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Monday, July 12, 2010

Geography Lesson, Florida

This may not come as any huge surprise, but I found out today that Florida is a W I D E state. I rode from Destin, in the western part, to Jacksonville, on the Atlantic Coast, and folks, that's one long fucking ride. Or maybe the occasional showers made it seem that way. 

I kept wanting to swing northeast, but there were some ominous-looking clouds to my left the whole way. Of course, when I got to Jacksonville, there weren't many options left, so I turned north, up the dreaded Interstate 95.

I made it as far as Brunswick, Georgia, (the 7th state of this trip...seems like more...) before the next storm scared me off 95 and into a dry hotel room. I've checked a lot of weather reports, and things don't look good the rest of the week, so I'm just going to go for it tomorrow morning, pulling off if it gets bad.

Frankly, the idea of rain, I-95, and those goddamn trucks blowing my bike all over doesn't exactly sound like fun!  Ah, the hell with it. I'll just ride easy and take a few days to go the last 640 miles. With that 640, I'll top 3,100 total for the trip. Maybe more if I detour to Charleston.

When I was checking my camera tonight, I realized I hadn't taken a single picture all day, with the exception of the few after I stopped. I was just putting away the miles today, and didn't see anything along I-10 that was remotely interesting. First day that's happened.

Random thoughts:

- Have been in hotels for almost 2 weeks and haven't had one wake-up call or set an alarm clock

- think this 2008 Softail Custom is the best damn motorcycle ever built. What a great bike! Two thumbs up for Harley Davidson!!

- think it's cool having friends following me online and cheering me on. I have great friends, and one awesome new one in Kentucky! An unexpected trip bonus!

- can't help but realize this ride is about to end. It took a long time to put this together and it's ending way too soon

- might never get my bike looking new again. Charlie rubbed off a little dirt for me in NOLA but it's back.

- like the windshield and bags, but can't wait to strip it back down

And so on. Guess I'll get some sleep. I'll need the energy tomorrow.

Where to ?

Threatening storm clouds and the all-too-alluring beach town of Destin, Florida, stopped me in my tracks Saturday, and I've been here ever since. I'd never seen water this color in the States before, and when matched with the sugar-white sand color, the effect is irresistible. And the girls ain't hard to look at either!!

Florida doesn't seem to require bikers to wear helmets, and I haven't worn one for the entire stay. Riding up and down the coastal road with the wind in my hair reminded me of the good old days in Ocean City, Maryland. Not sure where I am with the helmet thing for road trips. They're probably a good idea, but I don't like being forced to wear one.

I spent a little of yesterday at various places including the beach, a hangout known as AJ's, Hooters (of course), and even a little riding around to check out the more affordable areas where someone might want to live. Just for reference. He'll, I even went boat shopping. Boat shopping is fun even when the boats are hopelessly out of my price range. The place was closed so I could roam at will.

I had thoughts of staying another day, but I'd better get moving. There may be another alluring town between here and Alexandria that might require a little extra time.

And that brings me to the morning's primary thought. I'm now on the way home, and therefore nearing the end of this ride. Yeah, I know. I've got the whole fucking week and should quit whining. So I will!!
I've got a couple choices this morning: ride east to Tallahassee, or ride north on some true back roads into Alabama. Or is it Georgia. Can't remember.

Ok, gotta load up the bike and get moving. Got a little sunburn yesterday, and I'm reminded of it as I'm moving around.