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Day 46: Jesup, GA to St. Simons Island, GA

48 Miles - Birth of Dezerae; Meeting Bill In Sterling, GA; Brunswick, GA; Beach At St. Simons Island, GA - April 6, 2011

Golden Isles Parkway
The Golden Isles Parkway traveling east toward Brunswick.
In the morning, Kelley shuttled me to Jesup.

For the first 10-15 miles, the ride felt ordinary. Yes, I knew today was special, but 48 miles is still 48 miles. As usual, my body hadn't warmed up yet, which often meant the early ride blues. A grouchy mood and negative thoughts ...

Dezerae ... but then a text message at 22 miles changed everything.

Derek, my hiking buddy in Colorado, informed me his wife gave birth to their second child, Dezerae Joy, at 4:59 a.m. Mountain time. They were expecting to go into labor at any day, and yesterday I shared my hope the baby would be born on my last day of riding. I'm certain taking yesterday off was meant to be.

This big news put a huge smile on my face! I was so happy for my friend, and I love the name and spelling of "Dezerae."

The Birth Of Dezerae
Dezerae
Six days later, I captured this cute shot of Dezerae as she laid on my bike across America map. :)

Along with her birthdate and my finish date being the same, check out the theme of twos: Dezerae and I are both the second born in our families, and this was also my second cross-country ride. :)

Boiled Peanuts Sign

Blue Powerade and Mentos

Bill and Steve

Sterling, Georgia

30 miles. Rest break at a convenience store in Sterling.

I saw a sign for hot boiled peanuts and thought I would try it. I was in Georgia, after all! But somehow I ended up with the usual bottle of Powerade and package of Mentos. :)

Outside, a man inspected my locked bike in front. He looked curious, as though he was a cyclist himself.

"Do you want to buy it?" I asked. I may have sold it if he said "yes," but he didn't. Selling it would have saved me the costs of shipping the bike home and I could have put the money toward my funding shortfall.

Anyway, the man introduced himself as Bill, a local of Sterling. He had bicycled across America not long ago and once biked from Tijuana, Mexico to Vancouver, Canada. When I told him I was on the verge of completing my second cross-country tour, we connected like brothers.

He asked, in all seriousness, "Did you have any problems? Did anyone give you a hard time?" I thought momentarily, then mentioned the few semis who blared their horns rudely, some drivers who either shouted or showed their disdain for my presence, and the empty soda bottle thrown at me. All in all, it wasn't too bad.

But Bill had asked because he wanted to tell me his scary story: Bill was cycling on a main highway (that's part of the Trans-America route) in rural Missouri when a vehicle drove behind him on the shoulder and intentionally screeched its breaks right behind him. It was two young guys in a pick-up truck who were probably drunk. They pulled in front of him and stopped - yelling, cursing and trying to pick a fight with him. Paul, being an older guy and not wanting to escalate the situation, somehow got out of it safe and alive. His experience is a chilling reminder that not everyone means well in the world.

We talked about more positive stuff too, including our love for mountains. Paul is an active guy who once hiked to one of the base camps at Mount Everest. He also plans to climb Mount Kilimajaro in Kenya in the near future.

Bill was such a nice guy, one of so many interesting people I met. I had to get a picture with him. :)

Sterling, Georgia Past Sterling, I was under 20 miles from the beach.

Jekyll Island was the destination of my first ride in 2008, and I thought I would change it up, however slightly, by finishing at St. Simons Island.

Interstate 95 Georgia

Crossing Interstate 95 in Brunswick.

Brunswick, Georgia

Brunswick, Georgia

Bill's troubling story stuck with me long after my ride, and even within the hour, I had one final unpleasant experience with a driver near downtown Brunswick.

I stopped at a red light in the right lane of this four-lane road. Behind me, a woman honked her horn. I looked back and she looked at me in disbelief with her hand raised as though I was in her way. I smiled and assertively shouted I had a right to the road as much as she did. ("The road is only for cars" is a common misbelief that contradicts road rules.) The light turned green and I proceeded, and I don't remember if the woman passed me or turned right, but for a split second I expected her to hit me or do something to ruin my day. Thankfully, nothing happened.

Brunswick, Georgia On the edge of Brunswick ...
St. Simons Island Bicycle Trail ... and onto a bicycle trail on the causeway to St. Simons Island.

I began my grand ride on the Santa Ana River Trail in Orange County, CA, and I would finish the final seven miles mainly on bicycle trails! :)

St. Simons Island, Georgia

My bike against the large St. Simons Island sign.

St. Simons Island, Georgia

I continued for a couple of miles on a bike trail that soon degenerated into a sidewalk.

By now, there were people riding bicycles all over; I was just one of many.

St. Simons Island, Georgia

Public Beach Access

Near the St. Simons Lighthouse, I spotted this beach access point on a residential street.

St. Simons Island Beach Access
I rode to the top of this wooden staircase, and opted to create a video, but nearby was a guy using a noisy weed whacker.

I stood there laughing at the situation: Here I was desiring to create a sappy video of the very end of my long bike journey, and I couldn't because of the noise! I waited patiently and gazed at the ocean until the man's work was finished.

St. Simons Island, GA Beach

Riding Into The Ocean

The final moments. :)

Bike Across America 2011 - Second Time In My Life
Bike Across America

The "2" was for this second bike across America ride in my lifetime. Yes, I know how blessed and fortunate I am! :)

Bicycle Across America

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