We Made It!

We made it to Houston today.  The idea that the bike tour is over is a bit surreal to all of us, but we have the comfort of knowing we ended on a high note.  Not only did the originally grim weather forecast delay to our benefit, but our year of pedaling finally paid off as we raced a train today and won! (Nevermind that the train was within city limits and likely required to go slower….) 

This tremendous experience tempts us to continue adventuring and delay real life for a bit longer, so we are going abroad for some volunteer and travel opportunities for the summer (without our bikes).  We will begin job searching in earnest in August.  Anyone looking to hire a well-traveled, physically fit, and handsome Analytical Chemist in a few months?

The kids and I will post once or twice more in the next couple of weeks, after we have had time to process and reflect upon this experience.  Until then, here are the statistics of this past year:

Total miles: 8,188

Total days on tour: 361

Average miles per riding day (not including zero-mile days):  32

States traveled: Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas

Wildlife seen: deer, fox, turtles, chipmunks, squirrels (black, gray, brown, white), rabbits, prairie dogs, beaver, antelope, butterflies, snakes, toads, frogs, lizards, raccoons, buffalo, dolphins, otter, opossum, armadillo

Birds: bald eagles, sandhill cranes, pelicans, great blue herons, loons, turkeys, ducks, geese, red-tailed hawks, osprey, peregrine falcons, terns, mountain bluebird, eastern bluebird, cardinal, western meadowlark, red-winged blackbirds, western tanagers, killdeers, magpies, yellow warblers, pheasants, quails, robins, mourning doves, swans (white AND black) and cygnets, Wilson’s snipe, snowy egret, great egret, red-bellied woodpecker, muscovy duck, American white ibis, turkey vultures, black vultures, roseate spoonbill, double crested cormorant, little blue heron, seagull

Wildflowers: daisies, buttercups, snapdragons, prairie roses, syringa, lady slippers, black-eyed Susan, tiger lily, water lilies, azaleas, crimson clover, coreopsis, milkvetch, Indian blanket, prairie verbena, wisteria, pink evening primrose, fleabane, Texas paintbrush

Farm animals: cows, horses, sheep, goats, chickens, pigs, llamas/alpacas, guinea fowl, buffalo, ducks, emu, donkeys, mules, ponies

Number of Warm Showers hosts or other strangers who hosted us: 32

Accommodations slept in: tent, hotel, motel, yurt, tipi, barn, cabin, house, cottage, bunkhouse, teacherage, stilted beach house, workshop, restaurant

Weather: lowest temperature: 24 degrees overnight; highest: 100 degrees; other conditions: snow, ice, rain, 35 mph sustained wind

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

49 Responses to We Made It!

  1. Kim Calderon says:

    I will definitely miss your blogs! Your writing has convinced me that you guys need to publish a book. Hey, it could even be made into a movie! Congratulations on your adventure. Your kids are definitely blessed to have parents that are showing them the world through actually being there and not from an electronic device.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rebecca Ifland says:

    Incredible!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mike & Cathy Baka says:

    Congratulations!!! We have absolutely loved reading about your adventures. Keep me posted on your summer plans and we would love to host you here in Europe for a few days!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Charla says:

    Toren says you need to ride 700 more miles to reach 8888. Also, he says “come back soon!”
    Your family is amazing. The blessings from this adventure will reward you for decades to come!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Charla says:

    And he also said, “I need to one-up my game!”
    So he did 1 push-up.
    1.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Gwenneth says:

    Wow! Congratulations on completing your journey!!! God is good…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. John Hults says:

    Fantastic! What an adventure, lesson and love story, all wrapped into one. Happy Easter!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ashley Titus says:

    Melanie!!!!!! This is amazing!! I’ve been following along, as well has my husband, and we have had your picture up on our wall down here in Los Angeles 🙂 I am so excited for you and for your family and wish that we could hear more over a BSF fellowship but I will have to make due with blog posts and knowing that one day we will worship together again before the throne (if not before). Much love from the Titus’

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Reba says:

    Absolutely amazing!! I can only imagine the “2 Truths and A Lie” fodder your kids will have from this trip! For example: I’ve slept in a restaurant, I’ve ridden my bike in 35 mph wind, I spent a year riding in an RV across the US…Lie! I rode a tandem BIKE across the US, when I was 4!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Keep it going says:

    Surreal? Perhaps. Total awesome, inspiring and amazing? Absolutely! Your family has lived a journey none of us will likely ever fully comprehend. A massive congratulations for such a daunting undertaking, and a bow for completing a little bike trip. Let this be one leg of many experiences yet to come for the entire family. God speed.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Torrey Edwards says:

    So awesome. Bravo and take a break! 😉 Hope you’ll share your adventures abroad as well. Thanks for letting us live vicariously. CONGRATS!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • melewatson says:

      Thanks, Torrey! In case you’re still looking for a family adventure does not interfere with your careers (in terms of duration) and puts you out of your comfort zone a bit (you requested ideas for such a while ago on FB), this may be up your alley: https://www.workaway.info/ It’s trickier to find hosts for families than just individuals or couples, but we eventually found some.

      Like

  12. Kim Zasimczuk says:

    Congratulations on reaching your destination! What an amazing trip you have accomplished and you deserve some down time. I enjoyed reading every blog post, and hope to here more as you travel. Have a fabulous summer.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Robert and Susan Weaver says:

    Yes! yes! we will miss your blogs very much! We looked forward to “living” each adventure with you. Thanks for taking time to share with us all. Our best wishes to your family on the next chapter of your lives! (maybe more blogging on it?….hope so!)

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Linda says:

    It is good the world will be getting to know the Watsons! Maybe one family will be able to spread their love, faith and fortitude worldwide. Definitely a book! I think your family is representative of our great country and the many good people still in abundance; both happy that the press has not exploited you, but sad that your Parental values have not been publicized. Parenting is more than giving your children a ride to a rally. The foundation you have provided your children will remain with them always, and it looks like your love for them will always be their rock. Proud to know you from the first day we met! God has blessed you all and those of us who know you!

    Love,
    Linda

    Liked by 1 person

    • melewatson says:

      Thanks so much, Linda! You are always so kind to us. You’re right. There are a lot of amazing people in this country, and we were blessed to have met a few of them before (you among them!) and while on the bike tour. Love, M

      Like

  15. Chuck Sugarman says:

    Way to go!!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Patti Knight says:

    God is good and faithful. Have loved all your blog from all of you. Missed seeing your beautiful face around BSF, many good changes, hope you can join in another place. Keep in touch.
    Love and prayers for your future adventure.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. DEBORAH KERR says:

    Yeah & Amen❣️

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Patty says:

    Many congratulations and well done! Loved reading every moment!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. dougdeb kellychaison says:

    should have come back here and finished tree house!

    Sent from my iPhone

    Liked by 1 person

    • melewatson says:

      Oh, believe me, the boys have requested that many times! We are borrowing Sandlot right now upon your recommendation and comment that our boys sounded like the characters from that movie.

      Like

  20. kconwayireton says:

    Dear Melanie,

    Congratulations! I’ve been impressed this whole last year that you all actually did this. What an amazing gift to your kids! And what a tremendous gift to me to get to come along for a virtual ride with you. 🙂 May your next few weeks be blessed as you reflect on your adventures and plan for the next one.

    Warmly, Kimberlee

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Cal says:

    I think it will be a year all of you will always remember.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Cass Barlow says:

    Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Mary Roberts says:

    It has been so much fun following you and your family on your adventure. Thank you for sharing. Blessings over all of you💕

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Ireta says:

    Congratulations on completing your journey! Best of luck in your new adventures.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Michele Solis says:

    STUPENDOUS news, we are so happy for you! We are impressed by your stats and respectable naturalist’s lists, too. We will definitely miss your updates – thanks for your efforts to share your experiences along the way, and let us join in vicariously.

    Congratulations!
    Michele, Andy, Linus and Ramona

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Mary says:

    All of you did a great job on this trip. I will miss your updates. Happy Easter to all of you.
    Love, MMims

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Linda says:

    I ditto what the other “Linda” said! Can’t wait to read about your next adventure. Hopefully, you will find a challenge because it will be hard to top this without battling the boredom of everyday life! God bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. tim roth says:

    You also saw Bats …….and they pooped on us too….ha,ha Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Timand Skalicky says:

    Congratulation Watson family! What a incredible accomplishment your family has achieved. It was such a pleasure to have met your family and to have followed your journey. We hope our paths cross again some time in the future. Happy Easter from Tim and Deb on the frozen tundra of Minnesota! ( We got 12 inches of snow yesterday and 2 degrees last night)

    Liked by 1 person

    • melewatson says:

      We are so glad to have met you and hope our paths cross again, too! However, given our current car-less life, I am glad we are in Houston right now and not in your neck of the woods. 🙂

      Like

  30. Patti Albers says:

    Congratulations on a truly extraordinary journey. I’ve followed you since we met on a bike path in Michigan this summer. We were also on a bike trip, 2 older couples, and my sister in law said to one of the kids that she hoped they would still enjoy riding with their siblings when they were in their 70’s, as a couple of us are! I so enjoyed your blog, and found myself worrying if you went more than a couple of weeks without posting! I look forward to hearing about the next chapter of your lives. You are an amazing family, who I wish I had the honor of knowing better.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s