Tuesday, February 01, 2005

270 miles to go!

Well I've only 270 miles to go, so I'll be in St Augustine either thursday night or friday morning. But sadly it's going to rain every day until then. Though I've stopped believing the weather chanel too much since I woke up with the heaviest frost yet on my tent on monday morning - they said the temperature was going to stay in the 40s.

After my last blog entry I got drenched. And on leaving that beautiful town someone in a passing car fired a starter pistol in my ear. At least I hope it was just a starter pistol...

Further down the road I saw someone at the side of the road, but I couldn't work out what they were doing. When I caught up with them I got chatting to this guy called Lee from Tennessee. He was doing a 200km training ride for some mad 750km ride in Paris that is done in 80 hours or something. I was pretty impressed at him riding 200k in this weather, but what raised him from impressive status to insane status was the fact that he was doing it on a SCOOTER! It was a type I'd never seen before - a 26 inch front wheel like a bike with a small back wheel. It was called a kick-along or something similar, maybe a kick-a-bike. And he was managing 12mph, though he was down to 10 by the time he turned off.

But I had a really cool time on saturday night. I got chatting to a friendly group of girls who were working at the supermarket where I stopped to buy supper in Bonifay. They gave me the name of the motel where Lee and the other cyclists were staying, so I decided to spend the night there, dry out and chat to the cyclists. They were friendly - I chatted a lot to the wife of the organiser and her son. He gave me one of the yellow 'livestrong' bracelets that I've been searching for since I arrived in the US. While we were chatting we noticed some people in a car waving at us - it was the girls from the supermarket. They invited me to ride with them and see the town on a saturday night. So of course I accepted.

I bought a few beers and we drove around. There wasn't a lot happening - just everyone else driving around too. I became their performing monkey for the night - they got me to say 'git-r-done' in an American accent, which they found hilarious. One of them recorded it on her phone and played it back, and I realised why it was so amusing. They drove me around introducing me to everyone, and the car gradually filled up until there was about 10 of us in the car. Anyone that knows much about life in small town america can perhaps guess how the evening ended, but for various reasons I can't say any more about it here. But it was certainly one of the most unforgettable moments of my trip! Email me if you want to find out. But despite what happened I had a really great evening, and met one of the girls for a coffee at the waffle house the next morning before I left.

The next day was dry, and I camped wild for the first time, at a beautiful abandoned old house in the middle of the forest. At first it was a bit spooky being on my own with all the strange rustling noises, but I got used to it and enjoyed the tranquility and stars.

Not a whole lot of excitement since then, and it's raining again today but I don't mind too much.

See y'all soon,


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