Monday, February 13, 2017

April 2016 arrival at St. Simons Island, Georgia. First Tour, final stretch.

Near Hwy 17 and Freeway 95, just west of Brunswick, GA, I stayed a a couple of  nights so that our journey would end on a Saturday.  From here I made calls to Brunswick papers and a few TV news media outlets that might share our story to wrap up this fantastic tour.
Veterans and Their Pets interview with Nicholas Moron of First Coast News, Daisy, Harold
Nicholas meets Daisy

Veterans and Their Pets, First Coast News, Harold and Daisy, Nicholas Moron
Daisy gettin' some lovin'...

Nicholas Moron of First Coast News
The above photos are from our last camp before reaching our final destination.  Unfortunately I don't seem to have any photos of my meeting with Lindsey Adkison and Bobby Haven of The Brunswick News. ( The link to the meeting with them is here at The Brunswick News ) Perhaps my phone was dead from shooting my earlier meeting with First Coast News, pictured here, above.  Click here for the story from First Coast News.

If memory serves me correctly, it would be a 17 mile journey to Massengale Park in St. Simons Island Georgia from my last camp.  I of course made a public announcement for a set arrival time, and wouldn't you know it, I did not consider that I would need to account for time needed to take these photos, or for the folks I might meet along the way.

Sidney Lanier Bridge leading into Brunswick, GA.
Pictured above is the last hill of our journey, the Sidney Lanier Bridge just south of Brunswick, GA.

Sidney Lanier Bridge, Brunswick, Georgia
Sidney Lanier Bridge, Georgia

Sydney Lanier Bridge support column.

 While riding on the bike path along the F.J.Torras Causeway, the main road from Brunswick  leading to St. Simons Island, I met my first roadside cheering section.  As it turns out, it would be my first and only toddler hi-five of the trip!
Emotion for me is building, and this shot is significant because just moments before, I had received my first toddler hi-five.  This kind woman with her child must be no stranger to marathon race encouragement, as she drove ahead, got out of her vehicle and cheered us on.  A marathon is of course 26.2 miles in length, allowing for crowds the ability to relocated and cheer on the runners at many places along the course.  For our tour of five thousand miles, this was a most heartwarming gesture to encounter such a kind and thoughtful welcome.

At this point, just after the hi-five, is when I finally got my camera fired up, missing the opportunity to capture the hi-five, but then of course I would have had no hands to control my bike.  I often tell folks that I could send a smoke signal faster than I could fire up the camera phone to send a text, and in this instance it was a good thing that I missed the shot for I most certainly would have wiped out.
Looking back at the Sydney Lanier Bridge from the Torras Causeway.
 I am now on the Island of St. Simons, and close to 30 minutes late from my stated arrival at the beach, when my marathon support team calls out, "Would you like me to shoot a photo of you guys in front of the Welcome sign?"  These two, again, had driven ahead to meet me here.  How thoughtful of her to consider capturing this moment and offering to help.  This is something that I had not even considered for myself.  I am speechless.  I am thankful.

It was an easy decision regardless of my tardiness.  I am overcome and overwhelmed by this thoughtful act of a complete stranger and her idea to seize this moment for which I would overlooked had it not been for her.  I am so glad for this encounter and the opportunity for these memorable and quite meaningful selfies.

After leaving the welcome sign, I would later find out, that a search party had been sent out to determine my whereabouts, as I was due at Massengale Park at 11:00am.  The search party found me then became a follow vehicle, creating a little rear cushion for us from encroaching vehicles coming from behind.  I never did get to share with these folks, just exactly how I felt encountering these instances of warm welcomes, and what this day meant to me.  It is a tear-jerker of a moment just writing of these memories, people, and the community of St. Simons Island.

I will save the rest of the trip, the arrival at Massengale Park, for another post, it's just right down the road from where this post leave off.  I am delinquent in my weekly post, but for your information I have several in progress and continue to work on them for y'all to read.  It is my desire to have some posts finished for when I am unable to write something fresh.

Thanks for tuning in.  I hope that you all will try and take advantage of the email notifications, or subscribe to this blog via RSS feeds.  If you have ideas or suggestions for stories you'd like to hear, please contact me!

Peace, Love, and Puppy ears!

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