I've had a few days to relax, unwind, and think of something profound to say but to be honest, I mostly just feel numb. That cold, rainy start back in St John's seems so long ago, and so far away... and the endless miles since, are a bit of a blur. Sitting here in Victoria is still very surreal. I know I've done something special that I'll never do again. And of all the challenges I've set for myself, this was certainly the biggest... but it really hasn't sunk in yet.
Mentally, I feel a bit lost... having gone cold-turkey from the 24-7 routine of the last 6 weeks. I'd be tempted to go for a ride, if I hadn't already spent most of a day disassembling, cleaning, and packing up the bike for shipping home. Carmel and I did borrow some mountain bikes and go for an easy jaunt one day and I instantly felt better... though that may have had something to do with the several ice cream stops!
Physically, my body is suffering. Lots of little aches and pains, and I'm so tired that I want a nap almost as soon as I get up. The last week in the mountains really took alot out of me. I've tried some easy running with Carmel, but the legs are empty and not used to the pounding... It was very slow and painful. There are lots of great trails here though, so I am doing some nice walks.
Going through my pictures is fun and does help remind me of all the places I passed through and the interesting things I saw along the way. Several people have asked me what was the most beautful part of the country. I've always been partial to the mountains, but there was never a day from the east coast, to the Saint Lawrence valley, Northern Ontario, prairies, and finally the mountains, that I wasn't mesmerized by the scenery. Sometimes I had to force myself not to stop to take yet another picture! Sure, my favourite will always be the mountains (masochist that I am) but I loved it all.
I've driven the country once but you see so much more on the bike... partly because of the slower speed... but also, because you aren't cocooned behind glass in a steel shell. You feel closer to everything you pass by and can literally stop on a dime to soak in any view or make a detour that you would have cruised by in a car.
Still though, I think it's going to take some time to fully appreciate the experience. For now, I'm looking forward to getting home, seeing friends, and having another party!