Uuuuughhh very rough start. I think I had a 10am appointment to take our car to the train yard and sign over the title but there was no fucking way that was going to happen. We had a very late night and a ton of beer. Rich and I stayed out until close to 4. I think I peeled myself out of bed around 1 and managed to get the car to the rail yard by 2 or so. Thankfully the appointment slots didn’t really mean much, the people there would take about 20 cars per day and it didn’t matter when – unofficially. One of our license plates had rattled off somewhere in Mongolia but I was determined to keep the other one but I had to take it off stealthily, which I successfully did. Then it was time to say goodbye to el Doblo. She done good.
There were a couple Aussies at the yard at the same time so we all shared an uber back to the finish line. There was an awesome and empty massive bar there with wi-fi. The only thing left to do was to find a flight home. I had tried the day before but the airline sites were timing out for some reason. Getting home from Ulan-Ude isn’t exactly tricky but it requires flying to Moscow first, which was the part I was having difficulty with. The flights 2 days later were filling up and the tickets went from a little over $300 to $500 by the time I was able to book a ticket. Flights from Moscow were surprisingly cheap from being so far away, somewhere in the $500 range. Thankfully I remember to check the American Airlines website because it just so happened I had enough miles to fly home from Moscow for free AND first class the entire way. After 6 weeks on the road a little luxury was a welcome surprise.
Mitch had flown home early that morning but Ryan and I were still in town along with the Birch brothers as well as Hendrick and Dave from Starsky and Dutch. We decided we should find a nice restaurant that night for dinner, which we did sort of. Honestly don’t remember a ton of details because as soon as my flight was booked I hit the beers once again to celebrate with more of the teams that were arriving at the finish. We hit a few bars that night and then unfortunately all had to say goodbye. Ryan and I didn’t fly our respective ways for 2 days (that crazy son of a bitch flew to southeast Asia after our trip) but everyone else left in the morning.