Day 5: Suwannee River State Park to Tallahassee or "Booya!!"

Miles today: 93, 96 including the ride to the best BBQ ever
Total miles: 366.7
Ride time: 7:40:48
Avg speed: 12.0
Max speed: 28.6
Weather: overcast, low 60s morning, high of 80. Rained on me briefly
Wind: after lunch it sucked. I don't wanna talk about it.
Chafe: happening, but not painful yet
Numer of times honked at today: 4, and no, I wasn't doing anything dumb
Wildlife: very small snake in the middle of the road. Picture to follow
Level of tired: one never experienced before so I can't describe it
Albums of the week: Elliott Brood- Mountain Meadow, Mason Jennings- Use Your Voice, Calamity Cubes- self-titled, Matt &Kim- self-titled
Dogs: 0! Thank God for fences

Hola! I write from the cozy couch of another warmshowers host, the home of Gene Floyd and his son Joshua. I have literally never been this tired in my life. I can't even fathom moving from this couch in the next 10 hours. 93 miles, wow, what more is there to say except f@$*south winds. But this result might possibly be my fault, as I was averaging about 14.5 mph before I stopped for lunch and foolishly thought I could keep doing that all day, standing up and bombing up hills and such. And then I made a left turn and the winds ruind my chi. Well, consider the lesson learned. And learned well.

The good news in all this is that the knees are doing alright after such a long day, which is not to say they don't hurt, because they do, just not a lot. Or maybe my tolerance for pain is increasing? Regardless, rock on knees! This aint easy for you, I know. How bout a short day tomorrow? Yeah? I like the sound of that, too.

In other news, I just ate the best southern BBQ I have ever had at a place called Gertie's BBQ, run by a very cute family. The father sat out in the rocking chair and chatted with me the whole time I ate, asking questions about my ride and telling me to be careful and such. Gun he gave me a free piece of red velvet cake, as if I hadn't consumed enough sugar in three glasses of sweet tea. It's not my fault the cup just kept finding itself full again. I diet want to be rude, you know. What did I eat? You might be asking yourself. Pork rib tips, macaroni and cheese ( the real deal), collard green (oh my God), and Texas toast. The walk home was nothing short of a food coma on autopilot. I don't even remember most of it.

In fact, this whole day is kind of a blur. There was much zoning out and this morning seems like it was 3 days ago. I do remember applying my anti-chafe lube in the middle of the road because I forgot to do it in camp. Ha. And there were some cowboys pushing a herd outside of Madison, right after I was passed by 3 or 4 model T cars. I guess today had kind of an old timey theme. Rolling into Monticello a little while later, where I breaked for lunch, there were many more old cars driving around town. I reckon there was a show somewhere. I feel like I saw something else that was real cool, but I can't remember what. Sorry. So tired.

I do know that I'm really starting to get a taste of what life in the deep south is like. Things are slow and deliberate and the people are kind, though I get many strange looks, but only because I am somewhat noticeable and weird looking. I stopped at a gas station/grocery in Wacissa, where a beautiful older African-American lady chatted with me for a few minutes about my ride. She was very worried about my safety and wanted to know that I made it okay to San Diego so I gave her the address to this blog. She doesn't have Internet but is going to have her son look me up and check in on me periodically. I didn't catch her name, but her kind heart was a much appreciated boost when I still had 30 miles to crank out, 13 of them directly into the wind. I also there discovered that Nestle is trying to gain rights to the Wacissa River so they can bottle it. From what I could gather, most of the residents, at least where I was, are firmly against it. I can only imagine the impact it would have on such a small community.

Well, I promised I would work out mail drops tonight and so I have. I've only got a few more days in Florida and then I spend a few days crossing small portions of Alabama and Mississippi, and then Louisiana. Yeah! Progress. So. In 11 days time I should be in Deridder, LA. You can mail me stuff at:
Jess Engle
General Delivery
Deridder, LA 70634

Remember, nothing too big or heavy. My panniers don't have much room left. If you would like to do the care package thing I could use tiny shampoos and probably some clif bars. Stuff like that. Very small. But letters and messages would be most welcome too. Thanks in advance! Some folks have also mentioned donating money to my cause, also much appreciated. Once I get to a real computer I'll look into setting up a paypal box on this blog somewhere.

Shew. What a mouthful. I feel like I've been typing for ever. But that's just the way time has passed today. Love love love to everyone. Take care. Sleepy time!!


1 comment:

  1. That BBQ place and that kind clerk, just beautiful! Your writing is a pleasure to read and your trip is inspirational. Thanks pal!