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Waiting Out The Storms

Hank – This morning there was much prognostication and prophecy of gloom, rain, thunder, and lightning followed by four days of clear sunshine so we decided to stay another day here at the Starlight Lodge Motel and wait for the crappy weather to pass. One bright spot in this small town is the Creative Catering and Design Deli just across the street from the motel. It’s only open from 11:00 am-2:00 pm. I had a grilled veggie wrap there and it was delicious. I picked up a sandwich for Kathy along with two spinach salads. The salads went into the fridge to be tonight’s dinner.

We used the day to get caught up on administrative matters, such as the spreadsheet we use to track our miles, etc. And we came up with a tentative plan for the next two weeks. We have more than enough time to get to Ft Lauderdale where we fly out on Dec 19 to go home for the holidays and we’re taking advantage of that to see some sights. St Augustine, Cape Canaveral, Magic Kingdom, and the Epcot Center are the major visitations. But there are a lot more possibilities between Titusville and Ft Lauderdale so we’re making a list.

As the day wore on the severe weather didn’t pan out here, but where we were headed today (Jacksonville, Florida) is was pretty bad. Better to be safe than sorry. But I can say that the Starlight Lodge Motel is all I ever dreamed of and more. To it’s credit, however, the carpet did not turn my feet black like it does in better hotels when I walk around barefoot.

Kathy – The weather looked pretty bad outside this morning. Between frequently looking at multiple weather apps on each of our phones along with tuning into the latest weather via the local news, we decided it was best to stay put at the Stardust Motel in Woodbine, Georgia another day to wait out all the storms.

Around lunchtime the weather in our area cleared up pretty good which had us questioning our decision to stay, however the weather at our our destination point today was frightening. So overall we made the best choice.

We both got out for walks today. It’s not a big town so not too much to explore. I decided to get in a few hours walk. As I got to the end of town (approximately 1.5 – 2 miles from our motel) a dark blue truck with smoky windows drove up behind me quickly. It drove off the road, over the grass and suddenly stopped directly in front of me on the sidewalk. It scared the heck out of me!

The truck just sat there and no one got out. I was startled to say the least. I took a pause, then decided to walk around it in the road near the drivers side door rather than the passenger side door. As I approached the drivers door the window rolled down. I saw a large elderly African-American man that had to be at least 80 years old in the drivers seat. In the passenger seat was a skinny Caucasian male who was just as old. The driver says in a loud voice, “You need a ride?” I was taken aback a bit and wasn’t sure what I heard with his thick southern accent. He then repeated it, “You want a ride? You’re leavin’ town walkin’. We’ll give you a ride and take you anywhere you need to go.” It then hit me that these were just a couple of nice old men offering to give me a ride when they saw me walking by myself. I smiled and told them no thank you that I was just out for a walk. With that, just as quick as they came they were gone. He looked at me like I was crazy for walking and said “OK” then hit the pedal to the medal and they were off the sidewalk, over the grass and back on the road hightailing it out of Woodbine. It was too funny! Almost wished I had more time to chat with these two. I bet they have great stories.

So I continued to walk about town and then hit the local IGA grocery store. It is the only store in town other than the gas station. The IGA had a very limited selection, but the town’s population is just over 1,300 so they don’t need that much. I picked up a few snacks to hold us through the next few days of riding and a gallon jug of water. We normally don’t fuss too much about drinking the water anywhere we go, but it tastes pretty bad here. It is hard to describe the taste, but trust us it is foul.

As I walked back to our fancy motel I saw police action at the Snappy Foods Gas Station. Three police cars. They arrested someone just as I walked by. As the police cars left and I continued to walk one of the cars suddenly stops a car at the only traffic light in town. More lights and action. This little town was buzzing with activities! Got back to the motel and enjoyed the relaxing evening with Hank.

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From The Upper Left Corner To The Lower Right Corner

Hank – We woke at 5:30 to give us plenty to time to be in the road by 7:30. It was 51 degrees out but it felt cooler. We bid farewell to Woodbine.

Thirteen miles later we stopped in Kingsland (Where you get the royal treatment) and had breakfast at Steffens restaurant. Steffens opened in 1948 and I believe it still has the original benches in the booths. The food and service were great.

A couple miles from Kingsland we entered our 29th state. The clear blue sky made Florida seem even more welcoming. We stopped in Yullee for a snack before heading east to Amelia Island. When we left Yullee on Hwy 200 we were very encouraged when we saw we had a bike lane. That lasted less that a half mile as we hit construction. For six miles we were squeezed into two lanes and no shoulder with all kinds of traffic. It was unpleasant to say the least. We picked up a few supplies at the Winn-Dixie and Walmart and got onto Hwy A1A. Not only did we have a nice shoulder/bike lane but there’s also a bike path running parallel to the road. Sweet!

Before you knew it we arrived at Little Talbot Island State Park where we scored a tent site. But first we checked out the beach. A calm ocean was sending relaxing waves against broad swathes of white sand as far as the eye could see. It was beautiful.

We set up camp and got our showers out of the way. Dinner–dehydrated meals–was early since we hadn’t eaten much since breakfast and we covered 55 miles during the day.

Kathy – Today we said good-bye to Georgia and hello to our 29th state – Florida!! We were very happy we didn’t die in South Carolina or Georgia 😵 as both states have limited shoulder areas on their roads for cyclists. 😬 It required lots of constant attention to the traffic on our part and lots of considerate drivers in the two states to move over and give us space. Thankful that portion of our trip is completed. 🤗🤗🤗

As soon as we crossed the boarder into Florida 😎 we had a three feet wide shoulder, pretty sweet! We had lots of great smooth roads and plenty of shoulder room today when riding in Florida, well except the six miles of construction part. Happy to have good roads again.

Today’s 55 mile day went by so fast. We made fantastic time and really enjoyed the day of riding. The weather was pretty crisp this morning but it warmed up nicely to 64 degrees with a slight headwind, just enough to keep you cool. Happy to have all that cloudy, windy, thunder-stormy weather finally move past us. Today was clear blue skies with the sun out to greet us. It felt so good! 🌞

About the title in this post, “From The Upper Left Corner To The Lower Right Corner” – of course Hank is talking about from the state of Washington to Florida. Yep, hard to believe we have come so far. 🚴‍♀️🚴‍♂️ Looking forward to hanging out in sunny, warm Florida for the next few weeks before hopping on the plane to go home for Christmas in cold, and possibly snowy Spokane. ❄️🎄❄️

Today was just one of those perfect riding days. We loved it and look forward to more of these over the next few weeks. All is well tonight. 🏝☀️🏖