Friday, May 30, 2014

Coast to Coast: Day 23: Wytheville, VA - New Albany, OH. Friday, May 30, 2014

     I was up at 1:30am again. This was my last day on the road, and I was aching to get home. I also wanted to be sure that I didn’t miss my sister’s graduation party. I was pretty beat, but I had enough adrenaline still rushing through my body to keep me going.

     The Appalachian Mountains were bunny hills compared to the Rockies, but the roads were so foggy that my visibility was limited to about 40 feet. It was also very dark and rainy. I was going too fast for the conditions of the road; about 50 miles per hour. I almost ran off the road several times because I couldn’t even see the road lines. A semi-truck passed me going 70, and I figured that his multiple headlights were far better than my 42 year old single headlight, so I followed him at a distance.

     It was significantly safer going faster and following the truck. I knew when to prepare for a turn because I could see what the semi in front of me was doing. I followed him all the way out of the mountains.

     Miles passed, and I was so weighed down by my exhaustion that I didn’t notice many of the details of the day’s ride. I felt a sense of excitement when I passed into Ohio which woke me up a little, but it soon faded and I was feeling off again.

     I took the remainder of my journey mile by mile, and tried to keep myself excited about home to stay awake. When I reached the southern end of Columbus, my journey started to feel like it was speeding up. I was used to making small trips around Columbus before I left home, but now I was accustomed to travelling hundreds of miles a day through hard rain, mountains, and deserts. Before I really processed the fact that I made it to Columbus, I was already in New Albany.

     Liz gave a loud groan as I pulled into the driveway of my home. I got off my bike feeling only half alive, and pushed her into the garage. I didn’t feel any sense of accomplishment making it back home. I just felt overwhelmingly tired. I unloaded my clothes from the duffle and threw them immediately into the washing machine inside my house. I wasn’t taking any chances that I may have taken bed bugs with me from Macon. I didn’t think I had any, but I wasn’t going to risk it. I called my dad, my mom, and my sister, but my grandmother didn’t answer.

     I was so accustomed to living in a cramped tent, cabin, or hotel room that when I entered my house, it felt massive. I couldn’t conceive how I even lived in such a place. Why did we have a whole room dedicated to a TV? Why didn’t my bedroom have a door lock?

     I was just about to take a shower when I heard the doorbell ring. It was my grandmother. Apparently, my great uncle in Britain had been tracking my phone. At the moment I reached home, he called my grandmother, and she made her way to my house.

     We didn’t talk long before I told her I needed to get some rest. I took a three hour nap until my alarm woke me, and I went to my sister’s graduation party with my friend David. At this point, all the adrenaline that had been keeping me going finally subsided. I was left with a shell of a working body, and crashed harder than I ever have before. I was too tired to stay for any length of time, and it didn’t help that David kept telling me that I looked like I was stoned. I went home and looked at myself in my bathroom mirror. I really looked like shit. Then I crawled into bed, pulled up the covers, and passed out for sixteen hours straight.

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