Today did not go well. Things started normally enough when I got up around 8:15, had breakfast with Sharon and Bob, packed up, and hit the road around 9:30. I did a test ride before leaving and my knee was feeling normal enough. I had two potential stopping points in Mary Esther FL, and in Pensacola FL depending on how far I made it with the outrageous headwind.
The one big accomplishment of the day was crossing into the central time zone! But it was not an easy day.
After a quick stop at subway where I ate half a sub and packed the second half for lunch, I got on the way. I knew the wind was forecast to be strong and in my face, and the forecast appeared correct. Nevertheless, I chugged away slowly but surely covering some rolling hills along the highway. It was slow going, but it was also planned to be a fairly short day and I was keeping a steady pace.
Last night was brutal. The rain lasted hours and my tent leaked significantly. Sometime around 1:30 it let up to just a sprinkle and I moved everything into the screened-in kitchenette on the adjascent site where I had stashed my bike. I laid the tent out to dry, and laid down in my wet sleeping bag on my sleeping pad. At least it was warmish out. An hour or so later the thunder and lightning started and so did the wind. Rain blew in the screens hard enough that the entire floor, my sleeping bag, the tent, and all my hung clothes were completely soaked.
I slept in until about 8:30 and then got up and started breaking down camp. For some reason, my throat felt scratchy when I woke up and it persisted throughout the day. Kay and Lee got up around nine and she made a nice breakfast of bacon and eggs. After we said our goodbyes, Kay hooked me up with two pbj sandwiches, and I was on my way.
Today was one long ride on the same highway fighting a headwind. There was little to break up the task, and I just had to keep chugging along. Luckily there were no mechanical problems though.
I woke up around 8:30 although my alarm wasn't set to go off until 9:00. Laying awake, I opened the warm showers app and saw a host that I thought would work for night eight and left a voicemail.
I did a better job waking up today, getting out of bed around 7:15. George made me a delicious breakfast of eggs and toast to get the day started right. Then I packed the bike, said goodbye and was on my way just before 8:00.
It was cold (39F) so I wore the long fingered gloves and neck warmer for the first while. Luckily there was almost no wind and it was actually being me as route 41 worked easy for the first hour of the ride.
The hardest part of today was getting out of bed. I guess it was partly really needing the sleep and partly really appreciating not being in my tiny tent. The first round of alarms went off around 9:00 and I quickly snoozed them and cancelled the rest. In addition to just really wanting to sleep more I had a slight headache that I hoped would go away with a little more sleep.
Finally got out of bed a little before 11:00. The headache persisted, but I felt fine otherwise. I took my time getting breakfast of cereal and packing up the bike, ultimately hitting the road around noon.
I woke up just after 7:00 when a big truck pulling a camper parked beside my secret camping spot. The driver and passenger got out, commented on the cold, and climbed into the camper. I was on the road by 8:00 just as the welcome center worker was getting things together for opening.