TRIP 2003

Update #44 - November 07th
Apalachicola, Florida - 9878 miles (15,805 KM)

The ride is still going and the mile totals are still increasing. Last Saturday, I passed the 126,000 mile mark for this adventure since it started back in 1993. Two days ago, I passed the 30,000 mile mark for my recumbent. I'm now under 3,200 miles from passing the personal record that I have on my 4th bicycle.

The ride from Weeki Wachee to here went okay. I swung inland a bit to go to Groveland and then on to Leesburg to visit some new friends through the "Warm Showers Hospitality List". I've had some mixed response from ministers along the way. I met some really friendly ministers in Lady Lake, Brandon, Perry, Sopchoppy, and Apalachicola. In fact, I'm the guest for a few days of the Episcopal priest here in Apalachicola. Last Sunday, I was asked to speak to the youth and to one of the adult Sunday school classes at the Methodist church in Alachua. This was the thirty-fourth church that I spoke at this year.

This past week has been a challenge for me emotionally and spiritually. I've been really trying to find some place where I could stop for a while and volunteer but it hasn't happened yet. Hopefully soon this will happen. The ride is getting to me since I do not get the chance to have some needed time off the road like I should. Today is the first day off the road after fifteen days of cycling.

It's been a challenge spiritually mostly because of the negative responses that I had gotten from a few ministers and "Christians" along the way. Last Sunday, I had stopped for the night in High Springs. I had an acquaintance there but I couldn't stay with them since there was an elderly relative in the hospital. I had stopped at the Church of Christ for their evening service. The minister was speaking on how they should show Brotherly love to each other. What I didn't know was that he meant to show Brotherly love to other Church of Christ members. There was a good chance of rain that night so I was hoping to maybe just find a floor inside where I could put down my sleeping bag. This didn't happen. I was rejected by committee. I had to go and spend way too much on a motel room.

There has also been somebody for the past couple of weeks who has been going into my guestbook and putting messages that I have just been "panhandling around the country expecting churches to help me out". This has never been the case. I have never (repeat never) asked for one penny from churches or anybody during these past ten years. I do not expect churches to help me out. My only hope is that churches maybe would allow me to camp either inside or outside their church.

I'm going to be here in Apalachicola through Sunday. From here, I'll be following U.S. 98 westward through the rest of Florida through Panama City, Ft. Walton Beach, and Pensacola. Who knows, I might just keep on going and ride back to California. My heart has really been on the victims who have lost their homes during the recent fire storms in Southern California.

I'll try to post an update as often as I can if there are any changes in my plans.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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