooking crowd of several thousand police officers at some sort of remembrance/ memorial ceremony. Intrigued, i’d managed to slide through security to join the mass of officers stood watching their president. L on the other hand, had been body blocked by a secret service agent who deemed our aerosol suncream far too much of a security threat to let through.









The running joke all the way along our cycle trip had been; that we had 3 months to make it to the East coast by pedal power to catch our flight before our visas expired... or we might have found ourselves forcibly ejected across the pond. Americans seemed to like this spin on our adventure, the extra element of risk adding to the overall drama but in truth, we didn’t know how long it was going to take us to cycle across America. There was always a chance we wouldn't make it in time, after all, neither of us were cyclists or had done any training. We just got off a plane, then off a train, bought a 20inch tandem bike and started pedalling east. Perhaps by default, we can NOW call ourselves... cyclists?

THANKS FOR FOLLOWING OUR JOURNEY.
WE'RE NOW BACK IN THE UK, LOOKING FOR  A HOME, SOMEWHERE IN THE NORTH OF ENGLAND. FOR NOW, THIS IS OUR NEXT ADVENTURE BUT IN THE NOT TOO DISTANT FUTURE, WE WILL TRAVEL AGAIN.



THE NEXT BLOG POST!? ... So L and I have decided to not finish up the blog posts just yet which means that next up; we'll be looking back over our travel highlights! Stay tuned. 

LAST CHANCE FOR ANY MORE SPONSORSHIP MONIES BEFORE WE CLOSE OUR JUST GIVING ACCOUNT AT THE END OF THIS MONTH. 
https://www.justgiving.com/companyteams/foxonalead
We are raising money for two great charities as we cycle home to the UK from Australia, across the landmass in the middle... AMERICA. If you'd like to sponsor us, that would be amazing, here is the link to our just giving page where you can also find out more about the charities: CALM and Alzheimer's Society. Thank you to all who have donated.

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