Cape Gazette

SEA TO SHINING SEA: A booming welcome to Delaware

By Dennis Forney | Aug 09, 2013
Photo by: Dennis Forney This scene on Rt. 18 west of Centreville caught my eye for lots of reasons: the tall soybeans, the chicken houses, the advertisement for fresh tomatoes, and the historic marker.  All felt familiar and like home. The historic marker is for a prominent colonial figure who also was the father of the famous portrait painter Charles Willson Peale. All across the country towns and regions have big and little pieces of history they like to share.  It's all part of the amazing American culture we're all part of.

GEORGETOWN, DELAWARE — DAY 84 - AUGUST 9, 2013 - Wow! Delmarva greeted us with classic early August weather.  Hot sun pushed the temperature into the 90s and the humidity laid against our skin like plastic wrap. Gator Aid, root beer popsicles, water on top of water - they barely kept up with our sweat machines. When we rolled into Georgetown at about 5:15, we were lucky enough to find a room in Lynn and Ed Lester's Brick Hotel just before the big storm struck with all its flashing lightning and booming thunder.

Larry and Alison fed us the first scrapple we've had this entire journey, this morning, and then Larry ferried us across the most dangerous bridge in America - between Annapolis and Kent Island - where we picked up the Cross Island Trail in Stevensville.

Six hours and 68 miles later we jumped in a shower at the Brick and the first water coming off our heads was so loaded with salt it tasted like the ocean.

So that brings our total for the journey, as of today, to 3,348 miles.  Tomorrow's final ride to Lewes will add another 14 or so to break through the 3,360 mark.

Final reminder: our home at 114 School Lane in Lewes will be open from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday so we can say hi to anyone who would like to stop by.  We'll have food and drink so come on over. Walk, ride a bike or drive and park somewhere around the school.  We really look forward to seeing familiar faces.

Thanks again for riding along with us.


Larry and I went to kindergarten together and have been good friends ever since. After he took us over the bay bridge, we pedaled across Kent Island and then on to Queenstown where Ellen, Pam and Sud met us. More friends of a lifetime. We did what we have been doing all across the country - standing alongside a road or a street swapping stories and laughter, pretending we have it all figured out. And actually we do.  It's right there in the song: "you do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around - that's what it's all about." And somehow I thought it was deeper than that.
We met up with Ron on 404 a ways west of Denton.  He left Lewes a few days ago, walking the American Discovery Trail (ADT) toward California.  "I'll keep going until winter stops me and then I'll start up again."  He had a unique rolling back pack trailing behind him. He told us he's hiked the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail and the Continental Divide Trail.  "I just like being out in it." Near Lewes he had a nice conversation with KK and Dave and asked us to please tell them hi. That's how messages start working their way across the country.
We're not the only young people finishing a ride across the US on Saturday.  At the intersection of Route 309 and 404 near Queen Anne, we stopped at a BBQ joint for lunch.  We saw these loaded cyclists rolling into the parking lot as we were about to leave.  That's Gabe on the left, Hannah in the middle and Hannah's dad, Bob, on the right.  Gabe and Hannah left the west coast from north of San Francisco several weeks ago and planned to make Rehoboth on Saturday.  "When we were in middle school, we would listen to Bob talk about the time he rode across the country," said Gabe.  "That made us want to do it too." Bob met up with Gabe and Hannah for the last leg of their journey.  "It's really special when you see one of your children doing something you enjoyed so much."  Gabe's mom and dad showed up at the BBQ spot to surprise their son as well.  Good stuff.
You can't imagine how good it felt to cross that Delaware border after being away for three months.
In Bridgeville, a reminder of one of the things we love so much about life in this neck of the woods.
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