TRIP 2016

Update #21 - October 23rd
Perry, Florida
Mission Trip 70 so far (as of 10/11/16) : 1,190.46 miles (1,904.74 km)
Year Total : 6,469.33 miles (10,350.93 km)

Oct 12, 2016 : Kreole (Moss Point), MS to Bayou La Batre, AL : 23.62 miles (37.79 km)
Trip Total: 832.19 miles (1,331.50 km)
Year Total: 6,111.06 miles (9,777.70 km)

I had an okay afternoon and night at the motel. I just wished that I would have gotten a room downstairs. It took a really long time finding a stairwell and then getting Alice and all of my gear upstairs to the room. There were not that many stairwells. There should have been two stairwells for everybody building but there was one stairwell for every two buildings. Getting Alice and all of my gear took me twenty minutes because I had to take five trips upstairs. I'm going to have to explore to find a stairwell closer to my room.

It was nice having the wifi password. Having some extra food was a big plus that pastor Derrick bought for me. It would have been nice to be able to use the guest laundry but it would have cost $5 for a load and I couldn't justify that expediture. Being that I had a studio room with a kitchenette, I was able to have some hot food for a change. Neither cable tv or the internet could keep me awake long after dark. I fell asleep around 8:30 pm. I only woke up once to go to the restroom but I was able to fall asleep till around 5 am.

I woke up around 5 am. I watched the morning news with interest. There was a lot of damage in North Carolina from the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. The flooding wasn't down along the Coast. the city of Lumberton was hit really bad with flooding and it's at least 50 miles Inland and NW of Wilmington and less than 20 miles from the SC state line. The Lumber River was supposed to have flooded out of it's banks and also there was the threat of dams breaking. This isn't the only town affected in the area. There were supposed to have been at least one thousand rescues of people trapped in either their homes or from vehicles using either boats or helicopters. There were nine reported deaths in North carolina. Two people were supposed to have drowned because they got themselves trapped in the flood waters.

There's been really nothing on what happened in NE Florida and Coastal Georgia. I'm looking at riding East to Perry, Florida. Southeast to Palatka, South to Sanford, and then try and get to US 1 near Mims. From Mims, I would try and head North either riding along US 1 and FL A1A to check out the coastal communities.

I left my hotel room around 8 am but I didn't leave the hotel property till almost 8:25 am because it took a lot of time getting everything downstairs. I started the day wearing my long sleeve pullover under my cycling jersey because the temperature was in the upper 60s.

The ride to the Alabama state line went okay. I stopped at a gas station west of Grand Bay for a short break around 11 am. The ride to Bayou La Batre went okay. I did stop at the McDs North of town for a short break. After the break, I made my way over to the First Baptist Church. The pastor was working at home instead of the church office because his wife was home sick.

Oct 13, 2016 : Bayou La Batre, AL to Perdido Key, FL : 59.91 miles 95.86 km)
Trip Total: 892.10 miles (1,427.36 km)
Year Total: 6,170.97 miles (9,873.55 km)

I had an okay afternoon and night in the youth department of the First Baptist Church. I was able to talk to the church members during the Wed night prayer and Bible Study. Afterwards, there was an offer of somebody going out to get me supper but it wasn't followed thru. In the main room, I moved stuff around to get the small sofa bed out of it's corner so I could open it up. I did have to turn on the heat to get the room warm. The air conditioning was really turned on really low in the fellowship hall and I nearly froze. Just don't know why people think that they need to get as cold as a piece of frozen hamburger in the summer time. I must have fallen asleep around 8:40 pm. I must have woken up twice to go to the restroom but I was able to fall asleep till around 5 am.

I left the church around 7:30 am. The ride South to Dauphin Island went okay. I didn't take any long rest stops along the way. I was able to ride clear across the high bridge to the Ferry terminal. It was kind of strange that they had already put up the Christmas decorations in the central part of the town.

I got to the ferry just as the ferry was unloading. There was a question that I was going to be able to get on board the ferry for the ride to Fort Morgan because they were really not taking on any walk-on traffic today because of all of the extra vehicle traffic. There was supposed to be a Shrimp festival going on in Gulf Shores. Once they saw that I was on tour and was just going one way, I was able to buy my ticket. Because it was passed the Summer Season, the fare was $5 instead of $6. I was the last person to get onto the ferry. The 40 minute ride went okay. I only took a few pictures.

I was the last person to get off of the ferry. Since it was close to noon, I opted to have lunch under some shade near the terminal. The ferry back to Dauphin Island was pretty full and there were a lot of motorists standing in line to buy tickets for the 1:30 pm trip. I took my time going to the restroom and filling up my water bottles.

I got back on the road to Gulf Shores around 12:30 pm. I rode down the highway for about 40 minutes and then I took a short break to place a few phone calls. I tried to contact the WS contact at the FUMC in downtown Pensacala but I was just able to leave a voice mail message. I also called a minister at a church on the western edge of Gulf Shores to tell him that I was back into the area and to see if he could help me find a place to stay for the night.

The ride to Gulf Shores went okay. About six miles away from the ferry terminal, I met up with a young guy who was on tour. He must have been only 19. The guy's name was George and he had started from someplace in SW Virginia and had ridden east to the Coast and then had turned West at Jacksonville and was riding West to San Diego. He expected to be in San Diego sometime around Christmas and then he would fly back to Virginia. He was going to camp out in the campgrounds on Dauphin Island. He told me that he was a WS member so I gave him directions on how to contact the WS member on Dauphin Island.

I got to the Church of St Andrew around 3:30 pm. The secretary and the pastor were happy to see me. The secretary told me that there were no motel rooms available on the island because of the Shrimp Festival. I asked if there was a way for me to either stay inside the church for the night or possibly camp out behind it but the pastor used the classic words of a pass-off minister like "can't or never done it before". There was a vague offer to get me a camping spot at the state park campground but no reservations could be taken over the phone. I'm not sure why either one of them didn't go to the campground to acquire a site for me. The pastor could have driven me to the campground to get me a space and then drive me back to the church to pick up Alice and then ride back to the campground but he didn't do that either. I was told to ride to the campground and then have the person in the ticket office call the church for the credit card information. I left the church a little after 4 pm. It would have been about a 5 mile ride to the campground. I would have to ride through the Western edge of the park to go around the area where the Shrimp Festival was being held. I got to the entrance road to the campground a little before 5 pm. There was no guarentee that the pastor would be still in the office so I made a call to the church to see if there was somebody still in the office. The answering machine picked up on the first ring. This really upset me because I just saw this was a plot to get me out of the church office. I left a terse message for the pastor telling him that I was quite upset and to me he was just a goat in sheep's clothing. I would make one further attempt to contact him via email and then I would write his church off as one to just avoid like the First Baptist Church and the First United Methodist Church in the area. If I ever got back into Gulf Shores especially on a Sunday or a Wednesday, I would worship at the small Church of Christ again.

There wasn't really anything that I could do but to keep on going out of Alabama and into Florida. I almost got out of the area before dark. At the Florida state line, the rear tire went flat. I had to pull off the highway into a parking lot that was lit up to fix the flat tire. I parked Alice under a street light to do the repairs. I was back on the road in about 20 minutes.

I used my lights to get through Perdido Key, Florida. I tried to find someplace to camp out but I couldn't find a place. I carefully made my way across the intercoastal bridge to Perdido Key. I camped out along the fire road pretty well where I camped out back on September 24th.

Oct 14, 2016 : Perdido Bay, FL to Pensacola, FL : 12.79 miles (20.46 km)
Trip Total: 904.89 miles (1,447.82 km)
Year Total: 6,183.76 miles (9,894.02 km)

I had an okay night camping out along the fire road in Perdido Key. The road noise was pretty loud. The bright McDonald's sign shown on the side of the tent as a night light. I went to fell asleep around 10 pm. I slept kind of lightly because I accidently set my sleeping pad on top of a tree root. I did have to wake up a couple of times to take care of business.

I woke up around 6:30 am. I took my time packing up. Instead of getting out of the woods the way that I came in, I followed the fire road to the other end at a dead end road. I rode over to a nearby McDs for a working breakfast. I needed to get on the Web and to charge up my electronics.

I got back on the road around 9:10 am. Around 10 am, I stopped to try and contact the WS contact at the downtown FUMC. I was just able to leave a voice mail message. To make sure I had a place to stay, I contacted another WS member who lived near the Pensacola Yachting Club and I was invited over. I took my time to Christopher's house. I got to Christopher's house around 1:20 pm.

Oct 15, 2016 : Pensacola, FL to Mary Esther, FL : 40.84 miles (65.34 km)
Trip Total: 945.73 miles (1,513.17 km)
Year Total: 6,224.60 miles (9,959.36 km)

I had an okay afternoon and night at Christopher's and Josephine's house. Joshephine was a doctor in the Navy but she was in Houston at NASA on an internship. I was their fourth WS guest here in Pensacola. It was a real plus having a good shower and to get all of my dirty stuff washed and dried. Christopher was studying to get his license to become a financial planner. I entertained myself on the internet and playing with their three year old lab-golden retriever mix female Moxey. She was quite friendly and didn't bark. Christopher made me a good supper. By the time that the sun went down, I was ready to go to sleep.

It was around 8:30 pm when I fell asleep. I woke up around 3:15 am but after being awake 20 minutes I was able to fall asleep till around 6:20 am. Christopher made me a good breakfast of scrambled eggs and grits.

I got on the road around 7:40 am. It was a good ride through the downtown area of Pensacola. When I got to the long bridge over Pensacola Bay, I was sure that I was going to get across to Gulf Breeze because there was a road closure sign and a police car with flashing lights. The right lane on the East Bound side of the bridge was blocked off with traffic cones. They were finishing up a 5K race across the bridge. They were running one way across the bridge to Gulf Breeze and were going to be bused back to their vehicles. I had the shoulder and the right lane pretty well across the bridge to myself. Three-quarters the way across the bridge, I had to stop and take some pictures of this large flat-bottomed work boat. What was so different about this work boat is that it had been hoisted about six feet above the water on three leg pylons. There was some kind of drilling rig on the side of the boat. The boat had been raised above the water so high that the propellor was out of the water. I was able to ride clear across the bridge. There were only three runners who were running back to Pensacola.

The ride through Gulf Breeze went okay. When I got off the bridge in Gulf Breeze, they were taking down the finish line and the timer. Through the rest of Gulf Breeze, I rode some road and then I switched over to riding the sidewalk through the rest of the city till I got on the bike path through the Gulf Shores National Seashore. The sky was pretty overcast and it looked like it was going to rain. About 11 am, it started to drizzle some so I pulled off the road to a shopping center that didn't have that many stores or offices that were open in it and took an early lunch break.

I got back on the road a little before noon. I cycled along US 98 going East for about a half hour before I had to pull off the road again for another brief shower. I stopped at a covered entranceway on the West side of the First Baptist Church of Navarre. About 20 minutes into my wait, this suv with a couple of people in it pulled into the parking lot. The guy told me that he was one of the pastors and asked me if there was anything that I needed. I told the guy that I was a little concerned about the weather and I was hoping to find someplace where I could stop for the night. The guy told me that he had to go into another building to check on something but he would think how to handle my request. It wasn't five minutes later when the guy kind of rushed passed me to his vehicle with his sun glasses on. The guy didn't take the time to talk with me again. This kind of showed me what kind of Christian he really was. He wasn't a "Real Follower". It didn't take long for me to pack up and leave. I'm going to mark this church as being one to not to take the time to stop again at it or possibly worship at it.

I rode on into Navarre and took another brief break at the picnic shelter in the park next to the restrooms. I stayed there maybe 20 minutes. The rest of the afternoon ride went okay. I kept my eye out on possible places where I might stop and camp out but I couldnn't find a place. I didn't want to try and make it through Mary Esther and Fort Walton Beach and then get caught on Oskaloosa Island in the dark. The ride through the Hurlbert Field section of Elgin Air Force Base went okay.

I got into Mary Esther around 5 pm. There was a huge pumpkin patch in front of the First United Methodist Church. It was being operated by the youth department of the church. Two ladies of the church were manning the patch till around 6 pm. I learned that the pastor was away on some kind of sabbatical. One of the ladies called up one of the deacons and I got permission to camp out behind the church. I was given a contact number just in case of emergencies like somebody calling the police on me. I was shown a grassy spot in back of the church but I was also given the option to camp out in a picnic shelter/ porch on the side of the building. This would give me more protection if it ever rained during the night.

Oct 16, 2016 : Mary Esther, FL to Blue Mountain Beach, FL : 30.77 miles (49.23 km)
Trip Total: 976.50 miles (1,562.40 km)
Year Total: 6,255.37 miles (10,008.59 km)

I had an okay night camping out under the side porch of the United Methodist Church. There was an electrical outlet and water handy. Around dusk, three security lights went on. I was hoping that they would only be on for a few hours but it looked like they were going to be on all night long. To get my tent darker, I put on the second fly. It got the tent a little darker. I watched a couple of movies on my laptop till around 8:30 pm and then I fell asleep. I woke up once but I was able to fall back asleep till around 4 am. I took my time packing up, Around 6:30 am, somebody came by to prepare coffee. There wasn't really an offer for me to stay on and worship. I did tell the people last night that I was going to head out at first light and I did.

I rode the sidewalks into Fort Walton Beach. I stopped at the beachside park long enough to give myself a quick shave. The rest of the way through Fort Walton Beach went okay. I walked up the bridge over to Oskaloosa Island but I was able to rie down it. The ride across Oskaloosa Island went okay. I came across this pair of good looking tennis shoes but I couldn't use them because they were too big since they were size 11. I was able to ride across the Eastern bridge off the island to Destin.

It was a little tricky finding all the road where all of the churches were. I wanted to stop at the First United Methodist Church. Sometime during a previous trip through the area, I had stopped there and possibly camped out in a classroom. I got to the church around 9 am. A contempory service was going on in the Family Life / Recreation Center. In the foyer, there wre tables and a Soul Cafe (Coffee Bar). I took advantage of the free tea and donuts. People were coming out for cups of cappechino and coffee and taking them into the auditorium. There was this one young lady in the lobby who really looked strange to me. She didn't look like a normal girl. She (I'm using this term loosely) was pretty flat chested. Her hair was really short. She had a boyish face. she was wearing really high platform high heels. There were tattoos on her arms. I was kind of concerned that this might have been a young guy who was taking female hormones to become a Transgender.

There weren't that many people who took an interest in me. There was one older guy who came up to me and told me that he was some kind of minister at the church. The guy didn't look like a minister to me. He had earrings in both of his ears and the plugs were big enough that they extended the ear lobes. He also had a ponytail.

There were flat screen tvs set up so people could see the service. I wasn't really impressed with what I saw going on during the service. It was just a self-serving stage show. There was a praise band it was playing verses over and over again. There were fancy light effects for the background. What disturbed me the most was the sermon part. Instead of speaking behind a podium or portable pulpit, the pastor and two ladies sat in high back arm chairs and gave a talk. The pastor was an older gentleman and he wasn't wearing a suit jacket or a tie. This scene with the three chairs was something that you would have seen on television like on the old Pat Robertson's 700 Club. I only saw something similiar to this at my friend's church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I didn't stay long for the whole talk. I went outside and sat on a park bench near where I had locked up Alice and got out a paper back book to read.

I could have gone to the main building where the sanctuary was. There was no indication that there was going to be any Sunday School classes. After about twenty minutes of reading my paperback, I wandered over to the main building. Once I got into the main open air courtyard of the building, the building looked familiar to me. I've definitely been in the building before. There was a central fountain and some cane rocking chairs. I parked myself in one of the rocking chairs. There was a Sunday school class going on but I didn't want to interupt it because I didn't know how long it had started. About a half hour before the service was supposed to start in the sanctuary, the sr pastor showed up. He welcomed the people there but he only gave me a brief hello. This was just said in passing. People were starting to go into the sanctuary so I went in. The sr pastor was positioning three smaller chairs on the stage with the help of another guy. They were going to do the sermon talkagain. There was a communion table/ altar with a cross and candles. This was just going to be a backdrop to the chairs. A large overhead projector screen was being lowered from the ceiling. After the chairs were set up and a brief talk with a guy who was in charge of the AV stuff, the guy came down from the stage and started to welcome the people assembled. There was no attempt to come over to where I was sitting up front to talk and welcome me. There was twenty minutes till the beginning of the service and I made the decision to leave.

I went across the road to the First Baptist Church. There were a few cars in the parking lot. I thought this were just the people who assembled for Sunday school class but this was the whole of the members. The service had started at 10:30 am. There were not that many people assembled for the service. There were mostly older people and they were scattered in the back half of the congregation. There were just a couple of kids. There were boys who could have been pre-teenage. Three of them looked like they were brothers. They pretty well disappeared after the first half of the singing. One of the kids had a paper airplane that he had made. There was no attempt to get them back into the sanctuary. I learned that the church was without a pastor. There was an older guy who came and gave the sermon. After the sermon, there was communion. After the service ended, not too many people talked to me. The interim pastor didn't even look at me. One of the deacons was going to take him out to dinner because he came from Panama City. I did talk with this one guy. I thought that he was one of the other deacons but he was just a regular church member who had been asked to help out distribute the communion elements. There was a vague offer for me to come back for the evening service with the possibility of some kind of help to find a place to stay but I wasn't willing to wait for six hours for no guarentee of help. Before leaving, the guy did ask me if I was hungry and he slipped me a $20 in a GH. After talking for a few more minutes, we parted company and I left the church property.

Right before I was getting ready to get back on US 98 heading East, I heard a voice calling out to me from the car next to me. It was another guy from the church. I think that he might have been one of the deacons who had stayed on to count the offering. He slipped me a $5 in a GH. I stopped at a BK for some lunch. I think that I might have been overcharged some. There were quite a few people especially who went through the drive-thru line to come into the store and complain about mixed up orders.

After lunch, I didn't get that far before I had to stop at a Walmart to get a new inner tube for the rear tire. I checked the tire but I didn't find anything sticking up from inside of it. I was back on the road in about 25 minutes.

Traffic along this part of US 98 was really bad. I got on the sidewalk whenever I could. I was really happy to get into Walton and get on FL 30A. At least, there was going to be a paved bike trail to ride along. The ride through the Topsail area went okay. I couldn't remember if there were going to be any churches along FL 30A. Around 6 pm, I came across some open land that didn't have any no trespassing signs between Blue Mountain Beach and Grayton Beach. There looked like there was some kind of trail. I waited for a break in the traffic and quickly got Alice into the woods. I found a place well off the trail to pitch my tent for the night.

I'm thinking about trying for a short day tomorrow since today wasn't a rest day. I'm looking at stopping at the Christian Retreat center in Laguna Beach to see of I might be able to stay over in one of the dorm room again like I did back in December of last year.

Oct 17, 2016 : Blue Mountain Beach, FL to Laguna Beach (West Panama City Beach), FL : 18.13 miles (29.01 km)
Trip Total: 994.63 miles (1,591.41 km)
Year Total: 6,273.50 miles (10,037.60 km)

I had an okay night camping out. There was just a moon to lighten up the night sky. The tent didn't get that warm inside. I opened up my windows to let some breeze come into the tent. I fell asleep before 8 pm. I woke up around 3:30 am but I was able to fall back asleep till around 6 am.

I was back on the bike trail by 7:30 am. There was a lot of traffic already on the roads and on the bike trail. About 9 am, I stopped for a break at a gas station. The rest of the ride along FL 30A was okay but I was glad to get on US 98. There was a new bike trail to the bridge at Camp Helen near Inlet Beach. After crossing the bridge, it was a short ride to FL 30/ ALT US 98. I stopped at a Winn Dixie to get a few groceries.

From the Winn Dixie, it was about a seven mile ride to Laguna Beach. There wasn't much going on at the Christian Retreat Center. I was given the chance to stay in one of the dorm rooms for the night.

It's good that I'll be getting through Panama City tomorrow instead of later on in the week. There is supposed to be a big motorcycle rally in the area starting Wednesday. I'm going to try and camp out behind the United Methodist Church in Mexico Beach tomorrow night. I did that back on Saturday, March 19th. Once I get passed Mexico Beach, I'll be in new territory along the Florida Coast even though I rode through this area back in December of last year.

Oct 18, 2016 : Laguna Beach (West Panama City Beach), FL to Oak Grove, FL : 59.19 miles (94.70 km)
Trip Total: 1,053.82 miles (1,686.11 km)
Year Total: 6,332.69 miles (10,132.30 km)

I had an okay afternoon and night at the retreat center. Around 5 pm, I took a walk around the retreat center to take some pictures and also to go down to the beach to take some pictures there. I watched Schindler's List on my laptop,

I woke up around 5 am. I left the retreat center around 7:20 am. The ride through the rest of Panama City Beach went okay. Motorcyclists were showing up for Bike Week. I was able to ride straight across the high bridge into Panama City without stopping for any breaks. Once in Panama City, there was some road construction to deal with. I took a break at a McDs.

I had a good ride through Panama City. I made the first 20 miles by 11:20 am. I stopped for an early lunch in Parker. There was a lot of traffic to deal with on the way to Tyndal Air Force Base. I walked halfway across the bridge because the shoulder was narrow and there was a lot of trash in the shoulder. Once I got into Tyndal Air Force Base, there was a shoulder to ride along.

I got into Mexico Beach around 3:45 pm. I didn't find anybody around the Methodist Church. I rode over to the First Baptist Church but there was nobody there. Before heading out again, I stopped at a gas station for a short break.

About 2 miles South of Mexico Beach at the Gulf County Line, I crossed into the Eastern Time Zone so I lost an hour of daylight. I really pushed the miles to get to Port St Joe before dark. I made it across the two bridges into Port St Joe right before dark. I rode passed the First Baptist Church but there was nobody around.

I stopped at the First United Methodist Church near the Southern edge of town. There was a meeting going on but it was an AA meeting. There was a lot of building construction going on. I went around the construction area to the parsonage. The pastor was out with his wife and daughter on the front porch. The pastor wasn't that friendly towards me. His wife was more compassionate to me than he was. She asked me if I had eaten any supper and she went inside to fix me a plate of leftovers. While I was eating, the pastor gave me excuse after excuse why I couldn't stay on church property for the night. He went inside but I didn't know if he was going to come out again.

I decided to just leave after I had finished eating. I got out my lights and went down the highway about three miles and found a place to camp out in some woods south of Oak Grove.

Oct 19, 2016 : Oak Grove, FL to Apalachicola, FL : 21.17 miles (44.87 km)
Trip Total: 1,074.99 miles (1,719.98 km)
Year Total: 6,353.86 miles (10,166.18 km)

I had an okay night camping out. I did wake up during the night but I was able to fall back asleep. I was a little bit surprised that it was 7:30 am when I woke up again. I took my time packing up.

I got on the road around 8:30 am. I had an okay time riding to Apalachicola. About eleven miles out of Apalachicola, I met up with a couple of young adults on bicycles. They had started from London and had flown to Orlando. They were riding to San Diego.

I got into the Apalachicola a little before noon. I stopped at a BK for some chicken nuggets. After lunch, I rode into downtown Apalachicola. I stopped at the First United Methodist Church. I met up with my friend Pastor Themo. He was happy to see me again. He offered to take me to a local motel to get me a room for the night. On the way to the motel, we stopped at a Piggly Wiggly and Themo got me some food. After checking me into the room and parking Alice into the room, Themo took me to a local Dollar General and bought me some things there.

I've been invited to come back to the church tonight and speak to the youth group.

Oct 20, 2016 : Apalachicola, FL to Carrabelle, FL : 21.89 miles (35.02 km)
Trip Total: 1,096.88 miles (1,719.98 km)
Year Total: 6,375.75 miles (10,201.20 km)

I had an okay night afternoon and night at the motel. It was great having a full food pannier again. Having the other stuff that my pastor friend bought me is really going to help me out. I even was able to recharge my cell phone so that I have more minutes to use for the upcoming month.

Around 5:20 pm, I went outside to wait for my friend to come and pick me up. By 5:30 pm, he didn't arrive so I opted to walk back into town to the Methodist Church. It took me 20 minutes to get there. My friend told me that he was just getting ready to come and get me. I was taken upstairs to the youth dept and took part in the food spread that was laid out for the youth. About 5:20 pm, the praise team gathered for prayer. I got invited to take part in the prayer circle. After that everybody who was upstairs came down into the fellowship hall. There was at least two dozen youth and a couple of adults. The pastor's wife led the singing. The singing was okay but I'm not into repeating songs or even lines of the songs over and over again. The whole singing lasted about 40 minutes. One of the older youths (a guy who had graduated from high school last year read out of the Bible some). After that I was invited to come up front. I probably talked for about 25 minutes. After I finished, my friend the pastor led some prayer time. People gathered around me to lay hands on me while they prayed for me. Before the service closed, the pastor said something that blowed me away. He told the people assembled that after the Sunday morning service, there will be a charge conference of the church body to determine and approve the budget for the church's upcoming fiscal year. The pastor told us that he is going to suggest that the church add me as a line item in their budget so that they could support my ministry. I told my pastor friend that this was the first time in 23+ years that this was ever going to happen. There have been promises of support from churches in the past but there never wasn't any follow-up on those promises. It's like I'm going to be a missionary of the church.

For about an hour, my friend and I talked in front of my motel room door talking about religion. He wanted to learn more about what I thought and believed in from a Jewish perspective. I learned that for the first five years of my friend's life as a child he lived in a Greek community outside of New York city and only spoke Greek. He went with his parents to Cyprus for about five months when he was four. He didn't start learning or speaking English until they came back to the States and he started kindergarten. He also came out of the Greek Orthodox Church.

We parted company around 9:45 pm. I was able to watch some of the last few minutes of the last presidential debate. I wasn't really impressed by both candidates but I feel strongly that we are going to have another Democrat in the Oval Office again for the next four years. There is no way that Trump will win the election. The bad thing is that Trump said that he will not accept any chance of him being defeated and he will protest the results. I stayed up kind of late working on my journals and updating the website. It was probably 11:30 pm when I fell asleep.

I woke up around 3:30 am. After staying awake maybe 20 minutes, I was able to fall back asleep again. When I woke up again, I was surprised at finding that it was 6:30 am. I quickly got cleaned up, dressed, and had breakfast.

I left the motel around 8:10 am. It was a little cool. I rode through the downtown area and started to cross the high bridge. I decided to walk across the first half of the bridge over the Apalachicola River. There was a eight percent grade coast off the bridge onto the small island and the start of the longer bridge across Western neck of St George Sound. There was a lot of traffic backed up. There had to have been some kind of wreck. Just before I got onto the long bridge, traffic started to go passed smoothly because they had moved two vehicles off the bridge on flat bed trucks. On of the vehicles had a badly dented in driver's side door. It was sort of like a station wagon. The other vehicle in the accident was a large pick-up truck but I didn't see any damage. The ride across the four mile long bridge went okay. I was kind of surprised at finding a lot of Road Manna across the bridge. On the Eastern side of the bridge in Eastport, there had been another accident between two other vehicles. This accident was about a half mile off the bridge.

I had a good ride along St George Sound. I did stop to make a couple of phone calls. There was about a mile long stretch of road construction that I had to get through.

I got into the Southern outskirts of Carrabelle around 1 pm. I made my way over to the Carabelle Christian Center. I'm spending the night in the youth building. I spent a night here back in December of 2015. I've been trying to contact a minister friend of mine in Perry. I'm not sure how far I'll cycle tomorrow. I'm about 86 miles away from Perry. I'm looking at possibly cycling halfway and finding someplace to camp out near San Marcos by St Marks.

Oct 21, 2016 : Carrabelle, FL to Newport, FL : 47.88 miles (76.61 km)
Trip Total: 1,144.76 miles (1,831.62 km)
Year Total: 6,423.63 miles (10,277.81 km)

I had an okay afternoon and night in the youth building of the Carrabelle Christian Center. I stayed there last December. I slept on the floor of the youth minister's office. It was a long wait till the sunrise.

I got on the road around 7:40 am. Before leaving Carrabelle, I stopped at a grocery store to get some milk. The ride East went okay. I stopped for an early lunch at a park on the South end of the bridge across the Ochlockonee River. The afternoon ride went okay. I stopped for a break at a gas station in Panacea.

I stopped for a short break at a gas station in Medart. I got into a brief conversation with a lady. She had actually had been at the gas station but came back to talk to me. Before she left, she slipped me a Mastercard gift card. She told me that there was at least $20 on it but I'm going to have to call customer service to find the real amount.

I rode through the St Marks area. I rode North and South along the paved bike path to see if there was any place where I could camp out for the night but there wasn't any place. I got back on US 98. I went down the highway a couple more miles and I found a place to camp out for the night. My goal tomorrow is to get close to Perry and find a place to camp out since I wasn't able to connect with my minister friend in Perry.

Oct 22, 2016 : Newport, FL to Perry, FL : 41.77 miles (66.83 km)
Trip Total: 1,186.53 miles (1,898.45 km)
Year Total: 6,465.40 miles (10,344.64 km)

I had an okay night camping out. It got a little cool during the night but the new sleeping bag kept me warm. I did have to wake up a couple of times to empty my bladder. The sun didn't appear till around 7:30 am. In taking down the tent, I accidently broke one of the tent pole sections but I had a repair sleeve to fix the break.

It was around 8:30 am when I headed out. The ride East went okay. I didn't travel far before I came to a campground that I had a restroom. I took advantage of it and filled up my empty water bottles. I probably wouldn't have to do it again till around 25 miles. About eight miles down the road, I bumped into another cycle tourist who was heading West. The guy's name was Christian and he started from South Central Florida. Instead of heading West to San Diego, he was heading to Colorado.

Around noon, I stopped at a Wildlife Center to have some lunch. The afternoon ride went okay. I stopped at any gas station there was along the way to fill up the water bottles.

The closer that I got to Perry, I looked for a place to camp out but I couldn't find any. I got into the Perry area around 6 pm. I got flagged over by some black people who were at a Missionary Baptist Church. They were waiting for a wedding to start. I didn't stay long.

I rode into the downtown area and stopped at the police station to see if somebody knew how to connect a local minister. None of the officers knew a minister. They probably wouldn't have helped much because there was too festival in town (Florida Forest Festival and Mudbog Races). The young officer told me about a wooded area behind a section of the downtown river park where I could camp out in. The park was just a quarter of a mile away from the police station. I went into the woods as far as I could to find a place to camp.

I'll be going to the First United Methodist Church tomorrow morning.

Oct 23, 2016 : Perry, FL to Perry, FL : 03.93 miles (06.29 km)
Trip Total: 1,190.46 miles (1,904.74 km)
Year Total: 6,469.33 miles (10,350.93 km)

I had an okay night camping out. Once the sun went down, the woods got really dark. I was pretty hidden even though I was in the middle of town. There were sounds from the nearby highway and a railroad. There was also some chickens close by. I woke up a couple of times. I woke up around 6:30 am. I got the tent packed up as soon as the sun got up. I got out of the woods around 7:45 am.

On the way to the Methodist Church, I stopped in another section of the park that was being developed to use a port-a-toilet. I had a good surprise at the edge of the park where I got back on to the road. There was a five dollar bill lying in the grass. It was pretty wet but it was a good find. This put me over $70 in road manna that I found this year.

I rode over to the church but there wasn't anybody around. I rode to a gas station that was close to see how much a small bottle of milk was but I didn't get it because they wanted over $2 for it. I rode back to the Methodist Church. People were assembling. Most of them were in the choir. I got to talk to Rev Taylor again. I last saw him back in December of last year. Rev Taylor told me that he would help me out with a room at a Days Inn for the night. Rev Taylor took me downstairs to the felowship hall where a Sunday shool class was going to be. They were getting ready to have a breakfast. The breakfast was okay. After eating I went to find a restroom. When I got back, the class had started. They were talking about a book that I had on the recumbent. I thought that I might have been introduced and given the chance to talk but I wasn't. The service was okay. I was at least introduced. The sermon was a little long but it was okay. After the service, one of the older guys slipped me a GH of $20 and another older guy slipped me a GH of $10.

On the way to the motel, I stopped at a BK for some lunch. It was a little tricky getting across busy US 19 / ALT US 27 to the Days Inn. I've stayed here before. The motel was a little more run down.

I've got a long day's ride of at least 47 miles to Branford tomorrow. I'm six days away from getting to the East Coast at New Smyrna Beach.

The next update should be posted between Oct 30th and Nov 06th.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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