Day 47(Saturday, June 4):Bristol to Monticello,FL–72 miles
June 6, 2011 § Leave a comment
We dragged our sorry souls out of their comfortable sleep at 5am; our corresponding bodies very reluctantly followed suit.
Remember this is the Eastern Time Zone, so it is basically 4am!
We are on the road by 5:30 am in absolute darkness. It looks like I will finally get to meet the Crack of Dawn. A rooster crows as if on cue. It is dark out here; I try to concentrate on the small portion of the white road line I see in the narrow reach of my headlight. I feel a tinge of vertigo coming on; it’s like being in a black hole–total disorientation. I am not sure how long I can last in these conditions. I look to the horizon for a glimmer of light, for some small ray of hope.
At 5:55 the light changes; I can finally see nebulous outlines of shapes; that helps a bit. I see the horizon; I am safe.
The next 40 miles pass quietly and uneventfully. Our route on 90: the Florida Big Bend Scenic Byway. We have wide shoulders and cooling shade from the canopy of trees. Life is good. We stop at a gas station for liquids. I see two teenage girls peering out the store window at our bikes. This is how we meet Amanda and Courtney, ages 15 and 14, of Bloxham, Florida. We exchange greetings and some basics about the trip. They look at us in amazement and say, “We haven’t ever met anyone who has bicycled across the United States.”
Our response, “Neither had we, until we went on this trip”. I ask if they have ever been to California, to Texas? A chorus of no! I make one last try, Louisiana?? Another no! We say our good-byes; they then get into a pickup truck with their dad and we roll on. I am impressed they were even up and moving around; it’s only 7:45 in the morning, and it’s a Saturday.
We make a straight shot through Tallahassee, Florida’s capitol, taking the scenic route across the Florida State University campus.
It’s getting warm out; we stop at McDonalds for their dollar menu; a Waffle House was not immediately available.
Twenty more miles to go; they turn out to be 20 hot, hilly and humid miles, despite the beautiful scenery surrounding us.
We arrive ahead of the ever more threatening thunder and lightening in Monticello at the Brahman Inn and Restaurant; the latter appears to have been closed for at least a decade or more. As for the Inn, well there is a big “Open” sign on the billboard. We find our room, complete with an assortment of large roach-like insects, and clean up our dusty, dirty selves. At least the place seems quiet. Joe inspects the beds for critters; looks good. I find a great little restaurant, Sandwiches and Such that serves dinners(oak roasted chicken, filet mignon, salmon) in the evenings, two blocks away. We are set, though Joe looks a little depressed about the whole No Tell Motel thing. I call and check on tomorrow night’s lodging: a solid, safe Best Western chain choice, in an attempt to liven the mood. I am not sure it helped much; this is definitely the sorriest lodging of the trip. Oh well; I figure it is part of the adventure. Things could be much worse. Joe goes to sleep as if to either forget or avoid his surroundings; amongst other things, he is lamenting the dearth of TV channels. Meanwhile I am busy planning the next few days….
Another day safely ridden; three more to go until we reach the Almighty Atlantic Ocean!