Familiar Turf

I had forgotten what Florida humidity was like in the short time I was away.

It was a pleasant ride with funny little things popping up all over. It started with the no swimming, beware alligator sign. I stopped and looked around and was curious what it was people would be swimming in, there was no water, just concrete. I guess it could have been a pool that was maybe filled in and they never took down the sign… I don’t know, but for a few minutes I just chuckled to myself at it.

Then I found this next; a new type of farm! Yes, haven’t you always wondered where all that top soil comes from? Well, several places just before getting to Callahan actually made dirt. Piles and piles of dirt. So now you know where all that dirt you get in the store comes from.

The next two pictures are of a trail head that had entrances on both sides of the road. I thought about stopping there and checking it out, but was worried I might get caught in the rain, so I kept on down the road.

I made it to Callahan and yes, it did start raining, and raining and raining. I decided that since my clothes were still not dry from the last hard rain that I would go to the laundromat and get them dry while it was raining outside. This place was definitely different. You had to use a card to make the machine go. The person that ran the place gave me a weird look and said she saw me pull up with that trailer, and the said ” we did this because the homeless people were breaking into the machines and stealing all the money, we are going to do it with the doors to the bathroom too because they crap on the floor and spread it on the walls.”

I just smiled and said, just because I travel like this doesn’t mean I’m homeless, but if you have an issue with me being here, I can wait until the next city to do my clothes. She started being nice to me after that. I guess I fall into the old fashioned way now. To me it is just easier to put quarters in the machine. I ended up giving the card to another person when I left. I have no intention of going back there.

I tried hard for a few days to think of something good to say about that area, but just couldn’t see it. People didn’t seem to respect their own community, there were piles of poop on the side walks and someone had vomited all over the place on one of the streets. But there was a lot of construction going on so maybe things are changing.

I didn’t stay in Callahan, but continued on down towards Jacksonville. I wasn’t exactly what road I was going to take, but I didn’t want to go down US1. I met Rick along the way and he offered to let me stay on the couch at his house for the night. He was a nice person, but was dealing with the possibility of losing his house. When I left there the next morning and started into Jacksonville, I did a lot of walking because the roads were really busy and the sidewalks were not that great.

I did have a pretty awesome BBQ sandwich for lunch at one of the local places along the way and made it almost to Orange Park.

It was still dark when I was walking along St Johns River. I may not have any photos of downtown Jacksonville in the daytime, but I did get a couple night time shots.

It was kind of sweet that the park I took this from had a lot of couples sitting along the riverbank. A kind of lovers lane, Jacksonville style.

And that brings me to today… Oh man what a day it has been starting when I got up at 4:30… There was supposed to be a quick stop gas station not too far down the road, but I blinked and missed it, or I was just plain overwhelmed by the amount of traffic that was on the road… hundreds of cars… I had to double check my clock. Turns out there is a Navel air base there and there was even more traffic coming from the other direction. It was all tied up at least a 1/2 mile on each side… and the cars just kept coming and coming.

My lights on the bike decided they didn’t want to work, so I walked and I must say walking towards traffic in the dark is not easy. The lights tended to blind me. And then it got even better, the shoulder disappeared. I was relieved to see the Waffle House and a gas station just after the overpass. It was pretty cool that someone picked up my tab for breakfast. I’m glad I stopped because it would be a while before I got a chance to eat again. I think it must be National Flat Tire day or something.

I got a flat tire with the side of the trailer that I can’t take the wheel off. I honestly didn’t feeling like dealing with it, so I went to a tire repair and asked if they had a car jack I could use. Turns out that the tire wasn’t flat, but that the valve stem broke off. So the tire repair let me keep my trailer there while I went to the store 15 minutes away. I got a new tube and headed back, replaced the tube and headed back down the road. I made it maybe 1 1/2 blocks and something fell out of my trailer, so I parked the bike and went to get it.

When I heard the popping sound I thought maybe someone had run over what fell out, but it turned out to be the tire on the trailer. Then I realized it was the tire I just bought and put on there! A defective tire…. long story short, I found a spare tube in the bottom of my trailer, fixed the bike again and decided to go sit at the library since now my phone was out of power. When I get to Walmart, I’ll get two tires and tubes for the trailer.

That is where I am now. I haven’t decided on which route I am taking, but I did decide that it was going to lead me to a camping ground so I can sit for a couple of days and clean that trailer out!

I wasn’t really in the mood to post anything, but decided that I need to shake off the crappy stuff that has happened today and find something positive to focus on. Which brings me to today’s tidbit.

The definition of Perseverance is to go on resolutely or stubbornly in spite of opposition, importunity, or warning. It means to never give up, never stop trying no matter what tries to stop you.

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