Friday, September 16, 2016

One More Ride for Twice Across America...with Jackson!

 Back when this trip was in its planning stages, our young nephew Jackson was intrigued with what we wanted to do and planned to ride the last mile into Boston with us when we reached that point. When we left Seattle, the journey grew and flowered into a beautiful expression of gratitude and Bill pedaled on. Sometimes I went ahead and he would catch up to me; other times he cycled ahead and I would find him. Each time, we were happy and relieved to find each other. Each of us going on alone aiming for our goal. When the time grew closer to pedaling into Boston, we found out that because of school, Jackson would not be able to be there for the last mile. So after an incredible finish in Boston, we headed to New Hampshire for a short visit and rest. When we arrived, we parked in Bill's brothers driveway and after visiting for awhile, we collapsed into bed. The next day, Jackson said he wished he had been in Boston with us, so Bill decided he would do one more ride. He checked over Jackson's bicycle adjusting gears, oiling the chain, and topping off his tires while Jackson put on the "Twice Across America" shirt we had given him and came out eager to start. We drove the route the previous day and found there were quite a few hills, one big one in particular, so we decided to drive to the top of the big hill and have Bill and Jackson cycle down and around to the Washington Police Department. We parked the truck and they got ready to go.
Jackson's dad, Mike, had followed in his side by side so I climbed in the front seat with my camera and we followed the 2 cyclists down the hill. Bill stayed to Jackson's left and we made quite a group traveling the back roads of Washington.

Jackson had a little trouble with his shoelaces, but his dad took care of that and he was on his way again.  
On the way there, Mike saw the photographer of the local paper coming the other way and flagged him down. Even though he had ice cream, he agreed to follow and get pictures. Mike and I went a little bit ahead at the end so I could get a picture of Bill and Jackson as they cycled up to the police station.
Melissa drove up and then the photographer so Jackson was able to have pictures with his parents
and with Bill too.
Unfortunately, the Chief was off that day but Jackson was delighted just to be able to ride. Jackson and I got in the side by side with Mike and Melissa drove her car. Bill wanted to take on "the hill" LOL! So we all set off back to my truck. Jackson had eaten a cookie and had more water so he wanted to get back out and cycle some more. I climbed into the truck, Jackson started out and Mike stayed to his left in the side by side.
I followed with my flashers on and we escorted him safely along. This young man was in his glory! :) After awhile, he hit the wall and was ready to ride home in the side by side, but he had done very well. When we arrived at their house, Bill arrived covered in sweat and declared that "the hill" had really kicked his butt! Later on, I was talking to Jackson and with all the honesty of an 8 year old, he said, "This was the best day of my life...except for maybe Waterworld." :) We visited for a couple more days and hooked up the little beach house on wheels to head home. On the way past the Police Station, we saw the Chief's cruiser there so pulled in to see him. We told him the whole story and he was glad we had stopped. He showed us his patch collection and we traded some with him.
So he got to be part of this journey too. In a couple more days, we would be back in Tennessee and I know that while it will be good to be home, a part of me will always be out on the road thanking our law enforcement. Thanks for reading. 

1 comment:

  1. Glad to see this came to the intended conclusion. We had been driving thru SE TN going to Atlanta for a wedding on Sat Aug 8 and had passed a rider with the shirt. When we remembered a few days later we had done a search and found you and that your itinerary lined up with ours that day. May the Lord bless you both for your perseverance and teamwork.