TRIP 2001

Update #32 - Oct 14th
Appalachicola, Florida - 8721 miles (13,954 KM)

The ride from Kingsland, Georgia to Appalachicola, Florida went okay. The heat wasn't really bad this section but I did have several days of really cool weather. Today, the temperature got up into the high seventies.

For lodging, I stayed at several churches, in a couple of donated motel rooms, and mostly in my new tent. As in the last update, I've haven't had any more problems with my tent except for the fact that I'm not the judge of flat land especially after dark. I've set my tent up on slopes and have slipped off my sleeping pad several times. I do admit that I'm getting better in judging slopes but the problem has been mosquitoes and lots of them.

There was pretty neat scenery to see while riding through N. Georgia, NW South Carolina, and along the coast of Georgia. Traffic hasn't been a big problem in this section. Some of the drivers have been really rude especially by either trying to run me off the highway or coming up from behind me with their horns blaring. Riding through Central Florida close to Orlando was pretty hard. The roads didn't have much paved shoulder to ride along.

One of the hardest things in Florida has been to trying to connect with good ministers. I've met up with a lot of ministers who either didn't want to help me or pass me off to other agencies or churches. Insurance problems have been the biggest excuses for not allowing me to either camp out on church property or use one of the church buildings. It seemed that the ministers in small towns were the most friendliest.

Saturday night (Oct. 13th) was the strangest night. I was camping out in one of the parks in Panacea. I was camping out in the open but I noticed how fast the sky was being filled up with clouds. I decided to move everything over to a concrete stage pavilion. It didn't take very long to move everything onto the stage where I camped out at the rear of the stage. I was about six feet above the ground. Around 2:30 a.m, the winds really picked up and the sky lit up with lightning. My tent was started to make a lot of noise from the wind. I decided to move everything over to the back of the stage between the restrooms. The concrete entranceway of the men's restroom was big enough for me to put the tent in and it was actually the darkest place for me to try and sleep in. I felt pretty safe and fell asleep fast even though it was around 3:00 a.m. when I got the tent fixed again. I found out later on Sunday morning that the thunderstorm that I dealt with had a tornado in it that had touched down about sixteen miles NE of me.

Currently, I've got less than two hundred miles to the ride to the Alabama State Line. This would be my second time in Alabama this year. Panama City and Pensacola are the two biggest cities in the Florida Panhandle that I have to ride through. I'm heading towards Baldwin, Lousiana, which is Southwest of New Orleans, to check out the United Methodist Church Disaster Relief Center. After that, I'm open to what my Leader in Heaven directs me to go.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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