For those of you who have been quietly thinking to yourselves “Stephen’s in paradise and having fun, and I’m not, so I’m not donating anything to MS”…this post is for you. With only a few days left in my 2300 mile 137 day journey there remained only one significant challange, The Seven Mile Bridge. What added to the excitment of the challenge was that the weather was threatening to change (as it has been all week). The crossing of the bridge started just fine however with a mix of clouds and sun and a steady stream of vehicular traffic passing me. When the big trucks pass the gust of wind forces me to compensate, but that is normal and I am used to it…in this situation however the stakes are higher than usual because if I lose my balance and tumble off the road here it is certain death as there is no chance to swim to shore from a few miles out…at least not for me.
Despite the added danger level I made it to the halfway point and the peak of the bridge without incident and was even enjoying the beauty of the cloud formations fighting it out overhead…and then as I passed the halfway point it was as if a light switch was thrown and all hell broke loose. It got visibly darker and Lightening began to strike, with its accompanying thunder. A wave of rain swept over me forcing me to put in my rain poncho. And then the serious winds started. For the next three miles I was leaning into 40 MPH winds and spitting rain while watching lighting strikes draw ever closer. “None of this was in the brochure” I thought to myself. For what seemed like an eternity I trudged onward looking for glimers of hope that I would make it accross the bridge safely. Then, faintly, I bagan to make out what looked like land in the distance, and the skies bagan to brighten on the horizon. Sure enough, as I finished six and a half miles the sun peaked out as if to congratulate me and reward me for my perseverance. I made it accross the seven mile bridge!…and lived to tell the tale!
So those of you who have been holding out these last 135 days thinking “he’s never going to make it” or “I’ll donate if he finishes…which he won’t” this is your time to rise up and help “bridge” the remaining fundraising goal for this journey…because I cant be stopped now. I have a date with destiny in Key west in two days come rain or shine 🙂