And when I checked in at the hotel, I had mail - other than Maddy, who arrived a few hours earlier by FedEx Ground. It was a greeting card from Bianca with encouraging words that sealed the lid on my coffin of hesitation:
This is the start of the trip you've been preparing and sacrificing for. I applaud your tenacity on this endeavor in your life. And I expect to read and hear all about it. Take this much needed time to explore this great country, see new sights and let your mind wander to thoughts it has set aside. You have wonderful friends and family supporting you ... we'll be there throughout this trip if you need us. So onward, my Katie! Bike across this damn country!
More images from Astoria: