Whoah! The Return To Reality!

Fort Worth, Getting Home, and Back to Life.

Well, this blog has been one of the most difficult to get out. Firstly because of the struggle we have faced coming home this time. It seems to get harder and harder. It’s that, up and down, high and low thing. We miss our family, our home, and all the familiar surrounds, but we don’t want to leave our new friends, or stop experiencing these amazing new things. So when we get home, we now understand there is a resettling period, usually about a week. This time, it has been almost three.

We unloaded the kids from the pickup, and John let them “hang” out inside the Condo. It is a very nice place, and easy walking or cycling to lots of cool stuff.

Before I carry on about the homeward struggles, I should tell you about Fort Worth and our time with John and Katie. After all, our trip wasn’t over just yet. We had a great sleep, then woke up to meet Katie for the first time. Another beautiful and welcoming person, this trip really has been all about people like these guys. John made us breakfast, coffee, and we all enjoyed chatting and basically wasting away the morning. Actually, we did that most mornings, while here, and having hosts who get what it’s like at the end of a big adventure, was super fantastic. They encouraged us to relax, enjoyed chatting about their extensive cycle travels, work and life. They took such good care of us, it made it even harder to leave. Lucky we had to go, or we might have moved in.

I loved some of the names of businesses in the area, quite the sense of humour. We even found our own street.

John and Katie, showed us around Fort Worth, cycling, walking and driving. We enjoyed some of the iconic tourist things, an Indie movie at the Museum of Modern Art, a spontaneous vintage car show, and a bar or two. It was the perfect end to an incredible five month adventure. We can’t thank them enough.

Along the Trinity River, there are cycle/walking paths, that take you to all sorts of cool places. We rode to the Famous Stock Yards, which are beautiful, quirky and kept in the old cowboy look.

We went to the Love Shack, and had a beer and some buffalo wings, while we waited for the Longhorns to take their afternoon stroll down the street.

How gorgeous are these cows? They just follow the leader, around the block and back to the pen. They walk in one direction in the morning, then back the other way in the afternoon. Every day! So cool.

We took a walk through the Water Gardens, which were made so people can rest and have a quiet space in the inner city.

Lots of different spaces, none for swimming, just for relaxing. I’m sure a few kids get in when it gets super hot,but I’m also sure no one would really care. We also saw some young folks practicing their Parkour. That was very awesome.

 

We walked around the city centre, which was a very pedestrian friendly place. There were lovely Christmas things going on, and it wasn’t over crowded.

The city is filled with some lovely old buildings, and some new ones, built to look like old ones. It was lovely, and didn’t really feel like a thriving metropolis. Just like Austin, but even smaller.

After our Indie Movie, which was pretty good, we took a look through the Museum of Modern Art, which was very interesting. Lots of quirky pieces, and some very famous ones, not so modern.

The building itself, allowed you to take some “arty” pics, with strategic windows overlooking a peaceful pond. It was definitely worth checking out.

As we were leaving the museum, John wanted to show us a little park. It just so happened, that a small vintage car show was happening, which we couldn’t overlook. So many beautifully restored old cars. I really appreciate people who spend the time and money to keep these babies going. It was in the park, so we got to see and enjoy both, with some live music to boot.

A couple more pics from our Fort Worth experience. Such a great place.

Finally, it was time to go, after we spent a day, cleaning and packing the kids up for the journey, and loading everything into Johns pick up. It was about a forty minute drive to Dallas airport, which seemed to go way too fast, and John and Katie did a great job of dumping and running. Just how we like it when things might get emotional.

Time to clean you filthy kids. We took them outside, found some grass, and used some of our travel clothes to give them a good scrub, so they would be allowed back into Australia without a hassle. Will boxed them, as he is very particular, and careful. I just put the boxes together.

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Katie, Will, John and I went to their favourite breakfast place, on our last morning, and enjoyed a good Mexican feed. Thank you both so, so much for all you have done for us.

 

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The bikes and gear are all loaded into the pick up. We are off!

Timing was perfect, and we were first in the check in queue. Unfortunately we got an inexperienced lady, who wanted to charge us for over sized luggage. The bike boxes weighed in at 27, and 28kgs, which was more than the allowance ( It was 30kg per piece, but has changed to 23kg). We tried everything to get away with it, but decided it was just easier just to pay and move on.  Grrrr, it is annoying. But, we checked the kids in and dropped them at the over sized luggage area, then proceeded through security to a relaxing bar, to while away the next couple of hours.

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There she is, our ride out of the States. Not looking forward to the ride in cattle class for a day, night, and then some. Ugh!

The rest of the journey was pretty fuss free, even though we did have to collect our bikes in Sydney, and recheck them through to Perth. After what seemed like forever, we landed in Perth, where the weather was a mild 25C, and our Uber driver (a neighbour) was waiting for us. One more hour, and we were home. After 5 months. Home!

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Everything made it safe and sound. The bike boxes had been opened,again, but looked pretty good. We were just happy to be off the plane and out in the fresh air.

The Travel Home Base was in good nick, with our oldest daughter there to greet us. She took care of our tired and grumpy arses, fed us, and let us pass out before the sun went down. From here, we have been super busy. Catching up with family, getting back to the other activities we enjoy, and sorting out our overgrown veggie gardens. It has been a whirlwind, with not much time for contemplating our last adventure.

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So lovely to see our kids and their partners, after such a long time away. We had a family BBQ to catch up, and then we slept some more.

 

Will got the kids back together, and we took them for a spin around one of our favourite routes in town. They loved it, and so did we.

We took the big kids, with motors, for a spin with some friends, and had a great day out, ending with a few home brewed beers at our friends place. Very nice day.

Got back out on the ocean on Quottro, over to Rottnest Island for the day. The return journey was very exciting, with 25 knot winds and a 2mtr swell. The Mainsail tore off the Halyard, which had us all scampering to get it lowered and to safety, and then we were sailing back with just the foresail up, all on the starboard side of the boat, getting soaked by the huge swell. It was fun, and salty. Whew Yeah! 

I helped my friend Delys ( Dilli Delli), with  Mandala workshop, and to draw a huge Mandala on her lounge room window with Chalk pens. It was great fun, and looks amazing.

Then there was Christmas Eve with our youngest daughter and her partners family, Christmas breakfast at my brothers place, then Boxing Day family gathering at our place. It was a very hectic, but fun time, and we caught up with lots of people. Phew, it is tiring, we are exhausted.

Finally, we have New Years Eve! That very busy and super year is done. Delys came over and after a couple of glasses of bubbly, we did a beautiful Mandala on our window to celebrate an incredible year of excitement. Happy New Year everyone, it’s going to be another ripper.

The second reason it has taken so long to get this episode out, (this is the “Mark Two” version) is, I was putting in the last few pics, when WordPress had a major glitch, and I lost everything. Everything! Aaargggh! I had made a rookie mistake. Usually I will type the text into a note document, then copy and paste, but not this time. I typed it directly into WordPress. Don’t Do That! Just don’t! So it took me another week to get over that trauma, and now it is done.

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So this is the map of our entire journey. Cycling, Driving and Ferries. I can’t believe it, it looks way too far for me to ride.

It is nice to be home, it was an amazing adventure, with so many amazing and beautiful people, and now we are getting back to our usual, daily life. Summer is perfect, sunny and mild weather, and we are enjoying it all. Thanks for following this crazy adventure, and don’t stress, there is already another one in the pipeline. There always is. 😃.

(Edit by Will, 7/02/19)

COSTS:
I thought long & hard whether to publish this or not. It seems like a lot to me. I kept a record of all our spending over the whole tour. Now that I’ve added it up, I’m a little embarrassed to post it !

Keep in mind of the following details when you read the results. Firstly if we had stayed home we would have spent approximately $25000aud over 5 months anyway.
Secondly we purchased a whole stack of new Light Weight, Good Quality, Camping Equipment in Calgary at the beginning of our Tour. We still have most of that Equipment & it will last us for many years. (Cost Included).
Third, we made a major error with booking our Accommodation in Vancouver that we couldn’t get out of so that was an extra $1500cad hit that we didn’t allow for (I’ve included it in the costs).

I’m not going to give a precise micro breakdown, just a macro breakdown of costs, though I do know how much we spent on each category, like beer, Motels, eating out at restaurants, etc. so if you’re desperate to know some minute detail then send me a pm.

Also keep in mind the costs are for a couple travelling together so these are the totals not the cost of each person. I’ll give the cost in Australian & US Dollars.

Flights (for two people) = $3920aud, or $2744usd
Camp Gear in Calgary = $2376aud, or $1663usd
RV & other Hire Vehicles (including Fuel & All Tavel Expenses, like food, beer, Campground fees, Annual National Park Pass) = $7199aud or $5039usd.
Cycling, Everything (Phone SIMS, Ferries, Uber’s, Beer, food, camping, extra clothing) = $23927aud or $16749usd.
Total Cost of everything for Travelling North America over 144 days & 9577kms = $37422aud or $26195usd.

Yes you could do the trip a lot cheaper, but we enjoyed doing it the way we did !

Here are some interesting Statistics:
Number of actual cycling days equals 89, which averages out at 59kms per day.
We spent 54 nights in the tent, 70 nights in Motels, Air BnB or Hostels.
Stealth Camping…only 2, enjoy our comforts to much.
Amount of “Zero Days” as in no cycling or driving…34.
Total days we actually travelled by Vehicle, 21.
Nights with Warm Showers Hosts, 17.
Shortest Touring Days Ride, there’s two of them, 25kms, Brentwood to Victoria on Vancouver Island. Which is equal to Fort Bragg to Mendocino, California, 25kms.
Longest Touring Days Ride, 114kms Fabens to Sierra Blanca, Texas.

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Will keeping track of our spending.

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4 thoughts on “Whoah! The Return To Reality!

  1. Welcome home Jen and Will, and happy new year! What an inspiration your trip was to all of your followers. We were amazed when we met you in Victoria and you told us you had bicycled all the way from Calgary, and were on your way to SanFrancisco.! When we look at the map of your completed travel adventure.. well it truly is amazing. Well done! All Canadians should learn to live life like certain Aussies we now know!

    As we watch Australia via the Australian Open on TV we will be thinking of you on the other side of the country near Perth, and wishing you well and happy future travels!

    Jan and Doug
    Victoria BC
    Canada

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    1. Hi Jan & Doug,

      You both are wonderful, thanks for your beautiful comments. That Canadian/American Tour will go down in our personal history as one of the best ever. One huge reason for that is all the amazing people we met along the way, which includes both of you 🙂

      Coming home is always a little bitter/sweet, nice to be in familiar surroundings & catch up with family & friends. Unfortunately the sense of loss also stings a bit. On the road you have a purpose everyday, have new experiences, meet interesting people.

      Still we won’t dwell on it too much we have heaps to do & a new 3 month adventure is in the wind. May is the start date & it involves Australian Deserts, Four Wheel Drive & a Fat Tyre Bicycle.

      Next blog post should be ready to put out soon, I’ve completed most of the text.

      Once again thanks, Jenny says hi, if we get back to Victoria on Vancouver Island, we’ll definitely try to catch up. Have a fantastic 2019…

      Will

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  2. What an absolutely awesomely amazing trip you had! I agree, travels like that are just all about the people…the amazing, friendly, kind, generous people you get to meet and it’s always hard to leave. It looks like your return home has been all about wonderful people too, time with friends and family that I’m sure helped the transition back to “normal” life a whole lot. It’s been so great to follow your latest adventure and I’m looking forward to following your next one. Have a fabbo 2019 to you both. Pedal on!

    Like

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