Day 45(Thursday, June 2):Destin to Ebro, FL–47 miles

June 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

My life is like a stroll on the beach….as near to the edge as I can go.  –Thoreau                 

Hello from Ebro!
Population 250; one motel; one BP service station complete with Subway and one dog track.  The local cafe is closed, but there is a “restaurant” at the nearby(behind the motel)dog track. The dog races supposedly start at seven tonight; I have never been to the racetrack, but there’s a first time for almost everything….
I write this as I wait for our laundry; Betty, the more than kind owner of the Ebro Motel, offered to wash our grimy biking apparel. Thanks very much, Betty!  We will remember you with smiles in our hearts for days to come!
Now about our “workday”…..
It did not seem possible yesterday’s temperature of 95 degrees(feels like 105 according to the Weather Channel) could be surpassed.   That is extremely hot weather, even hotter to be out riding bicycles in….
However, I woke a 3am and checked the temps– it was still 86 degrees in Destin, and to make it seem worse it “felt like 90”. Today will be a scorcher.  I next checked our day’s destination, Ebro, and the temps there dropped down to a chilly 75 overnight.  We will have to go buy winter clothing!
We are up bright and early to beat both the traffic and the heat. I would say on to bigger and better things, but it looks as if we are trying the opposite logic today as we gravitate toward tiny Ebro.
The road is great; we have a bicycle lane with smooth pavement the whole route.  Our mileage is low; there is nothing after Ebro for thirty miles, so we will end our day before heat exhaustion sets in.   We stop at the cafe in Bruce; Joe gets his eggs and grits, albeit not at a Waffle House. After the meal he sits a spell on the porch, chatting with the local males. The good part of the morning; one of them asked me if I was a born again Christian, as I was always smiling!  A compliment.    We meet Steve, a  road cyclist; his mileage for the day, 100.
Ahead of us are two identically clad bicyclists stopped on the bridge; thus we meet Anna and Kevin, on a tandem. They are nine days out, traveling from Savannah to Seattle over a  four month time span.   Their distinctive jerseys are emblazoned both with their logo and with  their route.  Seeing other touring bicyclists is always a pleasant surprise; we expected to see no one on this alternate route.
I am mapping out the last remaining days. After 2,500 miles Joe has finally asked for his own paper map; he refused the extra map I  had in Louisiana and will not use the utilitarian iPhone map application, which if he chose to,  is always at his fingertips.  Hopefully he will now always know where he is and not need to ask “How much longer?” anymore.   I can now ask the same question of him every 5 miles!
Unknowingly this trip has been a compilation of the Sixties TV shows I watched in my childhood. Growing up in Alaska, I had no “real” United States to compare it to.  My frame of reference: books and the emerging television. This bike tour started in California; every Sunday night at seven my siblings and I sat in front of the only television in the house, black and white of course,  my parents on the couch, the three of us cross-legged on the floor, and watched “The Wonderful World of Disney”. The opening credits are forever ingrained in my psyche: Sleeping Beauty Castle and Tinkerbelle’s magic fairy dust. It was the land where all your dreams came true; thoughts of California have the same connotation.  We moved by bike on to Arizona and Texas; my thoughts turned to Cooky on “Wagon Train” and Rowdy(a very young Clint Eastwood) of “Rawhide”.  Next stop–New Mexico: land of UFOs and aliens– Billy Mumy on “Lost in Space” anyone?  Or Ray Walston and Bill Bixby on “My Favorite Martian”?Next we are in the South, near the land of “The Andy Griffith Show” and Mayberry RFD.  The ever present sheriffs, troopers and police cars cruising the tree lined  Main Street  in every town seem directly out of a Hollywood script. And lastly, let’s not forget Florida with “Flipper”, where America’s fascination with dolphins and matters maritime began.
It is with a sense of melancholy that I ride and plan these last few days.  This has been the adventure of a lifetime. Where does one go from here?  Maybe I will find some answers at the Fountain of Youth in St. Augustine.


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