Today I felt a bit like Forest Gump, though happily without the beard. It was the crowd of cyclists of all ages, on bikes of all shapes and sizes gathered to escort me out of Homer as I fiddled with Hercules and answered questions from a journalist.
Bright blue skies whisped with white, the ocean lapping quietly onto the beach and mountains and glaciers looking gently noble across the bay. It was a morning to make you beam with happiness at being alive, albeit a calm squeal.
It felt poignant to hold the hand again of the bronze chap of the Seafarers’ Memorial, me in my lycra and him in oilskins, feeling a kindred spirit and connection with this mute, cold giant. It is where we have come from and where he had gone that tied us. My journey is of oceans and islands and watery passages – inherently salted and blued. The city of Homer is just the same, proudly proclaiming itself as ‘Halibut Capital of the World’ on the way into town. Sailors, airmen, Coast Guards, kayakers, fisherfolk – they are all remembered in this memorial.
It was a super escort out of Homer and I am grateful to everyone who joined me and those who tooted, waved or held signs for me. Martin and his two young children, Frieda and Lucas (7 and 6 yrs) carried on when everyone else had diverted for lunch at the Farmers’ Market, making it the first run up Baycrest Hill for the children. Frieda, pedalling her own bike, left Hercules and I far behind – it was so uplifting to see her beavering away, legs hauling. If only all youngsters had those opportunities to be outside, active and trying new things.
As the family turned back for home, local lady Catriona continued on with me, only turning back for Homer around 6pm. I enjoyed the company, the stories, having someone to help with shooting video and generally sharing the magic of the day and volcanic backdrop on the other side of the Cook Inlet.
My first night has also set a pretty keen standard for the journey, hosted by the lovely Doug and Sherry Sandberg near Ninilchik. We had lots of big laughs around the table and a feast of roast and pie while the sun painted a gentle sky through the window and the ducks chattered busily to themselves as they mustered for bedtime.
And on we go. I had a few hills today and I think I get some real mountains tomorrow. Or maybe the next day. Who knows. The map of Alaska is so huge that the resolution will leave such detail as that to surprises.
Until next time,
Sarah and Hercules x
P.S Thanks and thanks to everyone who joined me on the road today. It was magic and I am humbled. Thanks Derek for the nifty helmet mirror too – my riding has been revolutionised.
P.P.S Please donate here to the wonderful charities I am supporting (CoppaFeel!, MND Association, Jubilee Sailing Trust and WaterAid)