Day 48(Sunday, June 5):Monticello to Live Oak,FL–64 miles

June 6, 2011 § Leave a comment

Today we fine tune our departure time; it seems bright outside despite the enveloping darkness.
Monticello turns out to be a Florida Heritage Site; our lodging, an aberration. Besides the historical 1850s Opera House, there is a B&B in an 1872 house that we overlooked. Their claim to fame: Kirstie Alley slept there. It was simply too hot to explore yesterday. Perhaps we can stay there next time if we want a more traditional experience….
Meanwhile, in the hazy half light of early morning, the glass shards littering the shoulder glimmer like discarded diamonds. The weather feels cool; the road is good. Maybe these 60 miles will fly by! I look at my odometer:we are averaging 15 miles an hour. We are flying after all!
Forty miles into the ride, we stop at McDonalds and order a $1.00 refillable drink, to share. What a deal!
The temperatures are expected to reach 100 today; Florida is also in a drought with rainfall 25 inches below normal. The daily weather reports include fire watch warnings. Despite the green everywhere, it is very dry.
We roll a few miles further; Joe stops at a Florida Highway Patrol outpost. He relays how the dump truck tried to run him over two days ago. The result: even without the license plate we can call the FHP to report a reckless driver; they will look for the vehicle of description. Officer Hurst then informs us that six weeks ago a bicyclist was intentionally hit and as a result died a few miles from where we are now. He further states that they will find the culprit from the pieces of the vehicle left at the scene. We thank him for all his information and continue on, sobered by the reality of this ride.
We arrive in Live Oak about noon. I spy a Grocery Store-Carniceria-Tortilleria; it’s a huge place–we should find some fruit here. I go in; Joe attempts conversation with the locals outside. His Spanish has not improved and I don’t hear much English from these locals. There are two motels within 100 feet of the grocery store; both look like reform schools despite one having a cheery name–The Sunshine Inn….
We pass on by regardless of the motel’s perfect location on Highway 90; I promised no repeats of last night’s lodging.
The Best Western is near the Interstate; we ride a few extra miles for the comfort. It looks as if we hit the jackpot: restaurants everywhere and a Walmart across the street. Perhaps Joe may finally drink that glass of Merlot. We check in and ask if the Walmart has wine? Yes! However, this is a dry county; no sales allowed on Sundays. Today is a Sunday. Joe is out of luck. He is resourceful though; he asks the clerk if she has any beer. No, not here. The clerk then asks the housekeeper if there were any leftover cans after checkout today; another negative. She says there were two cans from a couple of days ago, but those too are now gone. It looks like Joe’s beverage of choice will be root beer today.
We watch the French Open Men’s Tennis Final in the cool comfort of an air conditioned room, anticipating dinner tonight–Chinese/Sushi Buffet across the street.
We have 120 more miles to go; one more night on the road…and then it’s back to The Daily Routine.

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