Friday, May 18, 2012

Ride Day 51

I left Blackwater State Park at first light. As I pulled out of the camping loop road there was an armadillo in the road. I tried to get my camera out and ready to take a pic but he was too quick for me and I missed the pic. Then about a hundred yards up the road I saw a fox squirrel and again I was too slow on the draw to get a pic. I rode on slowly and was looking around a lot and I saw some deer then some quail and a few turtles. It was a good day of seeing wildlife so far. I did not see any snakes or gators or even any turkeys today though. I enjoyed the slow pace of my ride. The miles still piled up quicker than I expected. I stopped for breakfast at a cafe and ate my usual egg, cheese and sausage sandwich with coffee. The woman working was quizzing me about my ride so far. She asked a ton of questions all of which I have heard repeatedly but I answered her questions. I took almost no pics today. I was preoccupied with my health problems and the road was mostly just a country road with long leaf pines lining the sides of the road. I finally stopped in the early afternoon at an RV resort called Sunset King Lake Resort. There is a pool and a lake with lots of campers around. I am still just resting at this moment, sitting in the office doing this computer stuff. I will get up and eat again pretty soon because I have only had three meals so far today. Then maybe a swim might be in order. I feel a bit better than I did last night at this time but I am still hurting. I hope it is better soon....More later

Ride Day 50

Tough day for me in Florida today. I left Big Lagoon early in the morning and the plan was to ride slow and easy across flat Florida. First of all the maps from ACA seem to love hills and mountains of any sort. It seems if there is a mountain they will find a way to get it on the route. So my plan of slow and easy turned into lots of hill climbing today. It was hard for me because I can't put any pressure on my left leg because of the pain so I had to use low gears and spin my legs a lot. It went ok for a while but then a woman in a black caddy, talking on her phone, cut me off and slowed down to turn right about ten feet in front of me. I was going about 30 mph downhill at the time. I slammed on my back brakes and my front brakes and my Fred Flintstone brakes as I was skidding and fishtailing right at her car. At the last second I had slowed enough to turn left into the traffic lane to avoid hitting her but I let out a very profane string of thoughts about her driving skills at the top of my voice as I barely missed hitting her. If I had hit her I would have been thrown out into the heavy traffic lanes and most likely would have been run over. I kept screaming as I came to a stop and she stopped her car up the road and got out like, "why the hell are you screaming at me." A guy walking on the street came up and asked if I was ok and then when I said yes just upset he warned me that right or wrong if I kept yelling I would get arrested for disturbing the peace. I calmed down and thanked him before I got back on my bike and rode off. I had to stop again a couple blocks up the road to pull myself together again because I was shaking too much. I recovered and kept riding but told myself to keep my speed below 20mpn after this. I did not take many pics because I was too preoccupied with my pain issues. There also was not much to take pics of because there were too many trees along the route blocking the views. I stopped at Bob's Canoes to ask about any local camping spots when I got tired. They told me Blackwater State Park was the closest so I went there for the night. There were fox squirrels at the park which I had never seen before. I looked for them in the late afternoon for a couple of hours but saw none till the next morning as I was leaving. They are about two feet long with a face that looks like a fox. When I arrived at camp I set up my tent and talked to my neighbor for a bit. Then I ate a bunch of food and took a shower. My neighbor brought over a plate of food, bbqed chicken, beans, rice and bread with a can of iced tea with lemonade to drink. I was surprised by this and thanked him profusely as I gobbled down my second meal in an hour. I love that I can eat so much on this ride. I just wish I could afford to eat more than I do but food is already my highest expense. The people that offer food and cold drinks are some of the most thoughtful people I have come across on my ride. It has happened a lot too. There are rally a lot of very nice generous people around in this country. I had trouble sleeping because of the pain. I tried to stretch before I went to sleep and again in the morning, but I am too sore to do that. I stayed in the shower a long time just letting the hot water massage me. The big bruise I had in the morning behind my knee was almost gone tonight but it still hurts a lot. I will limp along on day 51 because I just hurt more when I stop and rest. I just can't push down hard with my left leg. I will just take it easy again. MOre later...