Final Week: Isaiah Maynard’s Cross Country Ride

On the way home.

I found a "Maynard's Farm Market," in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, and I am pretty sure that somewhere along the lineage line, Wendell and I are related. — Photo courtesy of Isaiah Maynard

Dispatch filed Monday, August 4,  Noank, Conn.

I’m currently in the town my Dad and Uncle grew up in (When they weren’t sailing around the world on the family boat). It’s called Noank, and it is situated close to Mystic in Connecticut. Which puts me at approximately 120 miles from Woods Hole. That means that I should arrive home on Wednesday, the 6th, around noon. I cannot believe it.

I saw the ocean for the first time in 48 days today, and I still haven’t found words to describe what that felt like. It was absolutely unbelievable — it stopped me dead. I pulled my bike over the curb, and just stood at the top of the hill I had just climbed, outside of New Haven. I could smell it, and see boats on the horizon. At that moment, I realized I had done it. I was on the East Coast, and I had biked all the way from the West Coast. I was giddy. I shed quite a bit of salty tears, unable to keep in the emotion behind what I had just done.

The sight of the ocean was well earned though, as I had to bike across Pennsylvania to get to it. Pennsylvania was probably the most difficult state to bike through, physically. There was never a flat spot on Route 6, and I found myself cresting two mountain passes, and multiple unnamed but equally voracious climbs. The views were incredible, as always. This country is truly spectacular, when you simply look at the land.

I had to bike in rain for four days straight, while climbing up and down on Route 6 — and at times I was shivering so bad I would have to stop at grocery stores and do loops around the store just to warm up.

This past week I have met some amazing strangers, who ended up as great friends, as always. The kindness of strangers is truly unbelievable, from giving me a camping area on their private camping patch (tent included), to taking me out to dinner, giving me fresh fruit, and just showing genuine interest. I am sad to be leaving this journey behind. Today I actually saw a “Maynard’s Farm Market” sign, and I stopped by to introduce myself, Isaiah Rain Maynard! Turns out, we actually were probably related, it wasn’t just a fluke! (Shoutout to Wendell!) He treated me to some excellent fruit.

When I get back to Martha’s Vineyard, I’m probably going to get some Mad Martha’s ice cream or TisBerry, and go pass out on the beach somewhere and just soak up the East Coast sun — really begin to digest what I have just accomplished. Of course, I have to bike to my front door, which of course happens after dipping my front tire in the Atlantic Ocean.

I’m also really looking forward to seeing my friends and family though — that’s going to be really awesome. Fifty days (by then) is a long time not seeing anyone you know.

I’m really unsure as to how I feel about the trip ending. I am overjoyed that I am going to be able to simply say, “I did it,” but at the same time, I don’t like the idea of saying, “it’s done.” It is going to be an adjustment — not waking up to bike every morning. It’s my life right now, and I’m not sure how I feel about that sense of freedom disappearing. I love to bike and let go of both handlebars, it’s never fun putting my hands back to steer.