Friday, March 26, 2010

Half Way!

After 6.3 months and 7769 mile since leaving Seattle I've made it to my geographical half way point! I say geographical because I'm guessing that my mileage the rest of the way won't be quite as high, but I guess I never really know. Anyway, this is the farthest point of my journey and the end of my southern leg. From here I begin the ride north!

The last bit of riding to the coast was very enjoyable. Well, I actually started to get really bored while riding for the first time on this trip. Florida was just so flat with straight roads and little change in scenery. However, in Fort White, FL I ran into my first other cyclists riding east at a gas station. Tony and Brendan rode the Southern Tier from San Diego and their friend Nick joined in Tallahassee. They're riding to raise money for Big City Mountaineers (http://justanotherbikerideacrossamerica.org/). I joined them their last few miles of the day into High Springs then for dinner. Very happy to have their company, they let me crash in their motel room and ride with them the next day.



Some goofy guys (Nick, Tony, and Brendan)

It was great timing to meet other riders since I'd been getting bored. I really enjoyed sharing stories of our journeys, especially since we'd been through a number of the same towns. This was my first time following someone else and not knowing where I was going which was a strange feeling. They were using the ACA maps, which although took us on some nice small roads and a great bike trail I wouldn't have otherwise found, sure took much longer then I would have gone. Into a little head wind it was also great to draft and switch up the lead, made for a fast day.

Company on a nice bike trail

I left the guys at their hotel that evening and kept on riding towards St Augustine so I could arrive early the next morning. St Augustine is the oldest continually inhabited city in the US, being settled in 1565, so has tons of history. I rode out to the Atlantic to enjoy breakfast on the beach and wade around. Then it was back into the city to explore.

At the Atlantic! In St Augustine Beach, FL.

The town is of course very touristy, but has lots of neat old buildings and different styles of architecture from the colonists of different periods.

Castillo de San Marcus a fort built by the Spanish in 1695.



Inside the fort looking out at the city.



Historic hotel, now Flagler College


Inside the rotunda

From St Augustine I let the wind carry me north to Jacksonville Beach where I met my couch surfing hosts Cheryl and Brain. They have a lovely home a few blocks from the beach and have been fabulous hosts. They have a wonderful perspective on life that I greatly admire.

I took today off to rest up a little and clean up my gear. It was a beautiful, hot day and I got out to some preserves to walk around the salt marshes and then sit on the beach and watch some surfers.


Enjoying the Spanish moss on a walk in one of the many preserves.



Inter Coastal Waterway at low tide.



Beach



Cheryl and Brain, ready for their weekend canoe trip.

Now it's up to Richmond Hill (outside Savannah) to visit a college friend. After that I'm trying to come up with a plan. It's still pretty chilly in the Blue Ridge Mountains and I'm not sure I want o go back to cold quite yet, so may ride the coast of the Carolinas and then head back west to the Great Smokey Mtns NP and Blue Ridge Parkway. I'll make up my mind sometime soon here.

It's crazy to think this is half way. Starting out on this trip I wasn't sure I'd make it past six months, but am still excited to continue riding. So on I go, now slowly working my way back to the northwest.

2 comments:

  1. Right on Robin! I'm going to live vicariously through you for the next 6 months. Since you had to hear about mayo for two days I figured you had to see the video and get a glimpse of what $1,000 of mayo looks like:
    http://www.vimeo.com/10452033

    Ride on and I will be follow!

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  2. Hey.
    It was awesome meeting you today on the road between North Augusta and Edgefield SC. What a beautiful day to ride in the country. I was on the red Tri-bike. I was inspired by you all day. I am glad that I got up to ride today and headed in that direction. I will follow your progress.
    Live-Da-Dream & Enjoy the Ride.
    Wade

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