This morning my left knee still hurt from yesterday's ride, enough that I was tempted to rest a day before continuing on. I paused at the exit of the state park to consider this, but finally I decided that if I was going to rest a day, Menomonie would be a better place to do it. Fortunately my knee stopped hurting after a few miles.
The rain that started last night continued as drizzle all day, but little more than that. It looks like I won't be able to see the Perseids tonight, but I'm just glad the rain wasn't more intense.
Presented at Groveland UU Fellowship, Sunday, January 29, 2006
Chalice Lighting (by Ben Stallings, based on Gaia Theory)
I should have gone farther yesterday... as it was I had to ride 13 hours today, some 105 kilometers instead of my target 80. And it was a really hot, humid day. I went through 5 liters of water plus a liter of other drinks -- that's more than I drank in a day while hiking the Grand Canyon in the peak of the summer! At least the roads were flat; I hear tomorrow I won't be so lucky in that regard.
I stopped for lunch (poutine!) and ate it outdoors so I could dry my camping gear, so that i wouldn't have to worry about it tonight.
Today's plan was simple enough: I would bike from Durham to a shopping center on the near side of Raleigh, meet my sister's old friend Amber for lunch at 11, and then ride north to Falls Lake in the afternoon. But about a mile from the rendezvous, I got a flat on my left trailer tire -- the first one it's had in the whole trip.
On the highway this morning I saw a man walking, pulling a big duffel on a luggage cart. I did a U-turn and stopped to talk with him. He said that reading the Bible in Greek a year and a half ago had convinced him to get rid of all his worldly belongings (except the duffel) and live in what he called the "Celestrious Realm," which I took to mean the more or less natural world. He told me that traveling faster than 25 mph damages the soul, and that I should camp illegally more often and "shit in the woods" whenever possible, the better to lead a celestrious life. He also warned of the si
My plan for the day was simple and elegant: I would ride north to Tallahassee and stay at a campground west of town. Rather than follow the most direct highway route, I would go a few miles out of my way to the rail trail that connects Tallahassee to the Gulf shore town of St. Marks and enjoy the peace and quiet away from traffic.
Carol fixed me a nice breakfast this morning to get me on my way. Unfortunately something, either this morning or yesterday, gave me a persistent stomachache in addition to the lower-backache I'd picked up in the strawberry field, so it was an uncomfortable ride.
I followed the route Bruce suggested around Pensacola to the west and north, but even that far from the coast I saw lots of hurricane damage. The sides of the roads were littered with asphalt shingles and vinyl siding, even as construction workers were scrambling to put new flimsy shingles and siding in their places.
I woke well before dawn in the strawberry field and picked about 50 slugs off my tent before hitting the road at sunrise. I stopped at a convenience store and told a curious passerby that I was having trouble finding campgrounds and hotels. His response changed my day and nearly changed my whole trip: he said this area is still recovering from last August's hurricanes, so there are hundreds of workmen visiting from out of town, plus displaced homeowners and renters. He suggested I go farther from the coast, i.e. back north where I had just come from.