I did it!

I  am so happy and thrilled and on this strange high. I was within minutes of my parents house when I clapped and started to squeal while still in the car. I was so excited that I could not hide it. Not for a moment longer!

I left Florida camp #2 early in the morning, muggy and getting warm as the sun came up. My stuff was a little damp from the wet in the air. I went to bed early, see more on that in my post about being south for the winter. Early to bed, early to rise is real, folks. I was out of camp by 8:00. I was happy to leave the loud and annoying people of camp, but really did love the hiking and kayaking and biking. Cheers Salt Springs!

I chose to take more backroads on my way south. I enjoyed loads of scenery and new sights. Sometimes I just cannot stand the billboards and cars and the blur of landscape as it whizes by. I could tell the topography of Florida was changing as the miles passed. The closer I got to the Gulf of Mexico, the more traffic and housing developments and people and strip malls started to replace orange groves, palm trees, grazing cattle and sandy dirt roads. Less nature and more nonsense. Argh. 

Admittedly, this set of parents live as stereotypical older folks in Florida do. They have and need an urban area with quick and easy access to medical care, pharmacy, food, social opportunities and so on. Unfortunately, their location also includes a mass of tourists and people. At this stage of their life, they need these services close and I get it. They are lucky to live on the beach, a bonus and sufficient escape from the chaos below. It is a trade off. 

I hit the bridge to the island on which they live and saw the gulf. It was the familiar sights of their little town, the marina and bars and shops. I was here! I was actually here, in my car, on my journey, and hit my target destination. I made it. I FUCKING DID IT!!! I traveled about 14,000 miles, 16 states, over six months. So many sights, so may different places and people and challenges and joys and delights. I hit the midpoint of my goal, the farthest place I planned to visit. Me and my trusted Jeep and my stuff are actually here, on the Gulf of Mexico, at my parents house. To be exact, I am 2979 miles as the crow flies from the place I used to call home. That is nearly 3000 miles door to door. Holy shit. HOLY SHIT!! HOLY! SHIT!!

I am not sure why this particular milestone has hit me this hard. But, I am bowled over, proud as hell, and high with delight. I feel accomplished, excited, joyous, and thrilled. I set this huge life goal, I arranged everything to make this happen. This is happening and has been happening and I am hitting these benchmarks. That is an amazing feeling to me. Just amazing, and that word does not even to capture the depth of this feeling. I have set and met goals before. That is not new. This goal, this milestone, this accomplishment, being here, having arrived, bowls me over. I am overwhelmed. I am humbled. I am walking on the clouds. 

I cannot wipe the smile off my face. I cannot seem to settle down. I am still in awe of what I get to do, the gift of this life I have received. I am grateful to so many people in so many ways. The mechanics and the hosts, my friends and extended family, my cheerleaders and blog readers, to my parents and siblings and my church community. To the friendly faces and the amazing places I have been and seen, to the discounted beer tray and the free left-over scone. I thank each and every person, place and thing that is or has or will open the doors, pave the way, contribute in whatever way has made or will continue to make this pilgrimage the best time of my life. I carry with me every positive thought, vibe, prayer or kind word. I stand on the love and support of so many. I am here because of them. I am here and I fucking did it. I DID it!!

In deep and excited and humbling gratitude. Cheers!!!

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