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TRIP 2016

Update #23 - November 21st
Crystal River, Florida
Mission Trip 71: 634.88 miles (1,015.51 km)
Year Total : 7,726.84 miles (12,362.94 km)



Nov 07, 2016 : Crescent Beach, FL to Flagler Beach, FL : 27.69 miles (44.30 km)
Trip Total: 27.69 miles (44.30 km)
Year Total: 7,119.59 miles (11,391.34 km)

When I got back to the spot in Crescent Beach where I had turned North on A1A, I decided to call this an end to Mission Trip 70. Anything beyond this point, will be in Mission Trip 71. There's been a bug in the back of my mind to do another prayer ride (perimeter ride) around the country. This will also include my 17th and 18th crossings of the United States.

By noon, I got 22 miles. I stopped at a park near the intercoastal waterway for some lunch out of the food pannier. It was an okay afternoon ride. There was some road construction to go through. In the Beverly Beach area, I got stopped by a guy in a car. After talking for about 10 minutes, I got slipped $10.

I got into Flagler Beach around 4 pm. I stopped at the First Baptist Church. There was nobody around it. I stopped at the Methodist Church. The secretary was just in the office. The minister was out of town to do some mentoring. There was a suggestion to go to the police station.

On the way to the police station, I stopped at an Alliance Church. I talked with the minister but he wasn't no help. He told me that he needed approval from his trustees. I stopped at the police station. There wasn't much help. There was a sign about a free meal at the Catholic church. I had a pretty good meal on real plates. There wasn't much of a suggestion about staying but going across the intercoastal bridge and camp out in the county park.

I made it across the intercoastal bridge before dark. Instead of going all of the way into the park, I followed a fire trail and found a place to camp out in some woods. I almost went into a homeless camp.



Nov 08, 2016 : Flagler Beach, FL to Edgewater, FL : 42.43 miles (67.89 km)
Trip Total: 70.06 miles (112.10 km)
Year Total: 7,161.02 miles (11,459.23 km)

I had an on okay night. I got a little cool. I got back on the road around 6:50 am. A1A was open south of Flagler Beach. It was an okay ride to Ormund Beach. I stopped at the First Presbyterian Church. I talked with the pastor. There wasn't any place for me to spend the night at the church. The church was a precint polling place for the election. The pastor did give me a GH.

I had an okay ride to Daytona Beach. I stopped for lunch at a McDs. I also stopped at a low coast laundromat.

I had an okay ride to Port Orford. There were nobody around the local churches. I did stop at a computer store but I missed the operator by a few minutes because he had closed up the shop early for a service call.

I got into New Smyrna Beach around 4:40 pm. I stopped at the police station. I didn't get much help there. I got through New Smyrna Beach before dark. In Edgewater, I stopped at a Wendys for some lunch. I found a place to camp out in some woods south of Edgewater.



Nov 09, 2016 : Edgewater, FL to Melbourne Beach, FL : 75.33 miles (120.53 km)
Trip Total: 145.59 miles (232.94 km)
Year Total: 7,237.55 miles (11,580.08 km)

I had an ok night. It didn't get that cold. I was back on the road by 6:40 am. It was an okay ride South on US 1. I made 23 miles by noon. I decided to check out a new paved bike trail between Mims and Titusville. It ended in a weird spot not close to the downtown area.

I stopped at a BK for some lunch. After lunch, I stopped at the FUMC. The minister who I knew there wasn't there any more. The new one wasn't in. The office staff especially a lady was quite rude to me. I went across the street to the First Baptist Church. The pastor was out sick.

I got back on US 1 heading South. I rode on to Cocoa. I couldn't find a church that had a Wednesday night service. I made it across the intercoastal bridge to Merritt Island before dark. I stopped at the First Baptist Church. There was a small group meeting in the chapel. I talked with the pastor before the service. I was able to share a few words with the group. After the service, the pastor passed me off to another guy. He passed me off to another person who was in another building where another Bible study was going on. This guy passed me on to another guy who lived at some transitional housing. This housing didn't look safe so I decided to head out even though it was around 8:30 pm.

I made it to Cocoa Beach okay where I got back on A1A. It was a tricky ride through Patrick Air Force Base because of road construction. I kept on going till well past midnight. It was almost 2:30 am when I finally found some open land and a place to camp out in the Melbourne Beach area.



Nov 10, 2016 : Melbourne Beach, FL to Ft Pierce, FL : 42.63 miles (68.21 km)
Trip Total: 188.22 miles (301.15 km)
Year Total: 7,280.18 miles (11,648.29 km)

I was surprised that I was able to sleep a couple of hours. I tossed and turned most of the time that I was trying to sleep. I was back on the road by 6:40 am. I rode down the road a couple of miles and stopped at a shopping center where there was a Publix to get me some milk and a bagel for breakfast. I talked with a guy who was riding a long wheelbase.

Ten miles down the road, I got stopped by a guy who was on a motorcycle. We talked for about ten minutes. Before he left, he slipped me $9. I stopped at a county park and got some lunch off the bike.

I had an okay ride in the afternoon. I found a place to camp out a couple of miles out of Ft Pierce.



Nov 11, 2016 : Ft Pierce, FL to Hobe Sound, FL : 41.82 miles (66.91 km)
Trip Total: 230.04 miles (368.06 km)
Year Total: 7,322.00 miles (11,715.20 km)

I had an ok night. It didn't get that cold. The tent didn't get that dark inside because there was a bright full moon.

I was back on the road by 6:40 am. I rode down the highway a couple of miles and I stopped at a county park to get cleaned up. About five miles down the road, I stopped at a gas station to take a breakfast break. A guy slipped me $1. I was able to ride across the intercoastal bridge into Ft Pierce. In Ft Pierce, I rode along the River Road to Jenson Beach. I made 23 miles by noon.

In Sewells Point, I missed a turn and got caught going down a dead end street. I had to backtrack almost 2 miles to get back to A1A and the intercoastal bridge to Stuart. In Stuart, I stopped to get some groceries. In Stuart, I got on St Johns County A1A.

In Jenson Beach, I took a break at a gas station for something cold to drink. About a mile down the road, I got stopped by a lady in a jeep who said she had bought something for me. She had bought me two hotdogs, a medium bag of chips, and a bottle of water. I found a place to eat the hot dogs and drink the water.

For a while I got on the East Coast Greenway Bike Path. I rode through a state park but the area looked like it had recently gone through a wild fire. About a mile south of the state park, I rode through an area that was supposed to be a proposed wildlife area. I decided to stop and find a place to camp out for the night.



Nov 12, 2016 : Hobe Sound, FL to Loxahatchie, FL : 49.17 miles (78.67 km)
Trip Total: 263.47 miles (421.55 km)
Year Total: 7,371.17 miles (11,793.87 km)

I had an ok night. It didn't get that cold.

I was back on the road by 6:40 am. It was a tricky ride to get back onto County A1A and then I followed it to US 1. I made about 23 miles by noon. In Jupiter, I stopped at a McDs for some lunch.

The afternoon ride went okay. I rode through West Palm Beach. In Cloud Lake, I ended my leg going South and then I turned West to Ft Myers. I headed west on FL 80/ US 98. There was a tailwind to push me along. I was cruising almost 10 mph. At one street intersection, I found a huge scattering of change. I picked up $3.40.

I made it through Royal Palm Gardens by dark. In the Loxahatchie area, I found a place to camp out in some open land behind and next to a church.



Nov 13, 2016 : Loxahatchie, FL to Belle Glade, FL : 25.92 miles (41.47 km)
Trip Total: 305.13 miles (488.21 km)
Year Total: 7,397.09 miles (11,835.34 km)

I had an ok night. My location was almost found out but I had hidden myself behind some bushes and trees. As I was getting back to the highway, I scared up a wild boar. I was back on the highway by 7:10 am.

I decided to go on to Belle Glade instead of waiting almost three hours for the church service. There was a tailwind to push me along. I was cruising almost 10 mph. I rode through sugar cane country. I got the first 20 miles in by 10 am.

I made a mad dash into Belle Glade. I stopped at the First Baptist Church. I only missed the first five minutes of the service. There was a fund raising meal by the youth afterwards. I was able to talk with the pastor and the youth pastor. The gymnasium building was offered to me for the day. There was a men's locker room with showers and also a washer and a dryer. Before leaving, the youth pastor slipped me a small GH.



Nov 14, 2016 : Belle Glade, FL to Goodno, FL : 44.97 miles (71.95 km)
Trip Total: 350.10 miles (560.16 km)
Year Total: 7,442.06 miles (11,907.30 km)

I didn't have a good night. I wasn't warned that the building was infested with very large cockroaches. Even though I was staying in the balcony, I still had to deal with them. Trying to sleep on a noisy folding cot didn't help much.

I got on the road around 6:48 am. The ride to Clewisdale went okay. I was hoping to stop for the day but I wasn't able to connect with a compassionate minister. Before leaving town, I did stop to get a loaf of bread and also lunch at a BK.

The ride west on US 27 went okay but the ride became harder when I had to get on FL 80. This was a busy two-lane road with no shoulder. About 12 miles out of La Belle, I had enough so I found a place to camp out. I got the tent pitched up before it started to sprinkle.



Nov 15, 2016 : Goodno, FL to La Belle, FL : 12.97 miles (20.75 km)
Trip Total: 363.07 miles (580.91 km)
Year Total: 7,455.03 miles (11,928.05 km)

I didn't have a good night. I wasn't able to stay asleep. The moon was out again bright.

I got on the road around 7:40 am. I didn't really feel like riding very far today. I decided to try and take at least a half day off. I stopped at the Carlson Memorial Methodist Church. I had a good time talking to the youth pastor, Doug. Doug contacted the pastor David and I got permission to stay in one of the classrooms. Doug took me out to a local restaurant for some dinner. We also stopped at the local Walmart. Doug surprised me by offering to by me a universal adapter for the laptop. I was really happy getting to work on the laptop again. David went out to get me supper at BK.



Nov 16, 2016 : La Belle, FL to Murdock, FL : 68.33 miles (109.33 km)
Trip Total: 431.40 miles (690.24 km)
Year Total: 7,523.36 miles (12,037.38 km)

I had an okay night. It was so great being able to work on my laptop again. I got all of the spreadsheets updated and about three-quarters of the missed jounal entries done by around midnight. It was a little tricky falling asleep because of the bright light coming through the venetian blinds. I woke up a little before 5 am and I finished up the journal enries and did a quick update of the website before getting cleaned up, dressed, and having breakfast.

I was hoping to get on the road around 7 am but that didn't happen. I didn't realize that the front tire was flat. I found a small piece of wire sticking up inside the tire. I patched the tube.

I was on the road by around 7:35 am. The ride West went okay. By 11 am, I was in Tice and I got a little over 24 miles in. There was a Cracker Barrel next to I-75. I decided to have an early lunch. It was a surprise to find the full $25 on the gift card. I got a good chicken pot pie luncheon special. I was back on the road by 11:40 am. This got me almost 26 miles in by noon.

The ride through Ft Myers of was a little tricky. I rode most of the way on sidewalks. At Bus US 41, I turned Northwards. I was able to ride across the intercoastal bridge to North Ft Myers. There was a Warm Showers member in NFM but I decided to keep on going.

I had a good ride to Punta Gordo. Punta Gordo was too big for me so I rode across the bridge to Charlotte Harbor. I got into Charlotte Harbor a little before dusk. I stopped at the first Baptist Church. Small church. Older congregation. Old pastor. He told me to move on to a homeless shelter when I asked him if I could spend the night in the church. I didn't stay for the Bible Study.

It was a tricky ride through the rest of Charlotte Harbor and into Murdock because of road construction. I found some poen land in some woods North of Murdock.



Nov 17, 2016 : Murdock, FL to Rubonia, FL : 59.96 miles (95.94 km)
Trip Total: 491.36 miles (786.18 km)
Year Total: 7,583.52 miles (12,133.31 km)

I had an okay night. It didn't get that cold. Before waking up, I had a pretty intense dream.

I got back on the road around 7:40 am. I had to get out my long sleeve cycling jersey. The ride to the Venice area went okay. At a gas station, I spotted a guy who was riding a trike recumbent. He had his dog sitting behind him in a box. He was also towing a trailor that had a large thing that he had put on some signs. He is a mobile advertising platform. The guy told me about a good bike shop close by.

I stopped at the International Bike Shop. I really needed a new front tire. I called up my friend Dennis in NY. He offered to pay for it over the phone using his credit card. The new tire is a Kenda Qwest. It's 100 psi but there is only 93 psi in it for safety. It really makes the recumbent ride really well.

In Osprey, I saw a guy sitting on the side of the road by a Walmart. He had a sign that said that he was a homeless vet. I stopped and made a food bag out of the supplies that I had in my food pannier. When I gave it to him, he was quite appreciative. I told him that it was sort of pay back from all of the times that military (active and reserve) had helped me out with food.

I had a good ride through the area to Sarasota. I tried contacting a WS member there but they were not there. I called up an old friend who I hadn't seen in 10 years. She had moved to a smaller home and was renting out the extra bedroom to get extra cash.

It was a long ride through Sarasato. I was hoping to find a place to camp out between Sarasota and Brandenton but there wasn't any place. I did have to stop in Brandenton to work on my lights. I was able to get the back and front ones working. It was good that I was able to because I had some bridges and overpasses to get over between Brandenton and Rubinio.

Right after the last overpass, I came across the Family of God United Methodist Church. It was too late to go on. The church property was pretty huge. There was a large pond that had a fountain. I found a spot in some woods behind the pond to camp out in.

The main goal for tomorrow is to get through the Tampa area.



Nov 18, 2016 : Rubonia, FL to Palm River, FL : 41.47 miles (66.35 km)
Trip Total: 523.83 miles (852.52 km)
Year Total: 7,624.79 miles (12,199.66 km)

I had an okay night. It didn't get that cold.

I got back on the road around 7:40 am. The ride north went okay. Around 11 am, I took an extended break at a McDs because I wanted to get on the internet and to charge up my electornics. I was at the McDs for about 75 mins. After the lunch break, I accidently lost my rear flasher unit. I didn't know it after going down several miles where I had to stop and fix a flat rear tire. I backtracked a couaple of miles and was able to find it.

The rest of the ride in the afternoon went okay. The later it got, the more fervent I became trying to find someplace to camp out. I was really getting close to Tampa. In the Palm Harbor area close to the ports of Tampa, I finally came across some woods. I went into it. I was looking at trying to find a place in the trees to camp out but I happened to find a path with tool me into a grassy area next to a pond that had marsh reeds in it. The grassy area had been mowed and some of the trees around the pond had drip irrigation.



Nov 19, 2016 : Palm Harbor, FL to Port Richey, FL : 47.96 miles (66.35 km)
Trip Total: 580.79 miles (929.26 km)
Year Total: 7,672.75 miles (12,276.40 km)

I had an okay night. It didn't get that cold.

I got back on the road around 7:50 am. This was a lot later that what I had hoped but I found a flat rear tire to fix. I also had to do some sewing repairs and also to shave.

The ride through Tampa went better than what I had expected. I got 21 miles in by noon. I stopped at a Cracker Barrel for some lunch.

The afternoon ride to Palm Harbor went okay to US 19A where I turned Northwards. For a while I got on the Pinnelas bike trail. I stopped at a picnic table to do some more sewing repairs. I had an okay ride through Tarpon Springs where I got back on US 19.

I got caught on the road after dark again. I was shooting for a state park but it was closed. I found a wooded area next to it where I camped out in.

Today, was the 18th anniversary of my ordination of my becoming a minister and also the 18th anniversary of the start of my ministry website.



Nov 20, 2016 : Port Richey, FL to Homossa Springs, FL : 45.12 miles (72.19 km)
Trip Total: 625.71 miles (1,001.46 km)
Year Total: 7,717.87 miles (12,348.59 km)

I had an okay night. It didn't get that cold. It was a little windy. I thought that it was going to rain.

I got back on the road around 7:40 am. Instead of staying around Port Richey for church, I decided to go on to Spring Hill.

I made good time to Spring Hill. I had to go into town to find a church. I stopped at the Holy Name Evangelical Lutheran Church. I got there around 10:20 am. The traditional service was supposed to start around 11 am. There were some pastries out so I got to have a couple and I packed a couple up for later. One of the guys got me a bottle of water. The service was okay. It was good to take part in a more traditional service instead of going to a contemporary service. I got to introduce myself to the pastor near the end of the service. The pastor said that there was a possibilty of help finding a place to stay afterwards. After the service, I got passed off to this lady who normally has a guest room available but they were foster parents and they recently got a child. The pastor told me that there wasn't a way for me to stay on in the church for the day. I did get a large bag of food to take along from the food pantry. I went over to an outdoor chapel and I packed up all of the food. It was good to having a full pannier. It's been a while.

The afternoon ride went okay. About 10 miles out of Spring Hill, I stopped at a gas station to charge up my electronics and to also catch up on my journal entries. I was back on the road around in about 40 minutes. There was a good tailwind to push me along. The wind was so strong that I was cruising in my 27th gear at around 12 mph.

I got into the Homossa Springs area around dusk. I rode around the town to see if I could find a church with an evening service but I wasn't able to. I found a place to camp out in some undeveloped land between a couple of businesses. I went as far back in the land as I could and found a spot that my tent could be hidden. I was maybe two hundred feet away from the highway.



Nov 21, 2016 : Homossa Springs, FL to Crystal River, FL : 08.97 miles (14.35 km)
Trip Total: 634.88 miles (1,015.81 km)
Year Total: 7,726.84 miles (12,362.94 km)

I had an okay night even though it got quite cold. I did find out how warm the new sleeping bag got me. I got maybe five hours of sleep.

I woke up around 6 am. Once it got light out, I quickly got the tent taken down and the bike packed up. I was out of the woods and back on the road by around 7:15 am. It was quite cool that I had to stop a couple of miles down the road to put on my coat and locate my long fingered lightweight gloves to get them on.

The ride to Crystal River went okay. I got into Crystal River around 8 am. I stopped at a Dollar General to get something that I needed. I didn't feel like going any farther today. I really needed some time off the road. The last time that I had some time off the road was Tuesday, Nov 15th, back in La Belle when I spent the night at the Methodist Church. I had ridden 271.81 miles since then.

I stopped at the First Presbyterian Church. Today was the pastor's day off but I met some nice people there and I got to take along some extra food from the church's food pantry. I really packed out the food pannier now. From the Presbyterian church, I rode into the downtown area. I stopped at the First Baptist Church. The pastor was out but I was offered a room at a local motel through the church's benevolence program.

Chiefland is 45 miles away. I'll probably have to find someplace to camp out South of Chiefland instead of trying to push to there before it gets dark.

The next update should be posted between Nov 28th and Dec 05th.




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