We got out on time this morning at about 6:10 thinking we had about 48 miles to get to the Hawthorne Suites on the Palm Parkway. We did not want to take a chance on not getting to Disney today so when we added to our reservation, we just added two days. So we are here, about 2 miles outside one of the entrances in a nice two room suite.
The ride from Umatilla was difficult. The road was rolling and curvy. We could not seem to get the bike above 9 mph except when were going down hill.
We stopped for second breakfast at a Subway near Sorrento, FL. We also bought a lot of water because were unsure of what might be up the road. We had gone about 18 miles. That’s not a lot but we were pretty tired and hungry.
We cruised (or struggled) on. We stopped for lunch at noon a Sam’s Club in Ocoee (a suburb of Orlando). We had gone about 38 miles. It appeared that a thunder storm was imminent so we decided to sit it out there. We heard thunder but the storm never really hit so we left. The sky looked threatening and we even got a few sprinkles, but never the real storm.
The road after Ocoee was no easier. Just getting to the correct street was a challenge. There was major road construction at the intersection and there was considerable traffic. We just had to wait it out for our opening. Then it was more of the climbing the same 50-100 foot hill, over and over again.
We made a stop about 7 miles later. According to our best estimate, looking at the map, we had 7-10 miles to go. So off we went.
Something changes. All of a sudden (it seemed) we were cruising along at 13, 14, 15 miles an hour. We did most of the last 8 miles at that speed. It was really fun. Maybe it was a reward or compensation for the difficult ride earlier that day. Who can say?
We finally arrived at the Hawthorne Suites and got a room. The desk manager, Jason, was extremely friendly and helpful. He had no problem finding a safe indoor place for our bike.
We got a great suite, cleaned up, and ordered out food. I did my work. We feel great, if a bit tired.
The “end of the ride” is bitter sweet. On the one had, it is over and we have been successful. Success was always an empirical issue as I had gotten an injury on two of our previous long-distance tours. On the other hand we are not getting up early to ride a long distance tomorrow. The trip is over. Now we do Disney.
Today’s ride: We rode 53.1 miles at an average speed of 9.2 mph. We were on the bike for5 hours and 43 minutes. We are 1366 miles into our trip. If you want to be technical about it, we will not be to the first of our Disney destinations for another 5 or so miles. We will be staying at Old Key West for two nights and the moving to the Bay Lake Towers for six nights.
Debbie’s emotionometer: Mixed. We are feeling good about having accomplished our goal, but feeling a little let down that the journey is over. However, there is Disney for the next week, and that is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
An added note about the scenery today and weather today. It was cooler today because of the cloud cover much of the day. The down side of that was the threatened thunderstorms. In terms of scenery, we went by lots of horse farms and ranches, and saw lots of signs advertising pigs for sale. If anyone wants to buy a pig, we can tell you where to go. We also saw two large birds walking by the side of the road that were maybe 4 or 5 feet tall. They were brown with straight pointed beaks. There was a bit of red on the side of the head. They had a crown of feathers on top of their heads. We had never seen anything like them before and wondered if they were wild or had escaped from a bird farm. We also passed lots of lakes. This part of Florida is quite pretty and more rural than we had expected given its closeness to Orlando.