Washington D.C. – 10 Miles

August 14, 2010

It’s somewhat surreal that the Journey of Hope is once again just a collection of memories in the heads of people all over the country. Soon the team will be heading back to their respective lives, going back to school, or like myself heading off on a new adventure in the working world. We had the time of our lives and helped many people as we made our way across the country. Today is our victory day, but the funny thing is, it doesn’t feel like a victory.

We met the other two teams about 2 miles out from the capitol building, and after a summer of 33 guys in each arrival, it was a sight to see as about 90 of us lined up to make our final arrival of the summer. Once lined up, we made our way with a police escort towards the capitol. People were cheering for us the entire way in, and we were greeted by friends and family on the capitol lawn. I was met by my wife Laura, her friend Rachel whom she met at camp, my parents, my good friends Craig and Marie from Lawrence (who live in New York now), and my Uncle Danny and Aunt Peggy. And just like that, the Journey of Hope was over. It didn’t seem to end so fast when I was here 8 years ago, but this time, as soon as the speeches were made, and the photos were taken, I was dismissed with my family and friends. We went back to the Hotel first to drop off my bike, and to change out of my cycling outfit into some normal clothes for the last time.

The afternoon was free, so we headed out to eat at place called the Greene Turtle in downtown DC. With their own brand of Root Beer, and large selection on their menu, I would be a frequent visitor if I lived in the area. It was nice catching up with everyone, but with such little sleep in the last few days, I was in serious need of a nap before the banquet tonight. So after dinner we were back to the Hotel to do just that.

The banquet was nice, we heard some speeches, gave out awards. This would probably be the last time ever that the entire team would be in the same room at the same time. After a summer of always being together, this ending was bittersweet. We were happy to be there, and happy for what we had accomplished, but at the same time, this was it, this was the end of a very important chapter in our lives.

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