TRIP 2015

Update #25 - December 27th
Dunnelon, Florida
9,901.67 miles (15,842.67 KM) - Year Total

December 17 : Perry, FL to Perry, FL : 07.43 miles (11.89 km)
Trip Total: 9,773.74 miles (15,637.98 km)

I had a little better night than what I had expected. I got five hours of sleep. I was a little wired from being frustrated about getting the email from the homeless ministry in Homossa Springs telling me that I wasn't needed. I'm not really sure what I'm going to do. I was really hoping that this would be the place to get off the road for a little bit.

I woke up a little before 6 am. There was a decent free breakfast. I checked out of the motel around 8:40 am. The weather report said that there was going to be rain and possible thunderstorms today. I didn't feel like trying to ride to Cross City because there was basically 50 miles of nothing. I thought that I would try and connect with a pastor to see if I could find someplace to stay today.

The nearest church was the First Presbyterian. It was about a 2 mile ride to the church. I met the pastor outside. He told me that there was nothing that the church could do today because there was going to be a preschool children's program. I rode to the downtown area to check and see if the minister was in at the Methodist Church. I met the pastor a couple of years ago. He offered to get me a room at the motel I stayed at last night. Before I left the church, the pastor took me downstairs to the church's food pantry to see if there was anything that I could use.

December 18 : Perry, FL to Cross City, FL : 44.37 miles (70.99 km)
Trip Total: 9,818.11 miles (15,708.98 km)

I had a little better afternoon and night than what I had expected. The rain didn't start till early afternoon. The rain didn't last long. I got five hours of sleep. The breakfast wasn't as good as yesterday because there weren't that many guests at the motel.

Before leaving the motel, I bundled up because the temperature was in the upper 50s. I left the motel a little ater 8 am. There was a headwind to push me along. About 9 miles out of Perry, I had to stop and do some roadside repair work. A couple of miles more down the road the rear tire started to go soft. I didn't find anything in the tire and I couldn't find anything wrong with the tube but I switched over to the other tube. Because of these two stops, I only got 17 miles in by noon. I stopped for a short lunch break alongside the road.

The afternoon ride to Cross City went okay. I got into Cross City around 3:30 pm. There was nobody at the First Baptist Church and no contact numbers. I was hoping to find someplace inside because there was a frost warning and the temperature was going to be close to freezing. I couldn't find the police station. I stopped at city hall to see if somebody knew a local pastor. I was told to check out a local christian center but it was closed. A block away from the center was the Methodist church. The pastor was in but he wasn't that helpful. His suggestion was to go to the county courthouse to the sheriff department to see if they could contact the police. After about a ten minute wait, a police car came. The officer was a sergeant. He was able to contact somebody with the christian center and there was an offer to get me a room at one of the local motels. The sergeant met me at the motel. Before he left, the sergeant slipped me a GH so I could go to the nearby McDs and get something hot to eat.

I'm going to have a short ride to Chiefland tomorrow. I'll probably try and find someplace to camp out close to Chiefland and then go to one of the churches in Chiefland for church Sunday.

December 19 : Cross City, FL to Fanning Springs, FL : 16.75 miles (26.80 km)
Trip Total: 9,834.86 miles (15,735.78 km)

I had a little better night than what I had expected. Before going to bed, I did a water test on the tube that I took out and found a very small pinhole. I checked out the inside of the tire and I didn't find anything. I wish that the room was closer to the office because I didn't get any signal. The room was a little better than what I had expected. To be on the safe side, I decided to check out the tube that I had installed. I did another water test and I found a small pinhole leak in it. This time I found something really small sticking out from the inside of the tire. It took a while but I was able to get rid of it.

I left the motel a little after 9 am because I wasn't planning to go very far. I was planning to ride to Chiefland and go to church there. I stopped to get a few groceries using some of the money that the sergeant gave me. I got on the Nature Coast bike trail. About 8 miles out of Cross City, I decided to stop at a trail bench and do some much needed repair work done on my seatback. There was a lot of holes in the mesh. I decided to see if I still had the cloth cover from the old seatback with me and take the time to sew it on. The temperature was close to 60. It took me a little over 3 hours and multiple needle pricks to three of the fingers on my left hand but I got it done.

It was almost 3 pm when I got back on the road. I rode through the Old Town area and then through Fanning Springs. Between Fanning Springs and Chiefland, I found some open woods and I decided to go ahead and camp out.

December 20 : Fanning Springs, FL to Chiefland, FL : 09.09 miles (14.54 km)
Trip Total: 9,843.95 miles (15,750.32 km)

I had a little better night than what I had expected. It got a little cold but I was able to manage because the sleeping bag was rated for 20 degrees. I was packed and on the road around 8:30 am. A couple of miles down the road, I had to stop and work on my left shoe because the sewing repair that I did to it was going bad.

It was about a seven mile ride into Chiefland. I was going to stop at the First United Methodist Church but I didn't get a good welcome. I wasn't able to park my bike close to the church for safety. As I was trying to lock up Alice, a guy came out of the church and who might have been an usher to tell me that I should park the recumbent across the street at a fence. I didn't want to do it because it was too far from the church and there was a risk of theft. Instead of doing it, I decided to go and leave and check out the First Baptist Church.

I got to the First Baptist Church about halfway through the Sunday school class but I wasn't able to attend one. I was able to talk to a young guy who might have been the associate pastor. He told me to go into the sanctuary and wait for the service and then he would connect me with the senior pastor. The service was mostly singing by the adult choir. It was their Christmas concert. After the service, one of the deacons came to talk to me. He gave me a GH and the sr pastor gave me a GH. I was told that they used to have arrangements with a local motel but they didn't have the arrangement anymore because some people abused the service. I was given directions to the motel. I was kind of torn on whether to use the money for other things that I really needed but I really wanted to get a bed for the night. I got a $5 discount on the room. The only problem was that the room was a smoking room and really close to the highway.

Before heading out tomorrow, I'm going to try and connect with another minister and try and get some idea on where I could go to.

December 21 : Chiefland, FL to Chiefland, FL : 04.23 miles (06.77 km)
Trip Total: 9,848.18 miles (15,757.09 km)

I had a rough night. I didn't get much sleep. The room that I was assigned was the closest to the highway. The highway had traffic a long time. I didn't get much sleep.

I checked out of the motel around 9 am. I went across the highway to get a few things at Walmart. I stopped at McDs to check out my email. I then rode over to the First United Methodist Church. The pastor was in. He offered to pay for the motel room for two more nights. Before leaving his office, the pastor gave me a $10 gift card for Little Ceazer's pizza. The pastor took me over to the local social service center to see if she could do anything for me. The social worker didn't have much to offer. Most of what she did could do is refer people to the other social service centers in Gainesville. For emergency housing, there are two shelters in Gainesville but from what the social worker told me they were not that safe.

I got an email from my lawyer friend in Mississippi. She wrote to me that she wants to provide housing for me in Chiefland for the rest of the week so I wouldn't be traveling through Christmas.

December 26 : Chiefland, FL to River Park Estates, FL : 45.92 miles (73.47 km)
Trip Total: 9,894.10 miles (15,830.56 km)

I had a bit of an off night. I didn't sleep very much. It must have anxiety of getting back on the road. It was quite foggy in the morning. I delayed my departure till a little after 8:30 am. I got about 21 miles in by noon. I stopped at a closed out business for a short lunch break.

I got into Williston around 1:30 pm. I stopped at a McDs for a short sweet tea break and to check my email. I turned South on US 41. The ride South went okay till I got to the Marion County Line where my wide paved shoulder ended. The ride started to get tricky because in a lot of places there was no shoulder.

Around 4:30 pm, I got into the River Park Estates area. About a mile South of River Park Estates, I came across some open woods that didn't have any no trespassing signs. There was some kind of trail in the woods. I went really far into the woods so I could get away from the highway to lesson the road noise. I found a pretty open spot in the woods.

December 27 : River Park Estates, FL to Dunnelon : 07.57 miles (12.11 km)
Trip Total: 9,901.67 miles (15,842.67 km)

I had an okay night. It was quite warm so I didn't have to crawl into my sleeping bag. I slept kind of lightly. I woke up around 6 am. I had everything packed up by 8:20 am.

It was about a five mile ride into Dunnelon. There were no signs indicating where the churches were so I had a hard time finding the Presbyterian Church. The first service was just ending. I got to talk to the pastor. He offered to get me a room at the local motel even before I asked him where I might be able to stay for the day.

There wasn't a Sunday school class so I waited outside and grabbed one of my paperbacks. The second service was okay and it was mostly singing. Before the prayers of the people, I got introduced along with another minister. I was given the chance to say a few words. Nothing much happened after the service. Only a couple of people took the time to speak to me before I headed over to the motel.

The next trip update should be posted sometime around January 14th, 2016.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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