TRIP 2009

Update #08 - April 04th
Jesup, Georgia
660 miles (1056 KM) since March 22nd
924 miles (1478 KM) since January 01st

The trip has been going on for almost two weeks now. There has been some more little problems like flat front tires but they were caused by possibly sands of grain that caused pinhole leaks. From Silver Springs, Florida, I rode to Daytona Beach, FL where I was the guest of the Westside Baptist Church. Tuesday, March 31st, I rode to St Augustine where I used a coupon to get a room at a motel because I couldn't make good connections with a place to stay. The rain came down hard, Wednesday, April 01st as I rode between St Augustine and Jacksonville Beach where I stayed with some friends who I had not seen in four years. My ride Thursday, April 02nd, the ride was shortened because of the threat of bad thunderstorms and I was the guest of St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Fernandina Beach, Florida. The sunshine came back Friday, April 03rd, as I rode between Fernandina Beach, Florida and Brunswich, Georgia.

Yesterday, I had an experience that I probably will never forget. I stayed at the Hostel in the Woods near Brunswich, Georgia but it surely was not a place for a Christian to stay at. I had ridden about 63.48 miles (113 km) from Fernandina Beach, Florida. I thought that I would try staying the night at the hostel since it had been recommended by a friend of mine in Moultrie, Georgia who had helped develop the hostel thirty years ago.

To get to the hostel, I had to walk down a muddy potholed dirt road cut out of a pine forest over a half mile long with some really large and deep puddles that took up the whole road. My first impression of the hostel was a hippie commune and I was right. I haven't seen the clothes of the people since Arcata, California, which is a throwback of the Haight-Asbury section of San Francisco, California. The rate was $25 a night for a bed in the bunkhouse and they didn't really take walk-ins. I was allowed to camp out for free but the only place dry to camp out was at the rear of the grounds behind the lake (nude coed swimming allowed) about a half mile from the compound. They actually wanted reservations.

I didn't meet the owner Tom but there was sort of a shrine for him in the main building with a collection of his books for sale. The guy in 20s from Chicago (with ratty matted hair) who was the on-duty manager gave me a tour. He showed off the new dome that scantily clad girls were doing yoga (new meeting house); people in the kitchen were cooking a vegan meal (which I didn't take part of); shelves of homeopathic herbs and medicines; a shelf of crystals for healings; a bulletin board announcing sound meditation; open air showers; open air bath-tub; solar water heater; special dry compost toilets for feces only (men and women were encouraged to pee out in the open) ; flock of free-range chickens and ducks ; special compost piles, a new glass house (like a greenhouse where more yoga classes were being held). I could go on but I guess you can understand where I am coming from.

I camped out in the teepee, which was old with a ripped up covering. I had to clean it out before I could put my tent in it. There was a wet pile of old sleeping bags and pillows. When I picked up the sleeping bags to pile them up, I think that I might have found somebody's drug stash. There was a small glass bong and some crystals in a small plastic bag. I broke the bong and I buried the pieces and the possible drugs in a hole. Also, there was a pouch but I'm not sure whether it carried tobacco or not. There was a fire pit inside the teepee that I cleaned up also but there was still plenty room for my tent.

During the middle of the night, I felt that I was being attacked in my sleep. I had some really bad nightmares. I woke up, buried a small metal cross at the entrance of the teepee, read my Bible, and chanted some prayers out of the Hebrew prayer book I also carry. The rest of the night was calm and quiet for me.

I was the only person up when I left the compound a little bit before 8 AM this morning. About a km down the road on the way back to US 17, I stopped at a Baptist church that was having a yard sale. I talked with the pastor and told him my experience at the hostel. He told me of his concerns and how some of the ministers in Brunswich have been trying to shut down the hostel for several years now.

My plans for the trip was going to have me ride along the coast of Georgia to Savannah but I decided to go more inland because cycling through Savannah is really hard and getting into SE South Carolina is very hard also. I rode from Brunswich to Jesup where I am the guests of the ministerial association. From Jesup, I will be stopping for the night in Reidsville and Sylvania, Georgia and Denmark, South Carolina and get to Lexington, South Carolina in four days.

I might be cancelling out Charleston, South Carolina so I will possibly be celebrating Easter in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The next update should be between April 11 and April 18.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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